moved for leave to introduce Bill C-243, An Act to amend the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act, the Judges Act, the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act, the Public Service Superannuation Act and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act.
Mr. Speaker, as a married man, you know this all too well. What happens, and pray it never happens, if a wife passes away when the husband is 54 years old? If the husband remarries at age 58, for example, lives for 20 years and then dies, the second spouse gets the pension.
However, if that husband had the audacity to remarry at age 60, live for 20 years and then pass away, his second spouse gets zero. That is called the gold digger clause. Some people call it the Anna Nicole clause. It has been around since the Boar War. The British government was worried about young women marrying older veterans for their pensions.
I have a lot of Camp Hill veterans that say that if young girls want to marry them, they have time, so those young girls should come on over and marry them.
The reality is that it should not be up to the government to tell people whom they remarry and when. The last surviving spouse should be entitled to the pension. We should not put it at age 60. It is discriminatory. It needs to change. This is something that affects all federal public servants, including ourselves, throughout the entire country.
We would hope that all members of Parliament, even if it is for self-respect, will get this done. When we lose a loved one, it is a terrible day, but if we have the good fortune to love again and remarry and live out our final years before we pass away, our second spouse should not be abandoned.
We are hoping the bill will pass very quickly to get rid of the marriage after 60 act, which is what the bill hopes to do.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)