moved for leave to introduce Bill C-221, An Act to amend certain Acts in relation to survivor pension benefits.
Mr. Speaker, today in Canada we still have the “gold-digger” clause that means spouses of veterans who marry after the age of 60 are not entitled to the automatic survivor pension under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act. This clause is archaic, it is sexist and it must be eliminated. It was created in the early 1900s. It was sexist then, and it is ridiculous that it is in place today. That is why I am tabling the bill today, an act to amend certain acts in relation to survivor pension benefits. This bill would eliminate the marriage after 60 clause so that veterans, RCMP veterans and federal public servants who are punished for finding love later in life no longer have that happen to them. The reality is that this is still happening today.
My office worked with a constituent who is a veteran and was planning to get married. The pandemic came and he could not get married until months later. The problem was he was trying to get married when he was 59, but now he has to get married when he is 60. That means his spouse will be unable to access any support. Canada should not be punishing veterans for finding love later in life by pushing them into poverty before they die.
I want to thank the member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke for seconding the bill and for his advocacy for the health and well-being of the members of the Canadian military. I hope that the government will consider adopting the bill quickly, and finally eliminate this clause as the Prime Minister himself mandated the minister to do six years ago.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)