December 14th, 2022
New Democrats fighting to end sexist clause that hurts veterans’ families
OTTAWA – On Wednesday, a study into the marriage after 60 clause, which denies veterans’ spouses their pensions and benefits if they marry later in life, was put forward in the House of Commons. The study requested by NDP Veterans Affairs Critic Rachel Blaney found that there is absolutely no reason for this sexist and archaic clause to still exist.
“Veterans and their spouses are being punished for finding love later in life. It’s upsetting that the government would let this happen,” said MP Blaney. “What’s worse is that the marriage after 60 clause disproportionately harms women over 60, who are more likely to experience poverty or homelessness. It’s past due for this outdated rule to be removed.”
Despite the countless calls from veterans’ organizations, including the National Council of Veterans Associations, the RCMP Veterans Association, and the Armed Forces Pensioners, to end this discriminatory and sexist rule – the government hasn’t listened. Twice, the Liberals promised to remove this clause – yet they still have no plan to do so.
For decades, New Democrats have pushed to stop punishing veterans and their families by ending the marriage after 60 clause. Last year, Blaney introduced a bill to remove the clause, allowing the spouses of veterans to receive the same support as every other couple.
“Veterans are already forced to get by on very little as is, and rules like the marriage after 60 clause make it even harder. With Canadians living well into their eighties, it’s clear the Liberals expect veterans to spend the last twenty years of their lives alone,” added Blaney. “New Democrats will keep pushing the Liberals to fix their failures and give veterans and their spouses the same rights that all Canadians have.”