New government bill would cut off pensions for federal prison inmates

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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The Harper government wants to bring in legislation to cut off old-age pensions for people in federal prison.
The legislation follows an outcry from victims' groups over news that prisoners, including serial killer Clifford Olson, are eligible to collect pensions while behind bars.
Human Resources Minister Diane Finley says the changes would prevent prisoners from applying for old-age security and guaranteed income supplement payments.
She says the legislation would affect about 400 people in federal prisons.
The government hopes the provinces and territories will agree to cut off another 600 prisoners in jails.
Cutting off federal prisoners would save about $2 million a year and that would rise to $10 million if provincial prisoners are included.
Finley said prisoners would be able to apply for the benefits upon release.
Sharon Rosenfeldt, president of Victims of Violence, welcomed the announcement.
"It's great to see that this government is putting victims and taxpayers first ahead of criminals," she said.
Finley said spouses or common-law partners of inmates won't be affected by the new measures.
"We're not punishing them for the deeds of their spouse," she said.

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