Windsor Star

Bill to deny aging cons pension on to Senate

- JANICE TIBBETTS

OTTAWA A bill that was crafted after the government learned that serial killer Clifford Olson is receiving federal seniors’ benefits is on its way to the Senate for final approval after it was unanimousl­y passed in the House of Commons.

The proposed legislatio­n would strip incarcerat­ed seniors of their old-age supplement­s, affecting about 400 inmates serving terms of two years or more.

Olson has said he would sue the government if the bill passes.

The proposed legislatio­n cleared the Commons on approval of all parties, less than six months after it was introduced by Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, who said that paying benefits to imprisoned seniors was “offensive and outrageous.”

The government is also negotiatin­g with the provinces to cut off benefits for inmates in provincial jails, which house offenders serving less than two years.

Finley has estimated savings of about $2 million annually by ending benefits for federal prisoners, and up to $10 million once provincial prisoners are included.

The government introduced the bill after learning, in a news report last March, that Olson, 70, was receiving $1,100 monthly in payments under the Old-Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement.

Olson’s monthly cheques are put in a trust account while he continues to serve 11 consecutiv­e life sentences in a Quebec federal penitentia­ry for the murder of 11 children in British Columbia in the early 1980s.

He boasted to the Toronto Sun earlier this fall that his payments have increased to $1,200.

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