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Court rules widows not allowed to double-dip on pensions

Robena Weatherley, 91, of Cambridge Narrows, N.B. argued the Plan breached her Charter rights by failing to pay two survivors’ benefits after she outlived two husbands. Weatherley’s first husband died in 1969. She remarried in 1973. Her second husband died in 2012.

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Widows who outlived two husbands will not be allowed to cash in on both pensions, a Federal Court judge has ruled.

Blacklock’s Reporter said the judge ruled Parliament intended the Canada Pension Plan to operate as an insurance program not “a social welfare scheme.”

“Although far-reaching, the Plan was never intended to be comprehensive or meet the needs of all contributors in every conceivable circumstance,” wrote Justice David Stratas.

The Plan launched in 1963 “is not anything like a guaranteed annual income,” he added.

“It is more like modest help for recipients to meet their basic needs.”

Robena Weatherley, 91, of Cambridge Narrows, N.B. argued the Plan breached her Charter rights by failing to pay two survivors’ benefits after she outlived two husbands. Weatherley’s first husband died in 1969. She remarried in 1973. Her second husband died in 2012.

Canada Pension Plan regulations forbid double-dipping by widows.

“Some who have paid plenty into the Plan might never receive a cent while others who have paid little might get much more,” wrote Stratas.

“Like many insurance schemes, the Plan is self-sustaining. It has no recourse to general government funding.”

“Giving to some takes from others.

“Under the Canada Pension Plan, after a spouse dies, the surviving spouse can receive a survivor’s pension. Suppose the surviving spouse remarries and then the second spouse dies. Can the surviving spouse receive two survivor’s pensions? No.”

Federal lawyers argued the Pension Plan “was only ever intended to make up for the loss of one wage earner and it would be unfair to some recipients if others could receive simultaneous benefits for two wage earners,” noted the Court.

Parliament never meant to “stack survivor’s benefits on top of one another.”

The original Pension Plan only paid survivor’s benefits to widows once they turned 65. In 1968, the age of eligibility was lowered to 45.

The Plan also disqualified pensions to widows if they remarried but Parliament repealed the provision by unanimous vote in 1986.

The Pension Plan pays benefits based on workers’ contributions to a maximum $1,204 a month. The current average payment is $619 monthly.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Tony

    August 9, 2021 at 6:27 am

    This is disgusting! I would agree to the rules if the amount everyone received was reasonable and met the current income required to live a comfortable life as the value of our dollar goes down every year. That amount of $619 should be quadrupled to meet the cost of living today. The interest our government would have made off our contributions the CPP, there should be plenty of money to get that back when we retire. When you become a senior, your health expenses are very costly that your cost of living is much greater and it is already tough when you are still working hard to barely make ends meet.

  2. Claudette Leece

    August 4, 2021 at 11:46 am

    Funny politicians can collect multiple pensions, but god forbid a senior get that 600$. How much do these MLA collect. Guess seniors are of no concern to politicians, until they need their vote, guess hoping they just pass then they don’t have to worry about them anymore

  3. luigi

    August 4, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Rules for thee, but not for me! In the case of corrupt career politicians in Canada.
    The time is quickly approaching that our Canadian political swamp will be getting drained. Coast to coast.

  4. Susan Grant

    August 4, 2021 at 9:13 am

    They cant have you double dip because the are stealing the $. I bet if we demanded an audit we would find that they are laundering and skimming funds!

  5. Steven

    August 3, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Could that same ruling be adopted for Federal Provincial Municipal Politicians who meek out a living after politics? Some having more then two Federal Provincial Municipal pensions? Example Mayor Nenshi comes to mind.

    So Judge what say you? My opinion, The pampered politicians of all stripes are lavishly looked after while the masses live off their own means with a little help from the Government.

    Politicians pensions were never meant to set up a politician for life, just like your judgement is indicating for everyone else. Wouldn’t want to take to much out of the CPP or OAS eh? Might leave our politicians a bit short of cash?

    Shameful disparage between the have and have not’s of society in that ruling Judge.

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Lock-down ignoring party host arrested again in Vancouver

“Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks the rules don’t apply to them,” said Sergeant Steve Addison, VPD.

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A man arrested by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) earlier this year for running a “makeshift nightclub” from his downtown penthouse has been convicted of new charges.

Mohammad Movassaghi was initially sentenced to 18 months probation in April, along with 50 hours of community service after pleading guilty in BC provincial court on counts of violating a public health order and selling liquor.

The 43-year-old man hosted hundreds of party-goers to his 1,100 square-foot penthouse near Richards Street and Georgia Street, equipped with cash machines, menus, and doormen.

VPD officers arrived at one of the parties on January 31 after a “witness” reported the event. One of the alleged doormen was issued several fines, however Movassaghi refused to open the door and was defiant with police. Officers returned early Sunday morning with a search warrant and subsequently issued over $17,000 in fines for violations contrary to the Emergency Program Act.

Large quantities of cash were seized as well.

“Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks the rules don’t apply to them,” said VPD Sgt. Steve Addison, following the January 31 arrest.

“If you are caught hosting or attending a party during the pandemic, and continue to break the rules, you could face stiff fines or wind up in jail.”

Of Addisons’ top concerns was the fact that “none of them were wearing masks.”

A GoFundMe was set up shortly after Movassaghi’s arrest, which stated he’d lost $15,000 in cash and liquor.

The campaign was shut down before it reached $300.

Judge Ellen Gordon compared Movassaghi’s actions with those of a drug dealer, specifically fentanyl — a synthetic opioid 100 times stronger than morphine. Her logic being COVID-19 can kill people, and so can fentanyl. Therefore there is “no difference.”

“What you did, sir, is comparable to individuals who sell fentanyl to the individuals on the street who die every day. There’s no difference. You voluntarily assumed a risk that could kill people in the midst of a pandemic,” said Gordon.

Fast forward to August and Movassaghi had violated the court orders again when he began hosting more parties in his penthouse, prompting a second VPD investigation leading to his arrest on Wednesday night.

He has since plead guilty of two counts of failure to comply with an order of the health officer and one count of selling liquor, says VPD.

Movassaghi has now been sentenced to 29 days in custody, 12 months of probation, and a $10,000 fine — leaving many wondering if he will switch up the location for his next party, possibly somewhere more discreet.

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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Porch pirate Chahal could face $5K in fines or six months in jail

“I’ve fully cooperated and provided all the information that was requested of myself and my team,” said Chahal in the interview.

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Porch pirate George Chahal, under investigation for mail theft by Elections Canada, could face a fine of $5,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

The Liberal Calgary-Skyview candidate was victorious in September’s federal election, however, he came under fire when a doorbell cam caught Chahal removing an opponent’s election literature from a mailbox ahead of the September 20 election.

Chahal, in a jersey with his name clearly visible on the back, was easily identified in the video.

A complaint was filed on September 23 and an investigation was launched.

Months later, Chahal’s name and his involvement in the incident was brought up in question period in the House of Commons this week by Barrie-Innisfail Conservative MP John Brassard.

“The member is facing a $5,000 fine and up to six months in jail during an investigation that is continuing from the Commissioner of Canada Elections,” said Brassard.

“Even with the low bar on ethics and conduct set by the Liberals and indeed the prime minister over the last six years, does the prime minister think this type of action from a member of his caucus is acceptable?”

Trudeau, in defence of Chahal, said, “The member has apologized and is fully cooperating with Elections Canada as it goes through its processes.”

Chahal, during a Friday morning interview on CBC’s Calgary Eyeopener, mentioned both he and his team are being investigated in the incident.

“I’ve fully cooperated and provided all the information that was requested of myself and my team,” said Chahal in the interview.

The investigation was initially opened by the Calgary Police Service’s anti-corruption, unit but was quickly transferred to Elections Canada.

Chahal’s admission during the Friday morning radio interview could mean the replacing of election material in voters’ mailboxes may have been more widespread and could have involved his large team of volunteers.  

The matter is still under investigation with Elections Canada.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Suzuki apologizes for radical ‘blown up’ pipelines comment

“The remarks I made were poorly chosen and I should not have said them. Any suggestion that violence is inevitable is wrong and will not lead us to a desperately-needed solution to the climate crisis.”

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Environmental activist David Suzuki issued a public apology for comments he made last Saturday referencing “blown up” pipelines if the government doesn’t take drastic action on climate change.

The radical activist made the comments at an Extinction Rebellion protest in downtown Victoria last weekend when asked by CHEK News what he thought would happen if government leaders didn’t address the climate crisis.

“We’re in deep, deep doo doo. And the leading experts have been telling us for over 40 years. This is what we’ve come to. The next stage after this, there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.”

A released statement, also available on his website, said, “Dr. Suzuki’s comments were born out of many years of watching government inaction while the climate crisis continues to get worse.”

The statement included this apology from Suzuki:

“The remarks I made were poorly chosen and I should not have said them. Any suggestion that violence is inevitable is wrong and will not lead us to a desperately-needed solution to the climate crisis. My words were spoken out of extreme frustration and I apologize.

“We must find a way to stop the environmental damage we are doing to the planet and we must do so in a non-violent manner.”

The statement goes on to cite the work of the David Suzuki Foundation.

“Since 1990, the Foundation has produced credible and reliable evidence-based environmental information, and worked with all levels of government (including indigenous leadership), business and communities to resolve critical environmental issues.”

Suzuki was heavily criticized Monday for his comments by Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon.

“David Suzuki is so out of touch with the real world that he advocates for eco-terrorism…towards Canadian people and industries — this is completely unacceptable and extremely reckless,” said Nixon during Ministerial Statements in the Legislature.

“The NDP have a long history of collaborating with David Suzuki and their silence on his outrageous comments make them complicit with calls for ecoterrorism towards Albertans.

“We must protect our critical infrastructure and not allow these ridiculous ideological menaces to destroy what Albertans have worked so hard to create.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Suzuki’s comment was “an implicit or winking incitement to violence,” and likened it to something you’d hear in “gangster movies.”

Contrary to accusations of inciting violence by critics, Suzuki’s statement read, “Always grounded in sound evidence, the Foundation empowers people to take peaceful and impactful action in their communities on the environmental challenges we collectively face.” 

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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