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Seniors in jail to lose benefits

A controversial law that allowed federal prisoners to collect old-age pensions has now been axed after thousands of Canadians wrote to Parliament and demanded the law be overturned.

A controversial law that allowed federal prisoners to collect old-age pensions has now been axed after thousands of Canadians wrote to Parliament and demanded the law be overturned.

Gregory Thomas, with the B.C. branch of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation — which collected 46,000 signatures for a petition calling for an end to the legislation — referred to the moment as “democracy in action.”

“(Roughly) 356,000 Canadians made it clear to the politicians that this was unacceptable,” he said.

The bill was signed into law yesterday and will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.

David Toner, co-founder of Vancouver victim-rights group Families Against Crime and Trauma, had been lobbying for an end to prisoners’ entitlements.

“I’m sorry it’s going to take until 2012 to do that. If anyone stops to do the math, that’s a lot of money going into prisoners’ pockets in the meantime,” Toner said.

“With all the cutbacks to victims’ services, the extra cash can go somewhere more appropriate, instead of continuing to pay prisoners for another year.”

 
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