Statement made on 08 March 2011 by Senator Sharon Carstairs (retired)
Hon. Sharon Carstairs:
Honourable senators, International Women's Day is 100 years old. We celebrate the achievements of women as they have reached equality, while at the same time recognizing that for many women equality is but a distant dream. Even in our country, many women are less equal because they have been caregivers. First, they have cared for their children, then aging parents and spouses, and often disabled children who have become disabled adults.
As a result of their dedication, these women suffer income loss, income that has been diminished because of the time they took off to be caregivers, and pension income that is diminished because they have taken that time to be caregivers.
Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate explain why the Canada Pension Plan has not been amended to allow a dropout provision for those caregivers looking after the elderly, similar to the dropout option for caregivers of children?
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