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Terry Mercer

The Hon. Terry M. Mercer, D.C.L, B.A., C.F.R.E. Appointed to the Senate by the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien in November 2003, Senator Terry M. Mercer represents the province of Nova Scotia and the Senatorial Division of Northend Halifax.

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Survivor Benefits

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Statement made on 06 October 2009 by Senator Rod Zimmer (retired)

Hon. Rod A.A. Zimmer:

Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Stable employment, associated benefits and financial independence are difficult to secure for the spouses of the Canadian Forces members who are assuming the domestic role and the responsibility of the home and the children. It is even more difficult for widows to suddenly transition from being a financially dependent spouse to an independent surviving spouse, considering they receive only half of their deceased spouse's pension.

Veterans Affairs Canada awards some widows who are not able to support themselves financial assistance from the War Veterans Allowance. This allowance tops off at $1,273 a month. We are all aware that this amount per month leaves a single individual in a life of poverty.

Minister, what is the government doing to help these people refrain from falling into a life of poverty because of their choice to support the decision of their spouses, our heroes, to defend our country?

Please click here to read the full text of the Senator's question


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