Prison pension for the lowest

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It's not hard to become outraged when you learn that someone like notorious child killer Clifford Olson has been receiving Canada Pension while serving his life sentence in prison.
Many just learned of this hideous fact in recent news stories - and that would include Prime?Minister Stephen Harper, who said he wants to see the practice stopped. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty also commented this week that he's looking into a means to block serious offenders on the inside from receiving pensions.
Harper suggested likely the reason the issue hasn't come to light before is that it's unusual: we don't have a lot of senior citizens serving lengthy prison terms.
Olson, imprisoned in 1982, was convicted for killing at least 11 girls and boys.
He turned 70 this year, and as a senior citizen, is entitled to Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement. This provides about $1,100 a month for him and hundreds of other convicts behind bars. In Olson's case, the money goes into a trust fund - this to a man who hasn't a hope in hell of getting out.
With the federal government about to launch sessions with the public about how to "fix" Canada's pension system for the millions who won't be able to make ends meet after retirement, this is as good a time as any to ponder how such generosity was ever put in place.
Likely the typical Canadian's idea would be one seen in old movies: an inmate gets a token amount per day so that, once sprung, there's enough to take a bus, perhaps to a new life.
Considering the cost of housing prisoners, the fact that some are drawing from the public pension system adds insult to injury.
Perhaps the idea of making prisoners do something productive while inside is more trouble than it's worth. But at least, one would hope the government will follow one suggestion stemming from this and give funds so far collected to the victims' families.

Geographic location: Canada

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