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Author Topic: Canada: Criminals treated better than poor people  (Read 1299 times)
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« on: April 08, 2010, 01:29:12 PM »

Criminals treated better than poor people
April 8, 2010

A lot of people in this country found it disturbing when they learned that convicted child killer Clifford Olson, at age 70, has been receiving this country’s old age benefits in the amount of over $1,100 a month. So have a few hundred other convicts in our federal prisons, as is their right under Canadian law.
Considering he is being supplied with food and lodging, that is a lot of money. Depending on your information source, the estimated cost of keeping someone in a federal institution for a year is at least $100,000 of our tax money even without the old age benefits.
When a person is convicted of a crime, under Canadian law he or she relinquishes certain rights the rest of us take for granted, particularly the right to come and go as we please. Even someone who has committed a minor offence and does no jail time loses his or her freedom to a certain extent by having to report changes of address to a probation officer, for example.

Other rights are untouched including the right to seek legal counsel, protection from punishment deemed “cruel and unusual” according to our laws, the right to vote, and apparently the right to collect old age pension benefits.
The Harper government is taking a close look at that last one. A thousand dollars a month to a guest of the Crown, who will likely remain behind bars for the rest of his life, may be his right, but it seems like a violation of our rights as taxpayers.

There are a number of possible solutions, one being to restore the death penalty for monsters like Olson and get rid of them before they reach an age when they can collect benefits. However, Canadians decided against the death penalty many years ago, for excellent reasons.

Our government could amend the law that governs the old age pension. A good many fear this would be the thin end of the wedge that could ultimately end universal old age benefits – universal meaning that even seniors who continue earning a substantial income get the old age pension.

We must keep in mind that wealthy seniors have those old age benefits clawed back by the tax man. The precedent exists for the same to be done for seniors behind bars. In essence, the Crown should charge them room and board.
It is astounding this situation continues while Ontario residents receiving welfare will no longer be able to get an extra food allowance for certain medical conditions. Apparently the supplement was scrapped because some people were abusing the system, and will be replaced with some other program supposedly less subject to abuse.

It is not difficult to figure out why a few compassionate doctors might have signed documents entitling any patient on welfare to the supplement. Welfare payments in this province are barely enough to keep body and soul together, meaning people on welfare cannot afford a decent amount of good-quality food. This is a deadly situation if you happen to be diabetic – unless you are a criminal. Then you get decent food including special dietary requirements. If you are an elderly diabetic criminal, you can get the food you require and have money piling up in your bank account.

Something is horribly wrong with a country that treats its criminals better than it treats people whose only crime is to be poor.

Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware/Of giving your heart to a dog to tear  -- Rudyard Kipling

One who doesn't trust is never deceived...

'I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind' -Edgar Allen Poe
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