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MP aims to streamline after-death related rules

Local MP Frank Valeriote wants the federal government to make it easier and cheaper for Canadians to deal with the government in the aftermath of a death.
A private member’s bill he has introduced reached the second reading stage in the House of Commons last Thursday. It seeks to expand the mandate of Service Canada. Bill C-247 would establish Service Canada as the “single point of contact” between Canadians and the federal government “in respect of all matters relating to the death of a Canadian citizen or resident,” said a news release from Valeriote’s office.
The bill aims to streamline the notification system and reduce the costs of the administration of estates.
“Under the current system, a bereaved Canadian or the legal representative of a deceased must contact multiple federal government departments and endure the difficult and aggravating process of repeating a death notification, because there is ‘no single point of contact’ for the information to be registered,” Valeriote said in the release. “As well, federal departments may have different documentation requirements for proof of death.”
The bill would provide relief to grieving seniors, survivors, caregivers and estate representatives who are responsible for settling the obligations of a deceased with the federal government, he said.
“It is essential that we deal with the issue of bereavement in a professional and compassionate way,” Valeriote said. “Bill C-247 will improve Government of Canada services and reduce the burden on Canadians during a difficult life transition.”
The change he is seeking would remove the guesswork for survivors and estate administrators who might not be fully aware of the deceased’s obligations to the federal government, the release said.
The bill could also help the federal government by reducing the possibilities of benefit overpayments and the costs to the government of recovering these overpayments. As well, it would avoid the possibility of requests arriving years later from the federal government demanding repayments, interest charges and penalties, the release said.
Valeriote called his bill “non-partisan and practical legislation,” which he hoped will be supported by all MPs.

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