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Updated: Sat, 07 Jun 2014 13:35:32 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Spousal killers shouldn't get survivor benefits: victim's daughter



Susan Fetterkind's father killed her mother Vivienne and collected CPP survivor pension for 28 yrs until he died. Susan Fetterkind

Susan Fetterkind's father killed her mother Vivienne and collected CPP survivor pension for 28 yrs until he died. Susan Fetterkind

A North Delta woman, whose father killed her mother, wants the federal government to plug a loophole that allowed him to collect pension survivor benefits for 28 years until his death.

Susan Fetterkind's mother Vivienne was stabbed multiple times by her estranged husband John Raymond Cotter. Cotter collected Canada Pension Plan benefits until he died last year.

"He just said well, I must be entitled to it because they're sending it to me," said Fetterkind.

When B.C. school teacher Manjit Panghali was killed by her husband almost eight years ago, it wasn't unusual.

Spousal murders are not uncommon. In Canada they account for the largest proportion of family-related homicides.

Fetterkind says the law should be changed.

"The government is enabling killers to profit from murdering their spouse. You're not supposed to be able to profit from murdering somebody."

Three years ago an NDP MP introduced a private member's bill aimed at plugging the loophole. It got first reading but didn't go any further.

Now, a Conservative backbencher, Dave Van Kesteren has tabled essentially the same bill hoping this time it'll lead to change.

But Fetterkind says the bill doesn't go far enough.

"His bill mentions first and second degree murder but it doesn't mention manslaughter. My father did a plea bargain and he was convicted of manslaughter."

A private member's bill rarely gains approval. This bill is scheduled for second reading on Monday morning.

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