Clifford Olson collects social security benefits
Only in Canada could someone serving 11 consecutive 25-year sentences for murder collect more than $1000 a month for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. But so it is with senior citizen Clifford Olson.
"Every month, the most notorious child killer in the country gets $1,169.47 transferred to a trust account in his name," Tamara Cherry writes.
Though he will likely die in jail, where he has no living expenses and where the average annual taxpayer cost of keeping a maximum security male incarcerated was $121,294 in 2006-07 — the most recent statistics on Corrections Canada’s website — Clifford Robert Olson is a Canadian, over 65 — he turned 70 on New Year’s Day — and eligible for a pension.
As a federal inmate who has spent much of his time in segregation since he was admitted into federal custody Feb. 17, 1982, Olson likely has little income to claim, which explains why he was approved for not only the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), but the maximum monthly benefits for both — $516.96 and $652.51 respectively.
It is a reminder that, criminal as he may be, having killed at least 11 boys and girls, Olson still has his rights as a Canadian, whether you agree with it or not.
Kevin Gaudet does not.
“I think that OAS is very similar to a welfare program and I don’t think prisoners should be getting welfare under any name so no, he shouldn’t be getting this kind of cash,” said Gaudet, federal and Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Cut him off.”
Journalist Peter Worthington adds more in the Toronto Sun,
These days he’s focused on money. He claims (and remember, “claims” are not necessarily facts), to have a bank balance of some $500,000 in Australia from the sale of his murder memorabilia. Items about him are on sale on an Internet site called murderauction.com....
I was incredulous that Canada was paying an old age pension and income supplement to Olson who is destined to someday die in prison.
Even Olson chortles: “What good is money to me? I got no use for it, if you get what I’m getting at. I guess I gotta make a will in case I get a heart attack or something. Don’t want these bastards getting my money.”
I phoned Corrections Canada and asked if old prisoners were entitled to old age pensions. At first no one knew. “Good question,” I was told.
Later I was rather testily told that “pensions are the same for federal offenders as for any other Canadian citizen. Canada has no provisions to make any exceptions ... funds received by inmates are put in trust fund until they are released.”
I think most Canadians would be outraged if they knew Olson, who has contributed nothing to this country, is getting over $1,100 a month for simply being alive in prison. (It costs upwards of $110,000 a year to keep an inmate in maximum security). In the U.S. some 35,000 prison inmates are 65 or older, with parole unlikely for many. In Canada it’s around 750, or perhaps 2.5% of the prison population. Health costs triple after age 60.
When looking at the payments he was getting that included cents, he commented, "Why do they throw the small change in?"
Of course many Canadians wonder why they throw the dollars in too. There's even more to this story and the cash paid out to Olson over the years:
He was arrested in August 1981 for the attempted abduction of two girls.
In custody, Olson offered police a controversial deal: he would tell police where to find the bodies of his victims in exchange for $10,000 for each body. Police agreed, and $100,000 was paid to his wife and infant child.
In prison he sent letters to some victims' families detailing his crimes in graphic deal.
If you think that's bad, Worthington also notes that the U.S. offered him amnesty if he would cooperate in apprehending someone who killed 50 prostitutes in Seattle. Olson refused. Thankfully one of the few principles he had at least kept him in jail. It's just too bad his pension dollars couldn't be seized to offset his incarceration costs instead.
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