(Quebec) The Corporation thanatologues Quebec wishes to increase the death benefit paid by the Régie des rentes, which is capped at $ 2,500 for 15 years, and wants the government to legislate in order to avoid that this amount of money is used for purposes other than paying the funeral director.
“For death benefit, the funeral home making the request, but the check is sent to the family. Unfortunately, in some families, this benefit becomes rather a holiday benefit, ATV or boat service delivery … “illustrates Annie Saint-Pierre, Executive Director of the Corporation, which has just held its annual general meeting in the Islands -de-la-Madeleine.
“In such cases, often the funeral director assumes the bad debt and organizes funerals at a loss. And as we do not hit someone who is down, you will not see a funeral director to pursue a small claims bereaved family, “added the president of the Corporation, Denis Desrochers.
The thanatologues would like that money really used for what they are serving. They suggest, therefore, in view of a possible revision of the Pension Board, the death benefit is now issued jointly in the names of the funeral home and the family, much like insurance damage claims.
They also want the maximum amount of the death benefit be increased and indexed annually to the cost of living, the $ 2,500 cap barely covering the basic costs. “Nearly 20 years later, it’s still the same $ 2,500 that families receive and the fact that this amount is not indexed weakens the situation in which the relatives find themselves,” says Desrochers.
The Corporation has hired lobbyists in recent months to bring these applications and many others from various departments and agencies of the Government of Quebec. The goal is to “modernize the current framework of funeral services and events related deaths, including the adoption of a new law on funeral.”
“We expect a new law that should be tabled this fall. The funeral Act dates back to 1974 and has never been modernized, adapted or reviewed, “said Annie Saint-Pierre. Former Health Minister Yves Bolduc had sought a review with Bill 83, introduced in 2012, but which died on the order paper because of the provincial election.
Other elements that the Corporation would like to see included in a possible bill, there is also the supervision and accountability of funeral directors. “If the government authorized the creation of a self-regulatory organization, we applaud,” said Annie Saint-Pierre.
As the Corporation is not a professional order and that membership is voluntary, it has no power to impose sanctions on the license to practice thanatologues. Only the Minister of Health may do so, a power he exercised only in extreme cases such as the funeral director Martin Marquis de Rimouski, who saw his license to practice suspended for two years this spring.
The thanatologues Quebec also seek the creation of a central register of prearranged funerals. Currently, a person who has entered into such an agreement without his relatives are aware that they could remain in ignorance to death and they still pay for funeral arrangements.