Woman declared dead gets apology

Michele Young
Kamloops, B.C. — Canadian Press

Published on Friday, Nov. 06, 2009 7:05AM EST

Nancy Towle is alive and well — and she has an apology letter from the federal government to prove it.

Ms. Towle, a resident of Kamloops, B.C., was somehow declared dead by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada in September. “This is an unfortunate situation, which we are diligently working to resolve,” said Melissa Hart, a spokeswoman for the government branch. “We have been in direct contact with the affected individual and have let them know that the mistake has been fixed. We have issued a letter of apology and have initiated a detailed internal review of the situation.”

Ms. Towle says she’s still a little wary of federal bureaucracy after the experience, which began when she tried to get a letter regarding Canada pension plan disability benefits. It was then that she learned her social insurance number was flagged and her widow’s survivor’s cheque wasn’t deposited in her bank account because she’d been declared dead.

After two days of phone calls to federal offices and discussions with staff in Kamloops, she finally started getting some answers.

She said she received a letter from the agency’s executive director offering a sincere apology, as well as assurances she was no longer dead in the government’s eyes. But Ms. Towle, who has received her survivor cheque, isn’t convinced she’s out of the woods just yet.

“I’m waiting to see what happens next,” she said.

Kamloops Daily News


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