Thursday, December 4, 2014

Veterans News

The Fight of Their Lives

Government wastes money on lawyers to battle disabled vets

Submitted by Claude LaTulippe, Chilliwack veteran


oldiers who fought in Afghanistan and came back disabled are currently in court arguing that the New Veterans Charter (NVC) introduced in 2006 to replace the Pension Act discriminates against them.


A portion of the class action lawsuit by the Equitas Society representing them in the BC Court of Appeal, will argue that the compensation provided under the NVC fails to meet worker’s compensation and civil court award (e.g. insurance) standards.


The Advisory by Equitas Society dated 1 December 2014 states: “At the outset of the litigation and before filing a Response to Civil Claim, the federal government brought a preliminary motion to dismiss the action. This motion was argued before the assigned Case Management Judge, Mr. Justice Weatherill on July 22 to 24, 2013.


On September 6, 2013, Mr. Justice Weatherill issued his reasons for judgment dismissing the federal government’s motion to strike the claim, and permitting the actions to proceed. On October 2, 2013 the federal government filed a Notice of Appeal to the British Columbia Court of Appeal seeking to overturn the decision of Mr. Justice Weatherill and have the action struck out”.


This is where the Equitas Society currently stands.

It is ludicrous that the Conservative government is incurring needless costs to taxpayers, fighting against veterans’ rights in the court instead of focusing on fixing the wrong (e.g., SISIP LTD class action Dennis Manuge). The government’s lawyer stated during a Court proceeding in this Equitas lawsuit that it is within the government’s mandate to reduce benefits if it seems appropriate. In the same breath, the lawyer said that if disabled soldiers were not happy about the government’s action, that they were free to toss out the government at the polls next election.


What arrogance and disregard for soldiers who fought for our freedom and paid the ultimate price…… death, or in some cases maimed for life. This lawyer’s outrageous comments mirror the attitude of the Conservatives since 2005.

We have recently witnessed the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Fantino, attempting to appease the troops with a $200 million commitment. What he did not say was that this $200 million had to last 50 years. Are you kidding me?


Furthermore, he was flanked by Ministers MacKay (Justice) and Nicholson (National Defence) and soldiers in uniform. Commendable portrait. This announcement was made on the eve of the Auditor General of Canada Fall 2014 report which outlined numerous areas where Veterans Affairs Canada failed veterans.





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