Veterans can sue Ottawa over Benefits

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Veterans can sue Ottawa over Benefits

Post by Ex Member on Sat 07 Sep 2013, 22:35

Here is what I found in the Ottawa citizen, today Saturday September 7-2013 and taught it would be good for some to read.

A B.C. Supreme Court justice says current and former members of the Canadian Forces who were injured in Afghanistan can continue their class-action lawsuit against the federal government.

The lawsuit was filed last fall, with plaintiffs arguing the new Veterans Charter and the changes it brings to the compensation regime for members of the Canadian Forces violate the constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Lawyers for the Attorney General of Canada asked the court to throw out the case, arguing it had no chance of success and was not the appropriate way for the veterans to express their concerns.

Justice Gordon Weatherill dismissed the federal government's application on Friday, but also threw out three smaller arguments made by the veterans.

"This action is about promises the Canadian government made to men and women injured in service to their country and whether it is obliged to fulfil those promises," he said.

Weatherill struck an argument made by the veterans that they have been unlawfully deprived of their property rights without due process of law and contrary to the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

'This action is about promises the Canadian government made to men and women injured in service to their country and whether it is obliged to fulfil those promises.'—Justice Gordon Weatherill

Weatherill also struck arguments that Parliament had not scrutinized a set of rules known as the Table of Disabilities and Instructions and that the Crown owed the veterans a duty of care consistent with the social covenant.

None of the allegations have been proven in court, and the Attorney General of Canada has yet to file its response to the veterans' lawsuit.

Lifetime pension eliminated

The new Veterans Charter eliminated the lifetime disability pension for disabled soldiers and replaced it with lump-sum payments.

The veterans argue the disability payments for injured soldiers pale in comparison to awards handed out for worker's compensation claims and by civil courts for far lesser injuries in motor vehicle accidents or personal injury.

The lawsuit they filed said each received a pension and other compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs, including lump sum payments ranging from $41,000 to nearly $261,000.

The veterans include Daniel Christopher Scott, Mark Douglas Campbell, Gavin Michael, David Flett, Kevin Albert Matthew Berry, Bradley Darren Quast and Aaron Michael Bedard.

Campbell is a 32-year veteran of the Canadian Forces who served in Cyprus, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

In June 2008, Campbell, of the Edmonton-based Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, was struck by an improvised explosive device and Taliban ambush.

He lost both legs above the knee, one testicle, suffered numerous lacerations and a ruptured eardrum. He has since been diagnosed with depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Campbell received a lump sum payment for pain and suffering of $260,000. He will receive his military pension, with an earnings loss benefit and a permanent impairment allowance but he is entirely unable to work and will suffer a net earnings loss due to his injuries, the lawsuit claims.

Another plaintiff soldier suffered severe injuries to his leg and foot in the blast that killed Canadian journalist Michelle Lang and four soldiers. He was awarded $200,000 in total payments for pain and suffering and post-traumatic stress



http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/09/07/afghanistan-veteran-class-action-lawsuit.html


Widow of Veteran

Ex Member
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans can sue Ottawa over Benefits

Post by Guest on Sat 07 Sep 2013, 22:46

An Edmonton-area soldier is one of six plaintiffs suing the federal government over changes to veterans’ benefits.

The men say soldiers who were wounded after the Veterans Charter became law in 2006 will receive significantly less over their lifetimes.

"We had no inkling," said Maj. Mark Campbell of Sturgeon County. "It's taken years to come to where I understand in great detail exactly what has been done to our new generation of combat veterans, and it is horrific, it's disgusting."

The statement of claim, filed Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court, alleges the government violated the constitutional rights of the soldiers by discriminating against disabled people financially; that by passing the New Veterans Charter it failed in its fiduciary duty to support veterans; and that it broke the constitutional principle of "Honour of the Crown," by failing to keep the social promises Canada made to soldiers it sends into combat.

In 2008, while on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, Campbell was severely wounded in an explosion during an ambush by Taliban fighters.

Both his legs were blown off. Years later, he uses a wheelchair and carries a large box of medications to help manage his pain and psychological problems.

Campbell feels abandoned by a government that sent him to war and is now more concerned with budget cuts.

"It's an abject betrayal for a friggin' buck. I paid my dues"

Veterans' benefits lower than WCB

Jim Scott, the father of a wounded soldier, called the offer from Veterans Affairs to his son "pathetic".

"The severely disabled soldiers are disadvantaged by about 30 per cent ... and partially disabled soldiers can be disadvantaged up 90 per cent compared to what other workers compensation programs would provide, or the courts would if they were provided a lump sum settlement,” he said.

Scott is the director of the Equitas Society which is raising money to support Campbell and the other soldiers in the class-action suit.

Canada failed to keep promise to veterans

Don Sorochan is a partner with Miller Thomson, the firm which agreed to take on the case pro bono.

Sorochan said the New Veterans Charter discriminates against veterans wounded since 2006.

The lawsuit also makes use of an ancient, and higher, legal doctrine called "The Honour of the Crown", which says the court assumes the Crown intends to keep its promises.

The suit alleges the government has broken a promise to look after the soldiers it sends into battle, and that the Honour of the Crown requires it to fulfill its promises notwithstanding any laws it passes to the contrary.

"This case will provide a mechanism for us, as citizens of Canada, to do the right thing for these soldiers ... to be as loyal to them as they are loyal to us." Sorochan said.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans can sue Ottawa over Benefits

Post by Guest on Sat 07 Sep 2013, 22:51

Improve Benefits for ALL Soldiers


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/05/08/bc-class-action-soldiers-veterans-affairs.html

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans can sue Ottawa over Benefits

Post by Jeffery M on Sun 08 Sep 2013, 22:31

Looks like karma.

Told you Steve Q Harper....if you want to level the playing field amongst Canadians, and take veterans 'special status' away, you better expect to take yourself and the rest of parliament, and come join the REST of US.

I want to personally thank the vigilance of Jim Scott. He is a father. A man of great intention. But most of all...an example, of unwavering love for a son. Thank you

Jeffery M
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 151
Location : Winnipeg
Registration date : 2012-08-20

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum