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Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

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Federal government mum on bringing veterans back to court

Post by Guest on Wed 18 May 2016, 18:00

The federal government had little to say today when asked about reports that it intends to bring war veterans back to court in an effort to prevent some of Canada’s wounded soldiers from collecting certain benefits.

The two sides in the legal battle —six injured Afghanistan veterans and the federal government — agreed to put the case on hold until after the federal election but as their truce expired on May 15th, the lawyer representing the injured veterans expressed outrage that the lawsuit would continue.

“It’s a betrayal,” Donald Sorochan told the CBC.

When asked about the lawsuit, Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr said it would be inappropriate to comment on any lawsuits that are before the courts.

“Nevertheless, we’re moving ahead on our mandate to do better for veterans and their families. We delivered significantly on that in Budget 2016 on earning loss benefit, on the career impact allowance and the disability award. We continue to work

through the mandate letter and to make veterans’ and their families’ lives better,” said Hehr before caucus.

When pressed further about allegations from the Conservatives that the Liberals are backtracking on their promise for veterans – that they won’t have to fight for benefits in court – Hehr referred again to his mandate letter and said the government is working on delivering that to the veterans and their families.

“Well, here’s what we’re doing. We’re concentrating on fulfilling our mandate letter given to me by the Prime Minister. We believe that with the full implementation of that, we will see veterans and their families do better in this country,” said Hehr.

Meanwhile the NDP is slamming the government for betraying their campaign promise.

In a press release issued after question period, the NDP say they are “outraged” by reports that veterans are again being fought in court by their own government “that will deny our heroes their benefits.”

“This comes after the Liberal Party campaigned on bringing back a lifetime pension for veterans,” states the release.

The NDP state that after Conservatives spent $700,000 fighting veterans in court, the Liberal government hired the same lawyer hired by the Conservatives to try to deny that the government owes veterans a special obligation due to their service in this country.

Last year the House unanimously passed an NDP motion that recognizes Canada’s covenant of moral, social, legal, and financial obligation to veterans, continues the release.

http://ipolitics.ca/2016/05/18/federal-government-mum-on-bringing-veterans-back-to-court/

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Trudeau says if elected he would end the Court case involving Veterans

Post by Guest on Wed 18 May 2016, 13:12

Trudeau said his government would also end other court cases involving the Conservative government, such as the one where he said the Tories are fighting to deprive veterans of their benefits.

“There are a lot of court cases across this country that this government has taken on to deprive veterans of their benefits, to go after individuals for unreasonable reasons ... we would actually cease (them) if this government changes on Oct. 19.”

There is a current class action lawsuit by ex-soldiers against the government for increased benefits, but that has been put on hold until May 2016.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeau-says-if-elected-he-would-not-seek-appeal-to-supreme-court-over-niqab/article26432350/

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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Teentitan on Wed 18 May 2016, 11:07

Well Trudeau's wife, Sophie, needs a bigger staff so I guess the money promised for veterans is going to fund Madamme Prime Minister's need.
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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Dannypaj on Wed 18 May 2016, 08:41

What is it that they teach you in Basic Training?
It is just a Game and play the game hard, it is your career.
Well, the fight is not over, it just started with fresh eyes and more insight as to what just amounted to a straight up confusing signal from the GOC to VETS.
More and more people are learning what is happening to Veterans and how VAC treats us.
Come on! Really, it just doesn't end like this.
How can the GOC do that without backlash?
They have fixed a lot of stuff, but do people still want the PA or the NVC?
IDK what is the best solution?

My life is a living hell, (ask my wife).
She ask what is wrong with you, I say "I was trained to take lives and protect lives, you are trained as a Registered nurse to preserve life and nurse lives back to health" and now I am trying to come out of this being "military" and letting go of my training and it is hard, adding to the fact of also trying to let go of past experiences from the first day to the your last day of your service to Canada.

Good times, bad times, scary times, god awful times and proud times, it follows you the rest of your life (at least for me).

Straight up! I would never have gone forward for help knowing transitioning from the military to civilian life was going be just as hellish and maybe at times worst. Since now you have been abandoned by your military family your injured and you cannot be what you dream of becoming or accomplishing because of the Universality of Service.  
Anyway I am pretty lost and transitioning is a never ending process.
Only those who served know this bond, even with all  of our squabbling on here, we always have that bond, that bond is the reason we still talk and compare and make sure we hold everyone last person accountable for what amounts to a big deception to the Canadian people if help  is not delivered.
IDK maybe I am just crazy.
I must have been for joining the CAF and believing in their message.
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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Guest on Wed 18 May 2016, 08:40

not by a longshot .

propat

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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Dannypaj on Wed 18 May 2016, 07:59

It is not over.
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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by RCN-Retired on Wed 18 May 2016, 01:16

Yup, been burned by the Liberals far to many times, never did believe they had morals. Trudeau must be so proud to carry on his families tradition of lieing, cheating and stealing from Canadians.
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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Guest on Tue 17 May 2016, 19:25

"Now, Hehr has signed off on sending the issue back to court, Sorochan said, which is a slap in the face to veterans who sought to find a mutually agreeable resolution."

"A spokesperson for the minister said Tuesday that Hehr "remains committed" to re-establishing lifelong pensions for veterans "and to all items in his mandate letter," but added that because the matter is before the courts it would be inappropriate to comment further."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/kent-hehr-veterans-court-benefits-1.3586013

MVA Hehr knew all along that the Liberals would not reinstate the life long pensions. And since the matter is going back to court, MVA Hehr does not have to answer any questions siting that it is before the courts jargon. I admit I drank the Liberal Kool-Aid and believed they would make good of their campaign promises and what is outlined in the mandate letter.

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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Teentitan on Tue 17 May 2016, 19:10

Well there goes the advisory group. As much as this sucks at least we won't hear Hehr chirp about his mandate letter because he just used it to blow his nose!
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Ottawa's legal manoeuvre on veterans benefits called 'a betrayal'

Post by Guest on Tue 17 May 2016, 18:47

Lawyer for injured Afghan veterans says court action turns 'Liberal election campaign into a lie'

The federal government is taking veterans back to court to try to block certain benefits for injured and wounded soldiers, despite a Liberal campaign promise to better support them after an era of Conservative cuts.

"It's a betrayal," said Donald Sorochan, the lawyer representing the six Afghan war veterans who initiated a class-action lawsuit over pensions and other benefits.

"They have turned the Liberal election campaign into a lie. I sat at tables [during the campaign] with some of the people who are now in cabinet. Those ministers have been turned into liars by the Department of Justice," he said Tuesday, noting the election platform explicitly promised that no veteran would have to "fight the government" for the support and compensation they have earned.

A peace agreement of sorts reached by the previous Harper government and the veterans, the plaintiffs, expired Sunday. The two sides failed to reach an out-of-court settlement, and now government lawyers have informed the B.C. Court of Appeals that they will pick up the lawsuit where it left off.

The plaintiffs have argued in court that the government has a sacred obligation to its injured soldiers and that the lump-sum payment wounded veterans receive under the New Veterans Charter — as opposed to the pension that was previously offered to veterans before 2006 — is inadequate compensation, as they receive less money over the course of a lifetime.

They've also argued that it violates their rights — the right to life, liberty and security of the person — under Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"The social covenant is this promise that our country, Canada, has promised service people they will be protected when they get maimed and their families will be looked after if they are killed," Sorochan said.

Government lawyers outraged veterans by asserting that the federal government has no extraordinary obligation to those who have fought for the country, and therefore the litigation has no merit.

The justice department lawyers tried to block the case during the Harper era by arguing that Canada does not have a social covenant with veterans, and that a "scheme providing benefits cannot be said to amount to a deprivation merely because claimant views the benefits as insufficient." They also said that the plaintiffs "seek to advance a pure economic interest."

Erin O'Toole, who was brought on by Harper to replace Julian Fantino on the veterans file, ultimately repudiated those arguments and tried to put an end to a political headache that had been dogging the Tories for months.

Moreover, all parties voted unanimously in favour of a motion introduced by NDP MP Fin Donnelly last May, which recognized a "stand-alone covenant of moral, social, legal and fiduciary obligation exists between the Canadian people … and members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have been injured, disabled or died as a result of military service."

O'Toole also removed the lead government lawyer, Paul Vickery, from the case and replaced him with Joel Watson, a litigator from the private sector and himself a former veteran.

But Sorochan told CBC News that the government lawyers have told him they will now revive the argument that the government does not have a sacred obligation to veterans — to try to kill the class-action lawsuit once and for all.

The Liberal government has also put Vickery back on the case.

'Charging into the valley of political death'

The plaintiffs agreed to drop their lawsuit if the government provided timetables for implementing Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr's mandate letter, which included pensions for injured veterans among other key promises.

But Hehr has so far been frustratingly noncommittal as to the schedule of some of his top priorities, Sorochan said.

"He's personable, but I don't think he engenders a lot of confidence that he's going to get things done for veterans," he said. "Usually, when you have a rookie minister, you have politically savvy minders that keep them out of trouble. He doesn't have them."

A spokesperson for the minister said Tuesday that Hehr "remains committed" to re-establishing lifelong pensions for veterans "and to all items in his mandate letter," but added that because the matter is before the courts it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Now, Hehr has signed off on sending the issue back to court, Sorochan said, which is a slap in the face to veterans who sought to find a mutually agreeable resolution.

"Why are others in his caucus allowing him to retreat to a position that contributed, at least in part, to the Conservative defeat? When you're told you're charging into the valley of death, by me, you'd think you'd stop charging.

"We walked down that path of reconciliation and we attempted to find a solution that would be in the best interest of all parties. But, for some reason, this minister has accepted arguments by the Department of Justice that they should slam the door on it and go back to court and re-ask the court to accept arguments that had been repudiated."

The Liberal platform in the last election explicitly promised to restore the pension benefit. "We will re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans, and increase the value of the disability award," the platform reads.

Justin Trudeau promises lifelong pensions for injured veterans
The 2016 budget did allocate more than $4.6 billion over three years to boost support for veterans, namely reopening service offices, increasing the disability award and boosting the earnings loss benefit for injured veterans and expanding access to the permanent impairment allowance — but it was silent on pensions, the biggest sticking point.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/kent-hehr-veterans-court-benefits-1.3586013

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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Guest on Thu 12 May 2016, 16:36

Like Rex said , anything could be a lifelong pension.

What happened here is that the Liberals promised something (Bringing Back Lifelong Pensions) under the influence of what was explained to them from certain Veteran groups during the Liberal campaign.

Our Minister confirmed this in one of his speeches.

Once the Liberals got elected and appointed our Minister , the bureaucrats got a hold of our Minister and put some reality checks forward with respect to the aspects of bringing back lifelong pensions , and what Veterans are expecting in terms of this lifelong pension.

It all went down hill from there as our Minister has been dodging questions asked about this particular promise , even as of late with respect to the last Stakeholder Summit.
The Equitas suit does not seem to be happy with the answers they are getting either.

It's all a game and the politicians and the bureaucrats are experts at playing the game.

In the meantime we wait yet again for info concerning bringing back the lifelong pension.
Like I said in my above post , I'm sure they have a plan in place , it's just a matter of dressing up the plan to suit Veterans.
By dressing I don't mean anything that resembles the PA tax free lifelong pension , what I mean is dressing it up to make it seem as though it is a good deal for Veterans.

JMO

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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Guest on Thu 12 May 2016, 14:30

Pigs Will Fly before life long pensions will be restored.

We MUST move on,life long pensions,WILL NEVER HAPPEN!

Fight for the benefit improvements that are in the works.

Its like Lamp lighters,human alarm clocks and switch board operators----Over and out!

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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Guest on Thu 12 May 2016, 06:22

I think the Liberals already know exactly what they will be bringing forward in terms of lifelong pensions , they also know that there's going to be a lot of disappointed Veterans.
I think that is what's holding everything up , they are working on the fine print to make it as pretty as they can knowing full well that the backlash is going to be huge.
It's a stall tactic , at least that's what I'm thinking.
Dragging it out as long as they can.

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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by RCN-Retired on Wed 11 May 2016, 22:33

I cannot see how Trudeau can do anything but not listen to the lawyers as he is on record of running an election that government does have a social covenant to veterans as well as personally stated this many times. To have government lawyers again pipe the Conservative line that there is no agreement, while can't see that going to far as a PMs words is pretty much what have have always gone on. Maybe a few hundred legal suits against Trudeau personnaly may be in order if this whole thing goes sideways because if it does he obviously lied to Canadians.
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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Teentitan on Wed 11 May 2016, 16:18

Well if they do go on with the advisory groups then Mark Campbell is out. There is no way in the legal world can you sue the government and sit on an advisory group at the same time. It is the classic conflict of interest.

That said I hope the Libs ignore the Gov. Lawyers and do carry on with the advisory groups.
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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

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