Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

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Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by Trooper on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 05:55

Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court.

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jun. 13, 2016 8:31PM EDT
Last updated Monday, Jun. 13, 2016 11:52PM EDT

Wounded veterans will be back in court this week to fight the federal government’s contention that it has no special obligation to former soldiers in a case that has been reopened by the Justice Department to the chagrin of veterans’ groups across the country.

In documents filed with the British Columbia Court of Appeal on Monday, the lawyer for the six veterans involved in the lawsuit is asking the court to refuse the government’s request that the court rule on an appeal in the case. He says the Liberal government is returning to arguments that it campaigned against, and is breaking promises that helped get it elected. The case has been on hold for a year.

The central issue in dispute – the assertion that there is no “social covenant or social contract” between veterans and the Canadian government – inflamed veterans when it was first advanced in the B.C. Supreme Court by the previous Conservative government.

The Liberal government is abandoning promises to settle matters, said Don Sorochan, the lawyer for the vets whose firm, Miller Thomson, has agreed to let him do the work pro bono. The Liberals “are not keeping that commitment,” he said, “nor are they keeping their platform commitments,” which are reiterated in ministerial mandate letters.

Bruce Moncur, a veterans’ advocate from Windsor, Ont., is urging veterans to show up at the courthouse wearing their medals to support those involved in the lawsuit. “It is a stab in the back,” Mr. Moncur said. “A lot of vets saw the Liberal platform and voted for it because it was the best one.”

The six wounded veterans launched the suit against the government in 2012, with the thought of eventually turning it into a class action. They said they should not be forced to accept less compensation for their injuries than what they would have received through the civil courts or workers’ compensation.

Among other things, they wanted a reinstatement of the lifetime pensions for wounded veterans that had been replaced in 2006 by the New Veterans Charter that relies largely on lump-sum payments.

Justice Department lawyers responded by saying there is no extraordinary social covenant owed to veterans, other than what Parliament decides to give them, and filed a motion asking for the case to be dismissed. The court ruled against that motion and the government appealed.

That set off a firestorm, both in the veterans’ community and in the Commons where the opposition decried the government’s treatment of those who were permanently disabled in the military service of Canada. Justin Trudeau, who was then Liberal leader, asked the government “to live up to our sacred obligation, end this court battle, and start giving our veterans the help they deserve.”

The Conservative government agreed to put its appeal on hold in May, 2015, and the two sides tried to find a private resolution.

In the lead-up to the fall election, the Liberals promised to reinstate the lifetime pensions and persuaded the veterans who were part of the suit to appear with them at campaign events.

After the Liberals won, Mr. Trudeau said in Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr’s mandate letter that the minister must ensure that the “government lives up to our sacred obligation to veterans,” and that he must “re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans.” Mr. Sorochan said the veterans agreed to drop the suit if the government would set timelines for acting on the mandate letter.

But that has not happened. The pensions were not included in the March budget and, when the abeyance period in the lawsuit expired May of this year, Mr. Hehr signed off on sending the case back to the B.C. Court of Appeal.

Government lawyers have asked the Court of Appeal to render judgment on the same arguments that they advanced initially – that there was no special social obligation owed to veterans.

Michael Blais, the president of Canadian Veterans Advocacy, said most veterans he knows are furious about the decision. “I don’t think I have talked to anyone who is not angry about it,” said Mr. Blais, who sits on government advisory groups that are discussing ways to treat veterans more fairly.

Mr. Hehr said in a statement on Monday that his government did not take veterans to court. “This is part of an ongoing lawsuit which began many years before we came into office. I find it deeply regrettable that, under the former government, veterans had to take this step to ensure their well-being,” the minister said.

“Canadians gave us a strong mandate to repair the relationship with veterans, especially for those who became ill or were injured in the course of their service,” he said. “One focus is to make veterans financially secure through the provision of a life-long pension option and I can assure Canadians that I remain committed to this, and to fulfilling all items in my mandate letter.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/liberal-government-breaking-pension-pledge-to-injured-veterans-lawyer/article30438822/
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by teentitan on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 10:56

Mr. Hehr said in a statement on Monday that his government did not take veterans to court. “This is part of an ongoing lawsuit which began many years before we came into office. I find it deeply regrettable that, under the former government, veterans had to take this step to ensure their well-being,” the minister said.

“Canadians gave us a strong mandate to repair the relationship with veterans, especially for those who became ill or were injured in the course of their service,” he said. “One focus is to make veterans financially secure through the provision of a life-long pension option and I can assure Canadians that I remain committed to this, and to fulfilling all items in my mandate letter.”


Hey Kent get a new news quote will you.....this one is getting absolutely tedious not to mention down right insulting to the veteran community!

Yes the court case started under the Conservatives but you signed off on it to send it back to court so it is now your Liberal court case because you and JT broke a promise that bought you the veteran vote!

So when you make a comment like this you are, to quote Mr. Trudeau in how he described a fellow MP Peter Kent on the floor of the HoC "You are a piece of s**t!"
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by johnny211 on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 12:33

teentitan - Great pt. That is one stupid statement for him to regurg over and over again " That his gov did not take the Vets to court"..WT, what planet is he on.. His constant ignoreing any subject or questions will very soon or eventually be the end of him like Fantino. Vets will only play that game so long, and we are now beyond his going round in circle talk.
Do you think this court case will drag for yrs? Or will they eventually bow to say they have a obligation to us? who knows. VVV...
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Liberal Broken Promise / Question Period June 14 , 2016

Post by Trooper on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 17:10

Liberal Broken Promise.

Get use to it folks this is what you'll hear for the next 3.5 years.

Forward to 06:30 to view/hear the exchange.

http://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/question-period/episodes/47978387/
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Ottawa should fulfil its ‘sacred’ duty to veterans: Editorial

Post by Trooper on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 17:39

Ottawa should fulfil its ‘sacred’ duty to veterans: Editorial.

The federal government should end its shameful insistence it has no extraordinary obligation to protect Canada’s men and women in uniform.

5:03 PM, Tues., June 14, 2016

Never has there been a crasser distillation of Ottawa’s skewed sense of its moral duty to those who have fought, and been injured, for this country than an argument put forward by government lawyers in 2012. In an effort to block a class-action lawsuit by six injured Afghan war veterans, the attorneys argued that the federal government has no “sacred obligation” to ex-soldiers, that Parliament is in no way constitutionally constrained in its judgment of how much, or how little, compensation they deserve.

The Conservatives continued in this dubious legal fight for years, costing Ottawa some $700,000 in the process, until political circumstances forced them to change tack. In the lead-up to last year’s federal election, beset by critics, the Harper government finally delivered an overdue boost to Ottawa’s grossly inadequate veterans’ benefits.

It even tabled a bill, which eventually passed, recognizing the government’s “sacred obligation” to Canada’s men and women in uniform. The plaintiffs agreed to stay proceedings until May 2016, at which point they would determine whether sufficient progress had been made to drop the action altogether.

When the Liberals won the election, the case appeared destined for amicable settlement. In opposition, Justin Trudeau had called for the government “to live up to our sacred obligation, end this court battle, and start giving our veterans the help they deserve.” As prime minister, Trudeau reiterated this sentiment in his mandate letter to Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr, calling on him to ensure that the “government lives up to our sacred obligation to veterans.”

Strange, then, if not utterly bewildering, that government lawyers will reportedly resume their appeal this week on the grounds that Ottawa has no sacred obligation to veterans. Yes, believe it or not, the Trudeau government wants the court to acknowledge that Ottawa does not have a duty it has argued repeatedly and persuasively that it has.

The truce came undone over a Liberal campaign promise, restated in Hehr’s mandate letter, to “re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans.” The controversial 2006 New Veterans Charter mostly replaced pensions with lump-sum payments. But many have argued this unfairly disadvantages ex-soldiers who live longer, and that veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are ill-equipped to manage the large one-time payouts.

Despite the Liberal commitment, there was no mention of veterans’ pensions in the federal budget. As the deadline for deciding the fate of the lawsuit approached, the plaintiffs asked the government to commit to a timeline for implementing its promises. But lawyers representing the injured ex-soldiers say Hehr refused, giving them no choice but to continue with the action.

For his part, Hehr says the Liberals merely inherited this lawsuit. “I find it deeply regrettable that, under the former government, veterans had to take this step to ensure their well-being,” he told the Globe and Mail on Monday. No mention of why his government refuses to lay out a timetable for delivering on its commitments. Or why it appears to have permitted its lawyers to pursue a line of argument in direct contradiction of its long-held, proudly touted position.

The costs of the best possible care for our veterans should be built into any decision that puts soldiers in harm’s way. That’s the duty Trudeau invoked when he called on the Harper government to “end this court battle, and start giving our veterans the help they deserve.” Whether Ottawa finally fulfils that obligation, or continues its shameful history of dereliction, is now his to decide.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2016/06/14/ottawa-should-fulfil-its-sacred-duty-to-veterans-editorial.html
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by teentitan on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 17:51

JT is fighting this so he does not have to reinstate the life long pension.

Remove the sacred obligation from the NVC and it's a free for all for whatever the Liberals want to do.

About the only thing of value that came out of the Equitas lawsuit to date is the increase of the payout to $360000.
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by Guest on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 18:09

Pensions are coming, it's just a matter of what those pensions will look like and who will get them, Kent has repeated , even at the legion party in St John that pension is coming so as a lawyer I can't see him saying it over and over and not coming thru?

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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by teentitan on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 18:31

Yeah and JT said a Liberal gov't wouldn't have veterans go to court to get the benefits they deserve.

Not to mention that until someone gives Hehr a new company tag line he is going to say the same thing over and over.
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by Trooper on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 18:54

Absolutely pension are coming , I will not dispute that.

Keep in mind that a lifelong pension can be anything , like I said , they already have a good hand on this pension but are holding off as long as possible because it's not going to be worth the paper it's written on. OR it will not reflect or even come close to what the PA pension was and still is for some.
Remember the bureaucrats are running the show , JT passed on to Kent , Kent passed on to the bureaucrats to get it done.
Kent is getting his advice from his staffers/bureaucrats , so far he has not showed to anyone that he will stray in any way shape or form from the individuals advising him.
They , the (Bureaucrats) know the system well , Kent is a junior who is learning from his advisers , so when negativity flows towards Kent by Veterans , he goes to his advisers who advises him on how to respond.
So it would come as no surprise that Kent himself thinks his doing an awesome job thus far on our file.
Both Kent and JT are simply following inputs from those bureaucrats.
The election is over so there's no need for either of them to take the lead an make leadership decisions.

One does not have to go far to realize what's going on here , simply look at the public responses by both Kent an JT on our file thus far.
They both publicly continue to say that their proud of what they have accomplished thus far , this with all the backlash from Veterans , their credibility to perform proactively an honestly has so far failed , an this looks like a trend that will continue throughout their term.

Make no mistake here , the bureaucrats are running the show , they will continue to run the show , an it is Veterans at the end of the day who will suffer for it.

I have proven right here on CSAT with several articles an some videos that JT has publicly said Veterans will not have to fight the Liberals in court , it's here for everyone to see , he has lied to Veterans , he gave Veterans false hope , this is an insult to all Veterans.
The Liberal credibility towards the well being of Veterans has now been proven to be taken away , this is a wake up call for everyone to pay attention to with regards to what comes next for improvements.

Read those implementations well because their credibility is no longer valid.

Perhaps a boycott of advocating should be considered , perhaps instead of advocating we should be focusing resources towards the recruitment of lawyers to bring forward more LAWSUITS against the government for falling to provide benefits that were once in place , that were tax free an sound for all Veterans.
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Disabled veterans' lawsuit headed back to B.C. appeal court

Post by Trooper on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 19:11

Disabled veterans' lawsuit headed back to B.C. appeal court.

June 14, 2016 2:59 PM PDT

A class-action lawsuit filed by a group of wounded military veterans who are seeking better benefits from the federal government is heading back to court.

More than a year ago, the two sides agreed to suspend court action pending negotiations aimed at resolving issues surrounding benefits and programs. The agreement, which came to an end in May, failed to result in a settlement between the parties.

In court documents filed by the veterans, the group expressed unhappiness that the government is taking the position that the B.C. Court of Appeal, which heard two days of arguments in December 2014, now can rule on the government’s appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court ruling.

The government’s position shows a “complete disregard” for commitments the government made and the election platform of the Liberal Party in support of veterans, say the documents.

“The procedure adopted by the appellant in this case of asking the court to rule on the appeal on the basis of the December 2014 arguments is, to say the least, objectionable.”

The documents say the appellants failed to disclose to the appeal court that their legal position at the December hearing had been repudiated within months by the former Conservative government.

In light of other developments, including Parliament’s passage in May 2015 of a resolution supporting the veterans, the plaintiffs are calling for the appeal court to hear further arguments before ruling on the case.

The case is heading back to the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver on Friday.

The class action lawsuit was filed in 2012 by six injured veterans of the war in Afghanistan, who argued they deserved disability payments comparable to what any other worker would receive through workers’ compensation. The veterans were upset that lifelong pensions were replaced by lump-sum payments as a result of the 2006 New Veterans Charter.

The government attempted to have the case thrown out of court, but the B.C. Supreme Court declined to do so. The government then filed an appeal of the lower court ruling to the B.C. Court of Appeal.

In an email, Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr said Canadians gave his government a mandate to repair the relationship with veterans and he remains committed to do so.

The government delivered $5.6 billion in financial security for veterans in this year’s budget, including increasing benefits, enhancing a disability award, opening 10 offices and hiring more staff, he added.

“Veterans and stakeholder groups have made it clear they want these changes done right and not rushed and I will work with all veterans groups to accomplish this.”

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/disabled-veterans-lawsuit-headed-back-to-b-c-appeal-court
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by Guest on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 19:51

yup I believe pensions are coming crappy money saving ones as compared to the PA pension . they will do it as cheaply as possible but do it still the same . they will do this for show and political fodder saying how much it costs in total while strategically leaving out how little it will mean to individual veterans or the fact it may force many vets to take the immoral buyout anyway witch would be the GOC,s main goal anyway . of cores when they tout the cost it would be based on ALL taking the pension knowing full well the actual cost of the new pension would be far less .

I don't believe this to be opinion these impending actions at least to me seem quite academic .

boys this seems to be the way governments do things such as this they have been doing it this way for a very long time so I don't expect a change in this one not anymore .

teen also has a very good point yup its great to try to figure these thing out as its a good mental exercise for sure but if you are basing your conclusions solely on what comes out of these fracktards mouths it may just be an exercise in futility .

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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by teentitan on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 20:39

Trooper you have to remember bureaucrats and lawyers wrote the NVC. Hehr knows the NVC without talking to advisors. He's a frickn' lawyer and he understands it.

When the Equitas lawsuit was put in abeyance for a year the Cons replaced the lead litigator lawyer for the DoJ because he was too intense and they replaced him with a lawyer with a military background so he understood his crowd. Remember O'Toole is a lawyer as well so legal wise he did the right thing.

Hehr not only signs off on lifting the abeyance he reinstates the original litigator for the DoJ! Refering to the scummy scale of 1 to 10 what Hehr did is a 20! If JT and Hehr want to ramble on about the stupid mandate letter how's about we put the more familiar litigator back on the case?

Would they be open to that suggestion? Hell no! They are in this to get rid of the social convenant. Once it is gone it will be such a bastardized life long pension that no one will be able to fight it in the courts in the future.

As for these advisory groups all the veteran organizations should boycott them until the end of the Equitas lawsuit because anything they propose will have to be in alignment with the DoJ's approach to the lawsuit. And we will not have a clue what was really done because all the participants in the advisory groups signed a confidentiality agreement.

Also tell me how a defendant of the Equitas lawsuit is on one of the advisory groups? I think Webster's Dictionary just found the new definition of futility!
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by pinger on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 22:35

I think were all on the same page today.

He ain't from a different planet Johnny. He's just a politician (new) but with some lawyering history. Sort of like... bologna and mustard, lol !

Lot's of straight posts here.

I was one who got snookered before the election into thinking JT's promise to re-instate lifelong pensions meant the PA. Tx for the clarity then teen.

So like you say Trooper, lifelong pensions are coming. They are coming alright . . .

But it's a extremely tricky pickle to accomplish in my opinion. On one hand you got old PA vets grandfathered but outside the box.
And now 2006 NVC is the new box.
So how is the GoC going to accommodate the two of them? ... for lifelong pensions.

For starters to me, it's the demographics of old PA folks and the NVC folks.
Some are living longer more than the others are dying. So think about the money in that context, quite certain the GoC does.

Anyway, (if) when these lifelong pensions do come out (ALSO   to be called something entirely different!) it will be half-measures imo.

Stay very well all...
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by Dannypaj on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 06:09

trying to stay very well, but it is hard to when common sense should be the rule of law in Canada, which it isn't IMO.
Why should I place hope and believe some man/women who's given authority (by god knows who) to make a decision on mine/your case.

1. "E.L.B", sounds like something I had for breakfast, I hate that terminology.
2.  Being a patient of VAC is like a nightmare of what the F will happen tomorrow (wait I will read up on it, oh ya! we were lied to).
3. I haven't reached three. I am still waiting on my decision before I can make my own verdict on what I will type for my reaction for three.

The NVC is a rollercoaster girls/boys and it will be a ride across Canada that will awaken the true spirit of all Canadians when they fight us in court.

Please do not mess with my/our Vets wellbeing any longer.


Last edited by Dannypaj on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 19:38; edited 1 time in total
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BC Court of Appeal – Friday, June 17, 2016

Post by Trooper on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 06:21

BC Court of Appeal – Friday, June 17, 2016 - Law Courts, 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver at 9:30 a.m.
The Case Management Conference is an open court hearing before a single judge of the Court of Appeals to hear submissions of the parties as why the Court should not act upon the Government’s request that they render the Court’s decision based upon the Government’s argument on the December 2014 appeal hearing. The Representative Plaintiffs (Respondents) submit that the Court should consider that the Government had settled the appeal with the Respondents and had agreed to abandon the appeal because of the repudiation after the appeal hearing of the position of the Government with respect to the concept of a social covenant or contract for veterans. These changed positions were declared by the new Veterans’ Affairs Minister (Erin O’Toole) and by senior members of all current Politic Parties.
Concerned citizens and veterans are entitled to attend this case management conference.
Thereby:
At the direction of the Honourable Mr. Justice Groberman by memorandum dated May 31, 2016, a Case Management Conference for this proceeding has been set to be held at the Law Courts, 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver at 9:30 a.m. on June 17, 2016 to consider what, if any, further steps should be taken as a result of the position communicated to the Court by Counsel for the Appellants on May 16, 2016 that the Court is now free to render its decision in the appeal heard on December 3 and 4, 2014 and the position communicated to the Court by Counsel for the Respondents on May 18, 2016 that it would be inappropriate for the Court to do so.
In order for the Court to consider the issues raised by the differing positions of the parties, it is the submission of the Respondents that the Court must consider all of the circumstances surrounding the negotiation and performance of the settlement agreement known as the Abeyance Agreement dated May 27, 2015.
In determining whether the Appellants have breached or evinced an intention to breach the settlement agreement the Court must objectively construe the purported breaching party’s intention and to do so all of the surrounding circumstances to the agreement and its performance should be considered. Since the surrounding circumstances to the settlement agreement involves political and national public policy issues, reference is made to Proceedings of Parliament as recorded in Hansard.

Equitas Society

Equitas Society "Concerned citizens and veterans are entitled to attend this case management conference."
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