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

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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, 05:49


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

NFK, it is concerning.

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

Post by 6608 on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 13:21

Ottawa owes veterans no ‘duty of care,’ federal lawyers argue in case

GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2016 12:43PM EDT
Last updated Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2016 1:30PM EDT


The federal Liberal government says it agrees with an argument advanced – and later abandoned – by the former Conservative government that Canada owes no special duty of care to those injured in the line of duty.

In documents filed in the British Columbia Court of Appeal this week for a recently relaunched court case, Justice Department lawyers say that, even though the Liberals and the other parties in the House of Commons unanimously supported a motion last year saying Canada has a “moral, social, legal and fiduciary obligation” to support injured veterans, that motion holds no legal weight.

The government announced last month that it is reactivating a case initiated in 2012 by six severely disabled veterans in British Columbia who argued that they should not be forced to accept less for their injuries than they would have received through the civil courts or through workers’ compensation.

The case was sent to the B.C. Court of Appeal when the former Conservative government’s attempts to have it thrown out were dismissed by the provincial Superior Court. But the legal action was put on hold last year when the Conservatives, facing a storm of criticism from veterans and opposition parties including the Liberals, backed away from their arguments and decided that it was better to try to reach an out-of-court settlement.

In the new court documents filed on Monday on behalf of the government, the Justice Department says “the submissions made by [former Conservative attorney-general Rob Nicholson] on the hearing of the appeal, and as set out in the factum filed by him, accurately reflect the current position of the federal government.”

That factum, which was filed three years ago, disputes the veterans’ claims that there is a “duty of care” owed to them by the federal government. It says the government is required to give disabled former soldiers only as much as Parliament chooses. It also says the principle of the “honour of the Crown,” which requires the government to act honourably during negotiations and upon which the veterans relied in making their case, applies only to agreements with aboriginal people.

The factum was filed by Paul Vickery, a Justice Department lawyer who was subsequently removed from the case by former Conservative veterans affairs minister Erin O’Toole when animosity between veterans groups and the government was boiling over. The Liberal government has now returned Mr. Vickery to the file.

In the documents he filed this week, the government also discounts the importance of a House of Commons motion brought last May by New Democratic Party MP Fin Donnelly that said Ottawa is “obligated” to “provide equitable financial compensation” to injured and deceased veterans.

Even though the Liberals voted in favour of Mr. Donnelly’s motion, the new government court document says: “The House of Commons motion referenced by the plaintiffs, while it records the opinion of the then members of Parliament on the matters referred to in the motion, does not have the force of law and cannot bind the federal government.”

The two sides will debate arguments before the B.C. Appeal Court in Vancouver next week and veterans groups say they will be there to demonstrate their anger.

In 2014, when he was just Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau asked the Conservative government to “live up to our sacred obligation, end this court battle and start giving our veterans the help they deserve.”

And, after the Liberals were elected to form government in the fall, Mr. Trudeau wrote in his mandate letter to Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr 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 veterans.”

Among other things, the veterans who have launched the court case want to see those lifelong pensions reinstated, and they agreed to campaign with the Liberals in the last election on the promise that that would be done. There no such provision in the March budget, but Mr. Hehr has said the pensions will be brought back at some undetermined time in the future.

Mr. Trudeau was asked in the House of Commons on Monday by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair to say when he would stop fighting veterans in court and give them the services that he has promised.

The Prime Minister responded with no commitments.

“After 10 years of a government that shamefully neglected our veterans, we are proud that we are working very hard to restore the kinds of services and the kinds of respect that veterans have earned through their incredible service to our country, to its values and, indeed, to the world,” he said.

“We will continue to endeavour to restore the kinds of services they deserve,” he said, “and we look forward to working collaboratively with them to ensure the kind of support that they have earned.”




http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-owes-veterans-no-duty-of-care-federal-lawyers-argue-in-case/article30465871/


Some of the comments

If this is correct then the government need only be 'honorable' when negotiating with the aboriginals. Well that explains a lot. An awful lot. It's what veterans, and taxpayers in general, have come to expect from government anyway. No honor, truth or accountability.

1 reply

My thoughts too. As I was scanning the comments I was wandering if anyone was going to compare the treatment of the veterans and aboriginals.
I am wandering how the drama teacher is going to justify his 180 degree flip flop.



Anyone else notice how these Federal parties in Ottawa play screw the veterans like a shell game promising "change" that they never intend to enact.

Ottawa has lost its moral authority to lead.



I wonder what would happen if our Armed Forces declared that they owe no 'duty of care' to Canada? Put simply, why should they care for us if our government doesn't care for them? Pathetic.



A duty of care is a very specific set of responsibilities, in law. When we imprison people, for example, we have a duty of care towards them. Not sure that veterans would welcome that parallel.

The supremacy of Parliament is another thing, in law. Parliamentarians agreeing in a motion that Parliament should take action on an issue in no way takes away from the supremacy of Parliament. Neither does the direction given by the Prime Minister to the new Minister of Veterans' Affairs.

I would be surprised if this case won.







Cheers
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Ottawa revives Harper-era legal arguments to block pensions for injured vets

Post by Trooper on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 16:30

Ottawa revives Harper-era legal arguments to block pensions for injured vets.

Government's handpicked lawyers will argue that Canada does not have a social contract with veterans.

Jun 15, 2016 5:10 PM ET

Justice department lawyers will revive legal arguments advanced by the former Harper government to try to block a lawsuit by six Afghan war veterans intent on restoring pensions for injured and wounded soldiers.

CBC News first reported last month that the federal government is taking veterans involved in the Equitas lawsuit back to court to try to block certain benefits for soldiers, despite a Liberal campaign promise to better support them after an era of Conservative cuts.

A peace agreement of sorts, reached by former veterans affairs minister Erin O'Toole, recently expired without any sort of resolution meaning the litigation will now proceed at the B.C. Court of Appeals.

Court action turns 'Liberal election campaign into a lie'
Frustration over New Veterans Charter boils over
The government's handpicked lawyers will argue that Canada does not have a social contract or 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."

The plaintiffs have argued in court that the lump-sum payment wounded veterans receive under the New Veterans Charter — as opposed to the lifetime pension that was offered to veterans before 2006 — is inadequate compensation, as they receive less money over a lifetime.

In court documents filed this week, the government's top class action lawsuit lawyer, Paul Vickery, said that "the submissions made by [former Conservative attorney-general Rob Nicholson] on hearing of the appeal, as set out in the factum filed by him, accurately reflect the current position of the federal government."

That is a controversial position among many in the veterans community as there is a long-held belief that Canada has a special responsibility to its veterans — a social contract — based on the promise politicians have made for generations to adequately care for those soldiers who are hurt in the line of duty.

O'Toole removed Vickery from the case and replaced him with Joel Watson, a litigator from the private sector and himself a former veteran. But after the Liberals defeated the Conservatives last October, the new veterans affairs minister, Kent Hehr, put Vickery back in charge.

"I cannot discuss the specifics of an ongoing court case," Hehr said in a recent statement to CBC News.

The case returns to court on Friday.

Trudeau promised lifetime pensions

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. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed that commitment in a stump speech on the campaign trail.

The promise was also included in Hehr's mandate letter from the prime minister, but was notably absent from the government's first budget introduced in March, although the government did make substantial new funding commitments to other veterans programs.

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."

Don Sorochan, the lawyer representing the veterans, said it would be the height of hypocrisy if the Liberal government now rejects those principles in court.

Resolution symbolic, Liberals argue

But government lawyers will do exactly that, according to their memorandum, arguing that the resolution was largely symbolic and does not oblige the government to provide pensions to injured veterans.

"The House of Commons motion referred to by the plaintiffs, while it records the opinion of the then members of Parliament on the matters referred to in the motion, does not have the force of law and cannot bind the federal government," the lawyers wrote.

Trudeau promises lifelong pensions for injured veterans
Sorochan has said that the appeal court should not render a decision in the case without hearing additional evidence, namely that the Liberals explicitly campaigned on restoring pensions and voted for Donnelley's motion. He said the original Harper-era appeals case, from December 2014, is outdated and does not reflect the change in governance.

But the government lawyers batted that suggestion away, saying the plaintiffs have no right to introduce evidence at this stage of the legal proceedings.

"It is not open to the plaintiffs to attempt to introduce evidence on the appeal, since the appeal is from an order made on a pleadings motion, in which no evidence may be tendered," the memorandum reads.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ottawa-pensions-injured-vets-equitas-lawsuit-1.3637155

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

Post by teentitan on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 16:32

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

Post by Guest on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 16:44

Kinda unbelievable really!

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

Post by Trooper on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 17:00

This is why the lifelong pension was not brought forward in this past budget , and this is why the Liberals would not commit a timeline to Equitas on that particular promise. (Lifelong Pensions)
The Liberals know full well what lifelong pensions their going to implement , they just want to hold off as long as possible because what their bringing forward is not going to sit well with Veterans , they know this , this is what their good at , they play the political game very well , but I think it's going to catch up with them.
With all of the negativity brought forward in the past towards how the government treated it's Veterans , and now we have JT caught right handed in a lie with this Equitas court case , and Kent constantly repeating the same thing over an over again , the sneak in reduced minimum ELB amount lowered , the media is going to be all over this and I do believe moving forward the government is soon going to find out that it is no longer easy to fool Veterans.
Anything But Liberal (ABL) get on it now don't give the Liberals any breathing space.

Remember the Liberals can bring forward any lifelong pension , they can make ELB for life an call it a lifelong pension , they can amend the RISB an call it a lifelong pension for those who make a little more then the baseline qualification , they can take an award of 50% an reduce it down next to nothing an tax it an make it a lifelong pension , they can make up any lifelong pension to suit their mandate letter promise regardless if Veterans don't like it , an to boot they can make this pension on a go forward basis.

Again if these actions taken by our government is not a wake up call , I don't know what is!
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by bigrex on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 17:38

Well for one thing, the minutes for advisory groups meetings on the subject should be made public. That way, if the Liberals bring in something completely different than what the Veterans recommend, then every Canadian will know that their consultation process was completely for show, and that they knew the entire time that they were going to screw us over. As of right now, they could bring in anything they want, saying it was with support from the Veterans, and the group members would not powerless to say otherwise, due to the non disclosure agreements they likely all had to sign.
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by Guest on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 17:41

Trooper, I have also heard rumbles regarding the ELB for life and call it the pension! The PA was for pain and suffering , an award , that's why it's not taxable but the government can't stand tax free and don't believe in pain and suffering awards. I hope they don't go this route because veterans benefits will nose dive

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Veterans lawsuit heading back to court after settlement deadline passes

Post by Trooper on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 19:28

Veterans lawsuit heading back to court after settlement deadline passes.

June 15, 2016 - 8:35pm

VANCOUVER — A missed procedural deadline has set off a domino effect in a long-running court case about compensation for severely disabled veterans.

Last June, a lawsuit launched by six severely disabled veterans over changes to made to their compensation 10 years ago was put on hold when they agreed to wait and see if new legislation and a federal election would improve the situation.

The veterans had argued that modern-day soldiers are discriminated against compared to those who fought in earlier wars and deserve special recognition similar to what aboriginal people receive.

Daniel Scott, the father of one of the veterans, said in an affidavit filed in court this week that the group has spoken with the government several times and been promised change, but has not received any concrete information on details or timelines.


The deadline for a settlement in the case passed last month, and lawyers for the new Liberal government filed documents in the B.C. Court of Appeal this week saying the court should now decide the case based on arguments made in December 2014.

Lawyers for the previous Conservative government argued in those hearings that the federal government has no extraordinary obligation to people who have fought for Canada, prompting outrage from veterans and condemnation from the Liberals in the Commons.

The documents filed this week by the government say the 2014 arguments "accurately reflect the current position of the federal government."

Lawyers for the veterans have filed their own court documents, saying the government's position is "to say the least, objectionable," and arguing that the court needs more information before a decision can be made.

They say arguments made in the 2014 hearings contradict statements made by Liberals in Parliament and on the campaign trail, and the government's current position needs to be clarified.

A judge is expected to hear arguments on what happens next in a case management conference Friday.

The Canadian Press

http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1372893-veterans-lawsuit-heading-back-to-court-after-settlement-deadline-passes
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by teentitan on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 19:54

This is going to be a FUBAR situation and I will not be surprised if the whole thing has to start over.

Not good, not good
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by pinger on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 19:58

Re article 6608, it would seem the GoC reneged on their word.

So short of my expressions being deleted here,
I'll just say we are more honourable than politics for starters.
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After campaigning off the backs of veterans, the Trudeau government turns its back to them

Post by Trooper on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 04:45

After campaigning off the backs of veterans, the Trudeau government turns its back to them.

June 15, 2016 3:38 PM ET

Last August, flanked by decorated men and women in military uniforms, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau stood before a crowd in Belleville, Ont., and announced that if he became prime minister, he would undo the damage that the Harper era inflicted on Canada’s relationship with its veterans.

“We owe a sacred trust to our veterans and their families,” he said, unveiling a $300 million annual pledge to invest in Canada’s retired servicemen and servicewomen. It’s an obligation we must meet with respect and gratitude, yet Mr. Harper walked away from it.”

Trudeau’s allusion to a sacred obligation was a deliberate reference to the Conservatives’ ongoing legal battle with veterans over compensation, which was launched by six wounded veterans in 2012. The plaintiffs in the case argued that the lump sum payments they received under the New Veterans Charter, which was implemented in 2006, were insufficient compared to the lifelong pensions awarded to previous veterans. Lawyers with the Justice Department countered by asking for the case to be dismissed, saying that the government did not have a special obligation or “social covenant” with its veterans.

By the time Trudeau took to the podium in Belleville, public outcry had forced the Conservatives to shuffle Julian Fantino out of the position of minister of veterans affairs and introduce a bill to recognize the government’s “sacred obligation” to veterans, among other measures. The Tories also agreed to put the case on hold until May 2016, after the federal election, to allow for what veterans’ lawyer Don Sorochan called “a nice competitive bidding (process) to see who’s going to do better.” That set the stage for Trudeau’s offer in Belleville: if elected, the Liberals would re-open the Veterans Affairs offices that had been shuttered by the Conservatives, introduce millions of dollars worth of new programs and benefits to improve the lives of veterans and their families, and re-establish the option of lifelong pensions for injured veterans — a change that Trudeau said would happen immediately.

Not only has that change not happened, but the Trudeau government has instead picked up where the Harper government left off and asked the court to rule on an earlier appeal to have the case dismissed, based on arguments that the government does not have a sacred obligation to veterans. Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr deflected criticism of the move Monday, telling the Globe and Mail that, “this is part of an ongoing lawsuit, which began many years before we came into office,” though he did add that he is still “committed to all items in his mandate letter, including pensions for life.” Nevertheless, the Justice Department has offered no indication that it plans to drop the appeal, nor has the Ministry of Veterans Affairs offered any sort of timeline for if and when it aims to reinstate lifelong pensions.

There is usually some understanding after an election that the winning party will not be able to fulfil all of its election promises: the Liberals promised a series of $10-billion deficits, for example, yet they delivered a budget with a projected $30-billion deficit in the first year alone; they promised to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015, yet they only reached that target by the end of February 2016; they pledged to lower the small business tax rate to nine per cent, but instead stuck it at 10.5 per cent.

To a certain extent, these offences are to be expected: a new government will always claim that the books aren’t as they expected, or that the logistics have proven more difficult than anticipated. These promises, however, are not in the same league as a pledge to uphold the cherished status that we reserve for the men and women that risked their lives for all Canadians. Indeed, to continue to pursue the government’s appeal is not simply for Trudeau to break another vow, but to also undermine the sacrifice that Canada’s veterans have made for our country. After campaigning off the backs of veterans, the Trudeau government seems to content to now turn its back to them. More than a broken promise — it’s a disgrace.

National Post

Robyn Urback

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/robyn-urback-after-campaigning-off-the-backs-of-veterans-the-trudeau-government-turns-its-back-to-them

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Trudeau Government Reneges On Promise To Veterans

Post by Trooper on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 04:37

Trudeau Government Reneges On Promise To Veterans.

June 16, 2016 05:04 am

Last year, I vilified the Harper government for going to court to argue that the government had no moral duty of care for Canadian military veterans.

At the time, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau implored the Prime Minister to ‘ live up to our sacred obligation to veterans’ and end the court battle.

Bowing to immense public pressure, the Harper government didn’t drop the case, but they did suspend the legal action.

During the federal election campaign, Trudeau made commitments to re-establish lifelong pensions for disabled veterans.

It looked like veterans had a champion for their cause.

But this week, the Trudeau government filed papers in a BC Court stating that they agree with the previous government’s position that the federal government has ‘ no duty of care’ for disabled veterans and they plan to revive the court action.

Words cannot describe the sense of betrayal that disabled veterans feel right now.

These are Canadian men and women who put their lives on the line in service to our country.

Many bear the life long emotional and physical scars of war and, yes, we do have an obligation to them.

The Prime Minister should heed his own words on this issue; ‘ live up to our sacred obligation to veterans and end this court battle’.

http://www.900chml.com/2016/06/16/trudeau-government-reneges-on-promise-to-veterans/
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Re: Veterans say government is breaking election promises by taking them back to court

Post by Dannypaj on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 04:54

F-ing right! What a jackass this man is and his gang of clowns that follow him.
Why in the world would you broadcast across the nation one thing and then turn around and do the total opposite?
Stand shoulder to shoulder.
The more they fight us (veterans/and family) the closer our community is becoming (think of it as 300, when the men are advancing as one in formation the formation becomes iron steal), we can do this and the media and general public is on our side.
It is a sunny day here in Halifax, Holeofwater (trudeau translated from French) is not around to cloud our coast.

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Power Play Interview with Peter Stoffer

Post by Trooper on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 05:09

Power Play Interview with Peter Stoffer


http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=891797
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