Author Topic: Class Action Suit against NVC & "Govt has no obligation to soldiers"  (Read 186763 times)

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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #50 on: July 30, 2013, 22:45:26 »
While I'm very disheartened by the government's lawyers remarks in this case, I don't think I'm a big fan of the NDP jumping on the bandwagon for our cause. I just did a little research, and the NVC was passed unanimously in the House, and Peter Stoffer was a MP at the time. Did he think it was OK then, and change his mind? Did he not care and just vote party lines? Or is he only picking up the cause now, because it has potential to embarrass the government?

I'm leaning more to number 3....

Offline Teager

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #51 on: July 31, 2013, 11:51:33 »
While I'm very disheartened by the government's lawyers remarks in this case, I don't think I'm a big fan of the NDP jumping on the bandwagon for our cause. I just did a little research, and the NVC was passed unanimously in the House, and Peter Stoffer was a MP at the time. Did he think it was OK then, and change his mind? Did he not care and just vote party lines? Or is he only picking up the cause now, because it has potential to embarrass the government?

I'm leaning more to number 3....

The recent CTV article mentions one of the lawyers fighting for the vets. He says he has been in touch with multiple politicians from all parties. When they passed the NVC all politicians believed that they were doing a "good thing" and weren't seeing it as a means to save money. Now it is seen as a means to save money.

The government is saving massive amounts of money with the lump sum amount. If you think about the old system where they were given a pension for life for an injury and how much money they would have to pay out over that time. Now a majority of the WWII vets are passing away and with each one that passes that had an injury they are no longer paying a pension to them which adds to the savings.

The majority of civis and even some military members believe that if you are injured you are given a pension for life. The only pension you get is the one you've worked for and thats if you have enough time in.

I'm sure any member who has been injured would give every penny back to have there working body/mind back. I know I would.

Offline Wookilar

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2013, 13:02:41 »
I'm sure any member who has been injured would give every penny back to have there working body/mind back. I know I would.

 :goodpost:
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Offline milnews.ca

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #53 on: August 07, 2013, 13:37:33 »
.... Now it is seen as a means to save money ....
Making changes by ANY party in power unlikely.
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

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Offline Teager

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #54 on: August 08, 2013, 10:36:52 »
From what I have been reading the court will render a decision come October.

Offline Future Pensioner

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #55 on: September 08, 2013, 22:38:15 »
From Friday, 06 Sep 13:

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.

more at this link:    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/afghanistan-veterans-can-continue-lawsuit-against-federal-government-judge-says/article14176839/
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 22:41:42 by Future Pensioner »

Offline Teager

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #56 on: September 09, 2013, 10:32:42 »
Excellent news! The fight continues.

Offline krustyrl

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #57 on: September 09, 2013, 10:41:15 »
Let's hope the GoC recognizes the shortcomings and learned from the last Class Action Lawsuit by making this a short battle for the Veterans but somehow past history and my trick knee says otherwise.  I hope the lawyers on behalf of the ill and injured bring their best game .!      :yellow:

Offline Teager

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #58 on: September 09, 2013, 14:18:11 »
For complete transcripts and the decision from the judge see below link.

http://equitassociety.ca/legal-action

Offline bigcletus

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #59 on: September 12, 2013, 01:43:21 »
There's billions more at state here...I think the gov't won't roll over on this one...

Offline Teager

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #60 on: October 02, 2013, 17:47:44 »
Feds appeal decision that cleared way for Afghanistan vets lawsuit over benefits
OTTAWA - The Harper government says it intends to appeal a B.C. court ruling that cleared the way for a class-action lawsuit involving veterans of Canada's war in Afghanistan.
via NewsFlash
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/national/Feds+appeal+decision+that+cleared+Afghanistan+vets+lawsuit/8988103/story.html

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #61 on: October 02, 2013, 19:48:00 »
Here's the Info-machine's version - highlights mine:
Quote
The following was issued today regarding the Scott et al. v. Attorney General of Canada proposed class action:

On September 6, 2013, the Honourable Mr. Justice Gordon Weatherill released his ruling on the Attorney General of Canada's Motion to Strike the Notice of Civil Claim filed by the Plaintiffs' counsel in the Scott et al. v. Attorney General of Canada proposed class action.

The Plaintiffs argue that the promises of past governments are binding on present and future governments. While this may sound reasonable, their argument could have a far broader impact than perhaps intended by the Plaintiffs. If accepted, this principle could undermine democratic accountability as parliamentarians of the future could be prevented from changing important legislation, including the sort of changes that some Veterans would like to see to the New Veterans Charter.

We are therefore appealing Justice Weatherill's decision, as this case is not the proper vehicle for addressing the very real concerns of Veterans.

"My recent commitment to proceed with a comprehensive review of the New Veterans Charter by elected officials, in our Parliament, will provide the appropriate forum where all voices can be heard, including those of the Plaintiffs, Veterans, family members, other interested individuals and subject matter experts," said the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs. "That is where we can work together on appropriate change for Veterans and their families." ....
<broken record>
Compare the second bit in yellow above to the Minister's commitment shortly after he took office ....
Quote
.... We are here to deliver the care and support Veterans need, when they need it. That is our promise to Veterans. Always has been. Always will be ....
</broken record>
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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Offline Teager

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #62 on: October 09, 2013, 20:13:59 »

Offline Nemo888

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #63 on: November 25, 2013, 16:18:47 »
Part 3 and part 4 are an amazing summary of the lawsuit.

Part 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj_wxjkxQN8#t=21

Part 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWVHZfP-Wa0

Offline Nemo888

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #64 on: November 25, 2013, 17:22:26 »
The Honorable gentleman in part seven makes me wonder if the event is in a licensed establishment if you know what I mean.

Offline Teager

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #65 on: March 16, 2014, 14:16:45 »
Here is a Briefing Memo/Update with whats happening. Seems that we may be back in court this summer.

http://equitassociety.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Briefing-Memorandum-February-20141.pdf

Offline Teager

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #66 on: March 18, 2014, 18:49:18 »
More from the media.

Quote
...One of the suit's main arguments is the existence of a "social contract" between the government and Canadian Forces veterans.

The lawsuit argues a social covenant was first promised to those who served in the Canadian Armed Forces during the First World War and has been continually promised since then, through policy, political speeches and veterans' legislation, until now.

That promise includes adequate recognition and benefits for those who serve.

The lead lawyer for the six veterans who brought the suit said the promise made to soldiers fighting in the First World War is constitutionally protected.

"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," Donald Sorochan said.

But in its legal response, government lawyers said no such contract exists.

"At no time in Canada's history has any alleged 'social contract' or 'social covenant' having the attributes pleaded by the plaintiffs been given effect in any statute, regulation or as a constitutional principle written or unwritten."

'Contradiction to the culture that is Canada'

The government goes on to argue that when Prime Minister Robert Borden first made the promise during the First World War, he was making political statements that were not meant to create a social contract.

Pat Stogran is the spokesperson for the group behind the lawsuit, the Equitas Society, and is the former veterans ombudsman. He called the government's response "ludicrous."

"That is a contradiction to the culture that is Canada," he said.

Stogran also said veterans are being shortchanged and many of the serving soldiers right now have no idea the problems they will face once they're out of the forces.

The current veterans ombudsman said there was a clause in legislation the New Veterans Charter replaced to ensure the government was fulfilling its obligations to veterans, but that clause was not included in the new legislation.

The Veterans Ombudsman's Office suggests that obligation should be part of the New Veterans Charter

"So it's clearly at least stated within the context of the legislation that there is an obligation and it doesn't matter whether it's legislated or moral or how you describe it, but there is an obligation for every citizen of Canada," current Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent said.

The new charter is undergoing a review right now.

More at link http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/veterans-don-t-have-social-contract-ottawa-says-in-lawsuit-response-1.2577053

Offline Tcm621

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #67 on: March 18, 2014, 20:43:26 »
Anyone know how many major lawsuits to government is facing over non payment of benefits or short changing of veterans and troops? I am planning to write my MP about this and I would like to provide specific examples. I know of this one, Marcus Brauer's one about HEA and was there one about claw back or was it included in this one?

Offline Teager

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #68 on: March 18, 2014, 23:32:58 »
Anyone know how many major lawsuits to government is facing over non payment of benefits or short changing of veterans and troops? I am planning to write my MP about this and I would like to provide specific examples. I know of this one, Marcus Brauer's one about HEA and was there one about claw back or was it included in this one?

Here is the thread on the SISIP Claw Back. http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=2483.275

Not sure on number of law suits as this law suit is more of a class action on behalf of all NVC veterans.

Offline Schindler's Lift

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"Ottawa has no special obligation to soldiers"
« Reply #69 on: March 19, 2014, 18:37:24 »
Forgive me is this was posted elsewhere, I didn't see it come up yet.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/ottawa-has-no-special-obligation-to-soldiers-federal-lawyers-say-1.1735587

"Murray Brewster, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, March 18, 2014 8:56PM EDT

OTTAWA -- Federal lawyers say Ottawa has no special obligation to those who've fought wars on behalf of Canada and that it's unfair to bind the Harper government to promises made nearly a century ago by another prime minister.

The assertion is spelled out in black and white in a statement of defence filed by the Justice Department in a class-action lawsuit by Afghan veterans who claim a 2006 overhaul of benefits is discriminatory under the charter of rights.

The court papers, filed in January, were made public Tuesday, the same day Prime Minister Stephen Harper greeted the last wave of soldiers returning from the now-concluded mission in Afghanistan.

The Conservatives, who've built political capital on supporting the troops, are planning a day of commemoration for the mission, which lasted a dozen years, on May 9.

At the same time, federal lawyers argue that the lawsuit, if successful, would put disabled veterans ahead of all other Canadians in terms of their compensation and treatment by the federal government.

The B.C. court filing, obtained by The Canadian Press, also states that there is "social contract" between the nation and its soldiers whom are called upon to lay down their lives without question.

At issue is a 1917 pledge made by Sir Robert Borden, the country's prime minister during the First World War on the eve of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which said: "You can go into this action feeling assured of this, and as the head of the government I give you this assurance: That you need not fear that the government and the country will fail to show just appreciation of your service to the country and Empire in what you are about to do and what you have already done.  "The government and the country will consider it their first duty to see that a proper appreciation of your effort and of your courage is brought to the notice of people at home that no man, whether he goes back or whether he remains in Flanders, will have just cause to reproach the government for having broken faith with the men who won and the men who died."

The statement was nothing more than a speech by a politician; it cannot be considered applicable today, and was never legislated, federal lawyers stated.  "The defendant pleads that the statements made by Sir Robert Borden and the coalition government in 1917 were political speeches that reflected the policy positions of the government at the time and were never intended to create a contract or covenant," said the 37-page court filing.
"It is further pleaded that at no time were these statements intended to bind future governments and, in any event, the principle of parliamentary sovereignty would have prevented such a result had it been intended."

The defence goes on to say Borden's statement was simply a policy position and Parliament, within the limits of the constitution, "has the unfettered discretion to change or reverse any policy set by a previous government."  The position taken by federal lawyers is bound to further sour already bitter relations with the veterans community, which is still smarting from the closure of eight regional veterans affairs offices in January.
The lawsuit was originally filed in B.C. Supreme Court in October 2012 and involves six veterans of the Afghan war.

The soldiers are suing over the new veterans charter, which provides workers-compensation-style lump sum payments to wounded vets for non-economic losses, such as losing limbs, as opposed to the pension-for-life settlements provided after previous wars.

The allegations in the lawsuit have not been proven in court.

The notion that Ottawa has no special obligation to its soldiers first appeared last summer in court papers when federal lawyers tried to get the class-action dismissed.  Last fall, a Federal Court judge shot down the attempt to halt the case -- something the Harper government is now appealing.
The Royal Canadian Legion described the government's position as "reprehensible" last October.


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/ottawa-has-no-special-obligation-to-soldiers-federal-lawyers-say-1.1735587#ixzz2wS0qzhzf


Offline blackberet17

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Re: "Ottawa has no special obligation to soldiers"
« Reply #70 on: March 20, 2014, 08:52:54 »
At issue is a 1917 pledge made by Sir Robert Borden, the country's prime minister during the First World War on the eve of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which said: "You can go into this action feeling assured of this, and as the head of the government I give you this assurance: That you need not fear that the government and the country will fail to show just appreciation of your service to the country and Empire in what you are about to do and what you have already done.  "The government and the country will consider it their first duty to see that a proper appreciation of your effort and of your courage is brought to the notice of people at home that no man, whether he goes back or whether he remains in Flanders, will have just cause to reproach the government for having broken faith with the men who won and the men who died."

The statement was nothing more than a speech by a politician; it cannot be considered applicable today, and was never legislated, federal lawyers stated.  "The defendant pleads that the statements made by Sir Robert Borden and the coalition government in 1917 were political speeches that reflected the policy positions of the government at the time and were never intended to create a contract or covenant," said the 37-page court filing.

"It is further pleaded that at no time were these statements intended to bind future governments and, in any event, the principle of parliamentary sovereignty would have prevented such a result had it been intended."

The defence goes on to say Borden's statement was simply a policy position and Parliament, within the limits of the constitution, "has the unfettered discretion to change or reverse any policy set by a previous government."  The position taken by federal lawyers is bound to further sour already bitter relations with the veterans community, which is still smarting from the closure of eight regional veterans affairs offices in January.

I could swear there was more to Borden's statement at the time. And that what he said on the eve of Vimy Ridge was something he said prior to, and reiterated afterwards. There's also something written somewhere (dammit) about the original purposes and intent behind the first programs established by the Government of the day for veterans.

I've been going through my history books and whatever HoC transcripts (limited, unfortunately) I can find from the FWW period, and I'm not having any luck. Has anybody got an electronic copy by chance of Borden's journals? He never finished his memoirs, but apparently there are copies of his journals out there, just not in print.
« Ne vous occupez pas d'eux; ils ne savent pas tirer. [...] Il y a des ennemis devant nous, derrière nous et sur nos flancs. Il ne reste qu'une place sans danger, soit vers l'objectif. » Paul Triquet, VC

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #71 on: March 20, 2014, 09:25:41 »
Many university libraries have comprehensive sets of the Hansard, which may permit you to track down any formal statements made.
This posting made in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2(b):
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/1.html

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #72 on: March 20, 2014, 10:18:35 »
Many university libraries have comprehensive sets of the Hansard, which may permit you to track down any formal statements made.
I've also had good luck on sometimes obscure info requests going straight to the source ....
Quote
To send comments or questions regarding finding information about Parliament, please contact us at info@parl.gc.ca.

Information Service
Parliament of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A9

Toll-free (Canada): 1-866-599-4999
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“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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Offline blackberet17

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #73 on: March 20, 2014, 12:24:32 »
I submitted a request to Library and Archives Canada months ago, but have heard nothing after repeated pokes. LAC holds Borden's papers, which would be a great source.

Trying not to let that conspiracy theory pop back into my brain... ;D
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Offline milnews.ca

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Fantino speaks out on "social contract"
« Reply #74 on: March 20, 2014, 22:59:18 »
This statement just out today - highlights mine:
Quote
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, issued the following statement today regarding the New Veterans Charter (NVC):

    "Last November 19, 2013, I appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs to demonstrate my support for this new comprehensive review of the New Veterans Charter, including all the enhancements that have been made to it, to date, with a special focus on the most seriously injured, support for families and the delivery of departmental programs.

    "Our commitment to Canadian Veterans is absolute and has been since our Government was formed in 2006.

    "Some have called the work done by Veterans Affairs to be a duty, a responsibility, a commitment, a social contract or a sacred obligation. I believe it is all of those things.

    "I therefore reaffirm my commitment to improve the New Veterans Charter and to that end, I have asked the Parliamentary Review to include consultations with Canadians, Veterans and experts on exactly what our shared duty, responsibility, mandate, obligation, commitment or contract is with Canadian Veterans and how that should be stated in the New Veterans Charter.

    "I look forward to the Committee’s findings, and based on these findings, I remain committed to improving the New Veterans Charter and supporting Canadian Armed Forces personnel, Veterans and their families, as they so rightly deserve.”
So, on the bit in yellow, is the Minister saying "I believe my Ministry's work is a social contract" the same as Canada saying "we have a social contract with vets to take care of them"?

Also, on the bit in orange, am I being too cynical for thinking that because any changes of the kinds called for by many will cost money, public consultation on "what do experts think the contract/duty is" in this case will just make the review take longer?   Silly me - I'd think the Committee review might have dealt with that given how long the "social contract" issue has been in play.

 :facepalm:
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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