The Federal Court of Canada has delivered another much-needed kick in the arse to Justin Trudeau and to poor old Lawrence MacAulay, one of the few grown-ups in the Trudeau cabinet, who inherited this file from a series of former ministers: Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and (very briefly) Jody Wilson-Raybould.
According to a recent (24 March) article in the Victoria Times Colonist, “Thousands of injured veterans could be in line for payments from the federal government after a Federal Court ruled in favour of a former special-forces soldier whose class-action lawsuit alleged he was shortchanged on his long-term disability payments … [brcause] … Retired warrant officer Simon Logan was medically discharged from the Canadian Armed Forces in February 2016, at which point he expected to begin receiving monthly payments equalling 75 per cent of his pre-release salary of $10,665 … [but] … the disability payments only accounted for his base pay as a warrant officer and did not include nearly $4,000 in monthly allowances he had received while in the Forces, most of which were related to his service as a special-forces soldier … [and] … The omission of those allowances represented a difference of nearly $3,000 per month in Logan’s disability payments … [therefore] … Logan’s lawyers had argued in Federal Court that the allowances should have been included because they reflect the special skills and increased hazards that he faced while serving in uniform … [but] … Government lawyers said the allowances should not have been included because Logan stopped being a special-forces soldier when he left the Forces … [finally, after hearing both sides] … in his ruling on Tuesday, Federal Court Justice Richard Southcott said monthly allowances should count in the calculation for long-term disability. Allowances that are not received each month should not be included, Southcott added … [and] … It was not immediately clear whether the government would appeal the decision.“
We may recall that in 2015, when the Harper administration was in court against veterans, Justin Trudeau demanded that the court cases should stop. But they didn’t, not even after he was elected, and we call recall that, despite the big promises made in the 2015 election campaign, in early 2018, in response to a question from seriously wounded veteran Brock Blaszczyk ⇒ who lost a leg in Afghanistan in 2009, Trudeau said that veterans were “asking for more than we are able to give right now.” That, of course, was a lie (you can always tell when Trudeau lies: his lips move). In 2018 his government was spending like a drunken sailor, but veterans were never on Justin Trudeau’s priority list.
The report says that “Logan’s lawyer, Daniel Wallace of Halifax-based firm McInnes Cooper, said his client was pleased with the decision and expressed the hope that the government would implement the decision and not appeal … [and] … Wallace said approximately 6,800 veterans are part of the class-action lawsuit, though he could not say how much the government could end up paying out should it implement the court’s decision.“
It’s an important step in the right direction. But what really needs to happen is that the complete veterans’ benefit systems needs to be wound back to 2005 because, as I explained for years ago, it, the implementation of the New Veterans’ Charter, was and remains fundamentally immoral.