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

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

Post by bigrex on Wed 25 May 2016, 08:34

RCN, we do know what the Tories would have done. Nothing. They were given the reports and recommendations about increasing ELB, and they didn't take a single step to improve it. They said they improved access to PIA several times, but yet my CM said that the opposite was true, and that if I had applied a year or two after when I did, I would not have been approved, in spite of being TPI'd. And They were very clear, along with the NDP, that they thought that the Lump Sums were a better scheme, because it forced Veterans back into the workforce, even if it was detrimental to their health.

Last edited by bigrex on Wed 25 May 2016, 09:56; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by RCN-Retired on Wed 25 May 2016, 02:44

With all due respect I must disagree, none of us know what the conservatives would have done. This government has done nothing yet either other then make a few statements of what they are supposedly are working on. Forget us as veterans for a minute, the liberals have put all Canadians so deep in debt and it will continue that our great great grandchildren will be paying. The Liberal Party of Canada are the ones that created the NVC, why did they do this? To save money on the backs of vets, so let's not be so coming of praise for them yet, let them earn it first.
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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Guest on Tue 24 May 2016, 21:35

Legit! Big Rex ! If this is the worse so far from the liberals it's still 100 percent better than the Cons and NDP. They both would not even consider pensions but even if it takes a few years it's still better than Stevie's big fat NO!


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

Post by bigrex on Tue 24 May 2016, 19:41

Well as much as it peeves me off that a disability pension has not been introduced, even if different than the PA, I still appreciate what has been done. The Tories and NDP would not have increased the ELB, or made significant changes to PIA. And they certainly wouldn't even try to lie about bringing in a lifelong pension.
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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Guest on Tue 24 May 2016, 14:25

actually the conversation about the liberals NOT bringing back the lifelong pension started a long time ago for me . the very first time he said it was complicated and would take time .

the we want to get it right statement and the court case thing were just unnecessary confirmation .

their is ONLY one RIGHT way to do it its not complicated and relatively fast . it doesn't require study consultation or un necessarily complicated mathematical formulas .

so ya complicated and will take time was enough for me to know that whatever they are doing IF they are doing anything at all is in fact WRONG .



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

Post by Guest on Tue 24 May 2016, 13:49

One thing that is clear from all of this is that Kent in no way shape or form intends on bringing back lifelong pensions that reflects the lifelong pension from the PA.
Not even close.
I do believe they will be reinstating lifelong pensions , I also believe they already have lifelong pensions in mind but are hesitant on announcing it just yet.
What they are going to bring forward is nowhere near what Veterans are expecting , they know this and will hold off as long as possible to announce it using the same old tactic that they were told that Veteran groups want them to get it right , so that's the card they will continue to play.
It's a political game as I have said many times before , a game they play very well.

I don't like to speak negative about advocates or advocacy groups for Veterans , we are all in the same group as Veterans and we should all embrace one another especially the ones taken their own time to speak on our behalf.
With that said , I do believe respectfully that the focus from these various groups got sidetracked on the belief that Kent was going to bring back the lifelong pensions as promised in a timely fashion and Veterans would all embrace it the day it is to be announced.
Whoever said that they want Kent to get it right , do not rush in terms of reinstating the lifelong pensions in my own opinion was a big mistake , a mistake that has now come back to bite us all.
This resulted in given Kent a card to use for as long as he chooses to use it.
As you all know by now he has played that same card many times , and will certainly continue to use it.
The number #2 promise from the mandate letter should have been without a doubt the driving force for advocacy from day one.
It is the most important promise in my view , we must stand besides those post 2006 Veterans.
Yes what's been done is important , but what has been done so far does not compare to the importance of the reinstating of lifelong pensions.
It is those post 2006 Veterans that needs this now , therefore this should have been the number one priority from day one.

So now the fight continues , it is now shifting from what promises have been linked to the 2016 Budget , to this latest announcement regarding the Governments position on the Equitas lawsuit.
Another political game played by Kent and his counterparts.
More cards being played , more political games to play , all on the very backs of post 2006 Veterans.
Personally I think Kent is a good guy who means well towards Veterans , but he has fallen into that bureaucratic trap and is slowly loosing credibility in his duties as Minister.
His priorities regarding his mandate letter lacks credibility and leaves plenty of room for skepticism and leadership.
I think it would have been best to tackle the number one issue first , and continue with the rest after the number one issue has been addressed.
He is not answering questions asked to him in the house , he repeats the same words over an over again dodging any direct questions.
One just has to look at his Facebook to see the negativity towards him to understand the anger Veterans now have towards him and his Staff.
If this is not a wake up call for those six advisory groups , I don't know what is.

I think it's important to have set priorities in place when dealing with our MVA , these set priorities should be the focus of any such summit , find the most important one like the return of lifelong pensions and deal with that first so it gets addressed and those post 2006 Veterans are looked after , then work on the other priorities.
Don't give our MVA cards to play against us , advocate for solid solutions as per the most important issue.

Regarding this latest position the government has taken with the Equitas lawsuit , the PM said himself that he would not fight Veterans in court if he got elected , those are his words and we have the proof of that.
Since our MVA is falling at addressing this issue , perhaps the opposition critics , Veterans Groups , Veterans and the Media should be over stepping our MVA and take our questions and concerns to the PM.


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

Post by Guest on Tue 24 May 2016, 13:34

Let's hope the court case is won. Thanks Teentitan for shedding some light on the situation.


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

Post by Teentitan on Tue 24 May 2016, 12:20

Well right now I would have to say that the GoC has the upper hand and seeing as the Libs put the original litigation lawyer back on the team it's definitely going to be a battle.

So 55 to 45 for the Libs.

About the lifelong pension coming back if the GoC wins the court case then it's 99.9% positive the Libs will not bring back the lifelong pension.

I'm looking at it this way why would the Libs bring back the court case? Just to take out the sacred obligation? They could have eliminated the sacred obligation in place now with a re-write to the NVC as they have a majority gov't.

This court case is not going to be good for vets if Equitas loses.
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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Guest on Tue 24 May 2016, 12:09

Thanks Teentitan. Do you have an opinion of whether the Equitas lawsuit will be successful or whether the GoC will not oblige the legal/sacred obligation?


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

Post by Teentitan on Tue 24 May 2016, 11:59

Well meck the courts are going to decide if there is a legal obligation and if the GoC is not going to oblige the legal obligation that means the Libs don't have to bring back the lifelong pension.
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Re: Legal truce over veterans benefits on shaky ground, lawyer warns MPs

Post by Guest on Tue 24 May 2016, 11:55

I am one of those on Csat that voted for the Liberal party and I admit that I am aghast at the direction things are going with Veteran issues in particular, the Equitas lawsuit and lifelong pensions. Up until now, I have been waiting to see what happens in regards to those two issues.


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

Post by Teentitan on Tue 24 May 2016, 11:42

I thought there would be more discussion over this on CSAT from the very vocal veterans during the election in favor of a Liberal government, but anyway.

I want to point out that every time Hehr says he is going to concentrate on his mandate letter and continue with the advisory group he is doing nothing but damage control. Anything the consultations with the veterans, advisory groups reports, moving forward on any benefits in his mandate letter cannot and will not be done until the Justice Department approves it.

So his mandate letter is equivalent to a kleenex after he wipes his nose after he sneezes.

We will never know what the advisory groups will suggest because they signed a confidentiality contract.

The VAC consultation questions are only that questions!

Until this Liberal government keeps their promise of not having veterans to go to court to get the benefits they deserve absolutely everything going forward done by VAC cannot be taken seriously.

But with the lack of conversation on this forum I can only assume the vets that voted Liberal are still thinking it's Sunny Ways.
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Government Needs Covenant With Veterans

Post by Guest on Tue 24 May 2016, 06:11

Out of the Shadows

I voted Liberal this past election, in part, because they had promised change from the Conservatives and their stance that Canada doesn’t have a covenant with our Veterans.

The Covenant, Our Sacred Obligation

That covenant, although not formally declared, has been a sacred obligation to provide care for those who served and fought for this country that they may live out their years in dignity.

The Conservatives went to court with a group of veterans rather than admit the country had that covenant. This past week, the Liberal government signaled they are set to return to court to uphold the Conservative argument with them.

Most Canadians have understood the obligation to be true and our duty to those who served. The definition of how that would be accomplished wasn’t always a point of universal agreement.

Veterans Groups Advocacy

The Royal Canadian Legion has been at the forefront of advocating for their benefits for most of its ninety years of existence. Other veterans groups have taken up the fight as well as they have formed.

At the heart of the current struggle is the Veteran’s Charter. Brought in by the previous Liberal government as a modern day solution for their benefits, it was originally supported by the Legion. Their support was predicated on some faith in the government to implement it in a manner which met the needs of our younger vets and was fair in terms of what the older ones had received.

That faith was quickly broken when it became clear the Conservative government was set to use the Charter to reduce the costs of veteran’s care. The need was rising as the human cost of the Afghanistan war was being felt. It was no time to be cutting.

Pre-Charter Benefits

Previously, wounded vets received lifetime pensions and benefits. Overseas vets as they aged were eligible for the War Veterans Allowance (WVA), the Veterans Independence Program (VIP) and associated benefits. Benefits included health, dental and eye care as the vet aged.

The Liberals campaigned on a promise to bring back lifetime pensions for wounded vets. That is a promise which needs to be kept.

Veterans Covenant Needs to Be Formalized

Above all the wrangling about benefits and pensions for veterans, this government needs to formally recognize the country’s sacred obligation to the care of them, especially those wounded in service.

In the century since the start of World War One, Canada has been able to keep the faith to hundreds of thousands of veterans. Even through the toughest economic times we’ve ever endured, the Great Depression. The benefits may not have been great, but the government recognized their obligations and continued to work in good faith to find common ground for our veterans.

To me, there is no small amount of irony that the Prime Minister rose in the house this week to apologize for a 100 year old decision of a previous government to refuse the passengers of the steamship Komagata Maru entry to Canada, and in the same week takes our veterans to court to deny the existence of an obligation which was rooted in a war that started 100 years ago.

If the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wishes to treat our veterans with the honour they deserve, he needs to drop this court challenge and rise in the house to declare this country’s obligation to our veterans for all time.

If our veterans were willing to put their life and safety on the line to protect our freedom, we need to be committed to them for as long as they live.


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More Comments / MVA's Facebook / On Equitas

Post by Guest on Mon 23 May 2016, 06:56

This is great news! I was super worried that the Liberal government had started the lawsuit, but you have clarified my viewpoint and sorted out all my confusion. Now, if you could go ahead and stop the lawsuit, that would be great.
Fun fact for you to ponder: making blanket political statements without clearly addressing the obvious inequities that you have just exacerbated, not by neglect, but through willful action on your part, to re-initiate the Equitas lawsuit, is not encouraging to Veterans. Maybe the fact that by doing this, you've directly attacked the constituency that put you in that office, might not phase you. Have you figured out, sir, that you have a signed Mandate Letter stating among other things that you would support veterans with the reinstatement of pensions? Mr Fantino didn't even have one of those, and he was fired in discrace from the MVA portfolio.

What do you think will happen to you once Mr Trudeau realizes he's advised you to make an unpopular decision? You've happily painted yourself into a corner, sir. And with the job market in Calgary looking more desperate by the day...

This must been seen as an affront to the genuine good faith of the veteran community my response is to my brothers and sisters especially the ones who have been at the pointy end of negotiations to ask ourself are we just dealing with different faces of the same coin engaging in an unending waltz of manoeuvre and delay deflecting with talking points so similar that I believe they just switched paperwork all the while with little tangible or sincere action. This is bad faith!!!! We are the only stakeholders that matter we are the government we must decide what is just and ensure we have our public servants implement a fair and as they even admit a just response to this and get on with justice. With a majority and a publics willingness to debt why continue with this kicking the can down the road tactic if they were genuine, because guess what the public supports us, It obviously lacks in good faith that's why they continue and by now the realization must set in that our true ally is ourselves and that there is no government that is coming to save us.

Sir. Does the Government not have the power to reinstate the pension of the old charter? Lets do that and then tinker with the other moving parts later. Summits, meetings,whatever you want to title them are great but I think Vetereans want some real changes today! I voted liberal because of the veterans platform. The budget announcements failed to meet the majority of them in my opinion. Plus all announcments come into affect later this year and into next year. The government had the ability to end this suit but chose not to. Simply because they wouldn't put it in writing that the pension will be reinstated. So sir in my eyes you are Taking veterans to court and making them fight for benefits. The pension is the biggest bone of contention that the majority of veterans have. Until that's fixed the other things are merely more proof of the issue not being dealt with.

Well minister you've made that clear as mud . You and your fellow MP's were told in no uncertain terms by many Veterans that you would be held accountable and we would not be mislead by politicians. Your account of recent events is disingenuous and far from acceptable. Twist it as you may but we will hold you to that sacred obligation and nothing shy of it . End this legal action we were assured no Veteran would have to sue Government for compensation. Quit hiding from the hard questions behind a court action and answer the real questions. Until then your words mean nothing

Yes sir , l understand you are trying to help and are helping us vets, but Trudeau promised to bring back the disability life long pension and not this option of a pension equalling the amount of the lump sum !! That's not a " life long pension " that we were promised. Just reinstate the long life pension and the problems would end !! That easy ! Thank you for your time

I watched your recent interview on CTV you didn't really have anything to say other than what sounded like stock standard response to queries that didn't address the interviewers questions. I'm sure a lot of people may have even thought you looked foolish. I don't think I've read a single positive comment here. I wonder if my comment will he deleted by a staff member?

Mr Hehr you
Have done nothing to show veterans you are trying to support us. Your so called budget increase is a joke!!! Bring back the life long pension as it was post 06 as you and your spoiled brat leader promised in your election promises or we will ensure you do not get another seat in the House of Commons again. Enough with the broken promises and start delivering!!!

This is political smoke and mirrors. The only questions that needs answering here are;

1) during his election campaign did the PM state that he would "re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans", and;

2) during his election campaign did the PM state that veterans would not need to fight the government in court if he was elected?

Those are yes and no questions. We don't need obfuscation and political double speak, we need straight answers. And this little fluff piece written by the Minister is the former and most certainly not the latter.

One Veteran, one pension. Reinstate the monthly pension for all veterans. Not very hard to conceive. It's all the veterans want. Stop making everything sound so peachy and just ask us what we want. Standard across the board.

Thank you Minister. There has been a lot of misunderstanding about the lawsuit and I'm glad you have explained to Canadians that the Government of Canada is NOT taking Veterans to court. It is obvious from your posts and media interviews that you care deeply for Veterans. I'm hoping that the pensions issue will be organized and put into place before the end of the year. Thank you for your hard work and dedication on behalf of the Veterans and your Constituents.

Mr. Trudeau held in his hands, the opportunity to be fie first PM in decades to do the right thing for Veterans. Instead, once elected he gave away 4.6 Billion dollars to other countries, and lied to us.
"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."

If so then go to court to say you will give the Veterans what they ask and do it fast please. Time for this case to be resolved in the Veterans favour. Thank You.

Mr Minister - with all respect, none of the things that you spoke about have actually happened yet and will not happen until your proposed legislation is passed by the House and the Senate. Even then, none of your changes will take effect until the defining regulations are published and encacted. Everything that you spoke about will happen in the future (October 2016 and April 2017). The new regulations defining the Career Impact Allowance and the Diminished Earning Capacity Allowance have not been published so there has been zero enhanced access to these benefit programs.

I refuse to comment on anything any politician may say. Their words are not worth a grain of sand. Politicians have become the lowest form of humanity, sub-human in many respects. Would I comment on the slime trail left by a slug? No! Hence, likewise to politicians and their misdeeds.

I appreciate what you are saying and you have a mandate to accomplish theses objectives. You have inherited from the previous government issues that I hope you can clarify and having the opportunity meeting you twice, I'm confident that you and your government will come through.

Your govt had a chance to restore the pensions. You did not. As you have stated, we , as a community of veterans, have waited for 10 years and refuse to give any govt the benefit of the doubt at this point. The Liberals were key in bringing in the NVC and could have been key in sorting it out. Your lawyers are fighting this lawsuit and if you want to get ahead of this, 2 things need to happen, no contest the lawsuit and promise to restore the pensions effective the next budget. That gives your govt over 8 months to put a plan in place. Get on with the "Unwavering support"

Very well said, Kent Hehr . Thanks for clarifying the law suit situation. I am so pleased with your work as Minister!

The Liberals promised to drop the case, but they would prefer to sue injured VETS than help.

Clarifying? No one said they are suing the Vets, they said they are going back to court to fight the Vets. They are being sued, we all knew that, but they promised that this would never need to happen again, so why is it?

From the vets lawyer "While the direction from the government to the minister and the department is very encouraging, as much clarity as possible is sought as to … what reforms are likely to be reflected in the 2017 budget," Sorochan writes. "It is necessary to know these details in order to assess the potential for positive enhancements in the treatment of the representative plaintiffs, class members and veterans generally."

No matter when it started time you guys stopped it I have no respect for you at all you and your goverment should be ashamed.

Ok who are they these stakeholders and who actually do they represent. Are they former soldiers or lap dogs to kiss up to you like the Legion does.
This lawsuit that you all go on with is a joke. It should have been settled but you let it go on and let better men/women suffer just thump your chest it's not my fault. You have the job and now it is. All soldiers injured or not desire a pension they can live on and not on the street.
Your bunch serve 8 years and a Fifty thousand pension plus awaits you where a retired soldier gets less than 9000.00 or a little more due to rank. Fifty thousand to nine thousand try to live on that.
Yes your handicapped by an accident due to your own stupidity I heard. These service people are injured and handicapped on the battlefield where most of you will never be found.
You took the job so do it or resign if your a man.

Secrecy is a dirty word as far as I'm cocerned. In other words you and these people may make an agreement and the rest of us will have no input and we'll be stuck with another sore point.
What should be going on is not pensions and benifits for our injured menbers but all wounded or not. For most of us uninjured we are reduced to the streets as our pensions are a farce since the double dipping rule was brought out and our polical friends quickly exempted themselves.
If these meetings don't deal with the wounded and non wounded this is an exercise in wasted time as the goverment will tie us down in red tape.

Why is the justice defense lawyer arguing the previous governments claim, blocking disabled veterans from a trial?? Stonewalling

Thank you for confusing us all with your words. Veterans are still taking their lives while you REPEAT your stupid life costing words.

Once again all I hear/read is.....commitment.......mandate.......blah blah blah that is all he can say...sick of the same rhetoric. He claims the "broader veteran community has made it clear that we must not rush into a band-aid solution. We will respect that wish......" what a bunch of malarky. What is "the broader veteran community"?? B.S.... is he trying to say the majority of veterans has made it clear.....OMG LIAR!.....what a load of crap.......probably 3 very senior veterans is his excuse for the "broader community". Just do what has been promised......not 5 or 10 years from now. Anytime he is questioned about the lawsuit suit and is asked a direct question that requires a yes or no response he dances around it.......throws out the same words......committed......mandate.....blah blah blah. We need a new MVA now and a new government leader that is mature and responsible yesterday.

Thanks for standing up for the veterans and doing absolutely nothing. You are no better than what you replaced.

more mumbo jumbo from the 'Centre for Broken Promises'
- if it is the government's intention to negotiate in good faith, why is the court case no longer in abeyance

his is a bunch of BS! The Liberals promised to drop the case and they outright lied! Kent Hehr stop the propaganda.

Would you please back up your comment with a quote that specifically states that the government was going to drop the case. In fact there is no statement because the present can not drop the case only those who launched the suit can.

The Trudeau government is drafting a letter of assurance it hopes will end a class-action lawsuit by Afghan veterans angry about a 10-year-old overhaul of their benefits and entitlements.

Bs, you could of stopped it if you were not going back on your leaders promise!!!
This is only the start of this current shit storm Kent!!! Hope your ready!!

I know it's up to the "stellar six" to drop the suit...but the gov't has NOT shown any intention of settling.

Answer the simple question - "why will you not live up to your promise and RESTORE the pension act benefits" - once that is answered you can go back to the mahogany trough ...

Stop being so patronising....... not the time or place.

Cancel the lawsuit...then maybe your words will mean something.

The only way the government can "drop" the case is to give the veterans and their lawyer exactly want they want. Anybody who thinks otherwise does not know civil law. The choice of continuing the "pause" or not was made by the veterans involved in this law suit. That decision was tactical in nature and could bite them in rear. That decision could undue any progress that has been made. Civil suits generally in this country become a back and forth process unlike what happens in other western countries. There will be plateaus then progress. The lawyer for the vets recently was quoted as saying he was 90 % satisfied. I don't know why vets have gone back to court if their lawyer thought the process was going well.

Must be feeling the pressure of being liars.

Blah, blah, blah! Return the monthly pensions like Trudeau promised. Period, full stop!

Minister Hehr, you are indeed taking us to court and are guilty of playing politics with veterans. You and your boss could have agreed to the terms of the suit and gave us what was asked like you said you would during the campaign trail. However, you have broken that promise and occupy your time trying to conduct propaganda with the general public so they believe you are doing the right thing. Time to stop with the self serving selfies and get down to brass tacks. You own father gave you advice when you took office. I suggest you have him repeat it to you as the message was lost. Return our pensions as we have paid for them in blood.

Justin sent it back to court when it could have been dealt with otherwise.

My Dear Kent : You have fallen into the river called double talk! The last time I checked the leader of your Liberal Party was called the Prime Minister of Canada. Meaning: Your group is now the government and you are now doing the suing.. Tut Tut!!!

Sir. Your shop . Your problem . You have allowed this and not stopped it therefor it is your responsibility. Take it a man and deal. They want a signed promise that is all .

Please STOP taxing pensions of HANDICAP VETERANS , WE PAID 100% OF that disability insurance !!!!

Sir, respectfully, actions always speak louder than words, especially obfuscating ones

Very well and clearly stated, unfortunately some below cant comprehend but instead are being stupidly hysterical!

bla bla bla -more political BS

"In our first six months, we have demonstrated our commitment to veterans by hosting two Stakeholder Summits, establishing six ministerial advisory groups to advise on specific issues, creating an online “have your say” tool for veterans and Canadians to weigh in on these issues, and launching a cross country tour, where I will be able to sit down with veterans and get their input on our top priorities."

Where is the information on the cross country tour? Where is the information on "have your say" and why is this the first time that you mentioned it? Broken promises.


When is the check in the mail


Total BS...

Lying sac of crap.

ELB RETRO APRIL 2006- APRIL 2012 ??????????????

Honour the covenant


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

Post by 6608 on Sun 22 May 2016, 19:00

Liberals 'committed' to lifelong pension option for injured vets, but may not be retroactive

Josh Dehaas,
Published Friday, May 20, 2016 7:08PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 20, 2016 8:30PM EDT

Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr says the Liberals are committed to a lifelong pension option for injured veterans, but he will not say whether his government intends to offer the pensions retroactively to those who have already received lump sums.
The Liberal government was accused this week by both the New Democrats and Conservatives of breaking campaign promises to veterans, after it proceeded to fight a lawsuit brought forward by veterans in 2012, who have argued that Canada has a sacred obligation to provide the pensions and other benefits.
Funded by the group Equitas Society, the lawsuit was put on hold last year after the Conservative government made a number of changes to appease veterans, who had been particularly enraged by the introduction of the lump sum payments in 2005 -- a change that all three major parties initially supported. Equitas argues that the lump sums result in less money over time.
During last year’s election, the Liberals promised to bring back the pensions and to end the lawsuit. Don Sorochan, the lawyer working for the plaintiffs, said at the time that he expected the election would help the veterans get what they wanted. Some injured vets campaigned for the Liberals.
Sorochan told CTV News earlier this week he felt “betrayed” after the justice department asked a judge to rule on the arguments the Conservatives had made in the case, rather than dropping it.
Hehr told CTV’s Power Play Friday that the government is not “taking veterans to court,” but merely continuing a suit that has been “ongoing for years.” He said the lawsuit “was filed by veterans under the former government as a result of their lack of attention to veterans’ issues.”
Hehr said the government is “delivering for veterans” and that it remains “committed to having an option for a pension for life,” but has not followed through on that marquee promise because it needs time to consult.
“When I met with my stakeholders immediately after being elected, they said, ‘Minister please take the time to get this right, to consult broadly,’” Hehr said.
“We are doing that,” he added. We’ve set up six stakeholder groups to do this. We have added in an online consultation tool to allow for veterans far and wide to contribute to the discussion.”
Hehr did not say whether the pensions will be an option for those who have received lump sum payments for their injuries over the past decade.
“We’re delving into the details and I don’t want to prejudge any of the consultations or what the veterans or their families have to say,” Hehr said.
The minister added that his government’s first budget – which didn’t include the pensions -- delivered $5.6 billion in new money that “will increase the financial security” of veterans and their families.
When Sorochan, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, spoke to CTV News on Wednesday, he said that he believes the Liberals may still be planning to create the pension option for veterans, but that they are trying to argue they have no special obligation to those who have served.
“The gist of what the Liberals are arguing,” Sorocahn said, is that “the government happens to want to do good things for veterans now, but it has no obligation to do them.”
In daily question period Wednesday, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair accused the Liberals of trying to “stop (veterans) from getting the benefits they deserve,” despite “campaigning on a black-and-white promise to end the Conservative court case against veterans.”
Conservative veterans affairs critic Alupa Clarke said in a written statement Friday that the Liberals are “seeking to reduce veterans’ rights.”
“The Minister is treating our veterans with contempt,” Clarke said. “He should instruct the Department of Justice to follow the previous government’s lead and abandon this lawsuit.”

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

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