SHAME: Harper spend $700,000 fighting injured veterans’ justified lawsuit

by: Obert Madondo  | Jan 28, 2015

Canadian veterans took to Parliament Hill, Ottawa, on Wed, June 4, 2014, to protest “Canada’s abandonment of her veterans” under the Harper government. Photo: OBERT MADONDO/The Canadian Progressive

Canadian veterans took to Parliament Hill, Ottawa, on Wed, June 4, 2014, to protest “Canada’s abandonment of her veterans” under the Harper government. Photo: OBERT MADONDO/The Canadian Progressive

Stephen Harper really hates Canada’s living injured war veterans.

The Harper government spend $700,000 fighting a class-action lawsuit filed by former Canadian Forces members who were injured in Afghanistan.

The lawsuit, filed in 2012 in the B.C. Supreme Court, challenged the Conservatives’ new Veterans Charter and revised compensation plan for injured veterans of Canada’s foreign wars.

The Conservatives introduced the monstrous Veterans Charter in 2006. According to the CBC News, the new “Charter eliminated the lifetime disability pension for disabled soldiers and replaced it with lump-sum payments.”

In a recent blog post, federal veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent stated that the Charter “came into effect because the Government wanted to cut the cost of supporting Veterans… because the payment of a disability pension for life under the Pension Act was too expensive.”

The veterans lawsuit argued that the new Veterans Charter violated the Canadian constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In response, the Harper government tried to nuke the lawsuit. It argued that “it does not have a social contract with veterans.” They accused the veterans seeking to “advance a pure economic interest.”

But, in 2013, the B.C. Supreme Court told the government to back off and ruled that the lawsuit can proceed.

Mike Blais, president of Canadian Veterans Advocacy, recently told The Canadian Press:

“That money should have been spent on veterans. Taxpayers deserve better. I think if taxpayers knew that this government, Stephen Harper, was spending so much on lawyers — government lawyers — to fight the wounded in court, they would appalled.”

During question period on Wednesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper defended his government’s taxpayer-funded $700,000 assault on veterans’ rights. And, as usual, he played the tired we-support-Canadian-troops card.

Blowing $700,000 in an effort to kill a lawsuit seeking to right an egregious wrong is not supporting the troops. It’s akin to engaging in a war against the troops. So is closing nine veteran services offices across Canada.

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Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow me on Twitter: @Obiemad

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist and progressive political blogger. He's the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive.