Letter to the Editor – Michael Blais of Niagara Falls Ontario not Happy With Harper Government’s Bill C-55 and Veteran’s Plight – March 24, 2011

I would like to clarify just where the CVA stands in reference to Bill C-55 and the recent politicalization of our most vulnerable veterans plight.

I am profoundly disappointed to note that other veterans groups are proactively supporting Bill C-55 by encouraging their membership to contact opposition senators claiming the need for relief in the form of an annual minimum award for disabled veterans currently living in substandard financial conditions as a consequences of the New Veterans Charter’s gross inadequacies.


The forty thousand dollar minimum wage supplement does not require legislation to be provided, merely a regulatory change.

Why has the Harper Government denied these desperate veterans and their families the relief they are entitled and have been entitled to for months, perhaps years?

Why, instead, have these veterans and their families been used as political props for the past several months to promote Bill C-55’s inadequate change when a mere regulatory correction could have provided their families relief months ago from a sub-par existence and financial security… until they at least reached age sixty five wherein Bill C-55 abandons them. (The old pension act would have provided to them until death, conforming to the honourable tribute that once was the standard for Canada’s sons and daughters, a standard abandoned by the New Veterans Charter.)

Fellow veterans, do not be misled…

Stand with the Canadian Veterans Advocacy as we denounce this abhorrent scheme that would have politicians, for their own self interests, exploit the fiscal plight of 2000 near-poverty stricken disabled veterans as a political prop to enact legislative relief when no legislation is required to ensure the forty thousand dollar base these veterans so desperately need is provided.

Think about it.

What is the major benefit of Bill C-55?

The relief to the most vulnerable, yes? The seriously disabled, or those who can no longer work? Veterans Advocate Sean Bruyea noted in a recent Hill Times article that veterans would have to be classified as 100 percent disabled before being eligible for the PIA, not the much lower percentage indicative of a level decisive of whether a veteran can work again or not. The PIA-S is even more restrictive. Under such restrictive guidelines, just how many veterans will actually qualify for these supplements? This in not acceptable, the CVA believes that these restrictions should be lowered to reflect the reality of the percentage that dictates a veterans inability to work on a permanent basis.

And just where does this Two Billion dollar number come from, someones imagination? Bruyea notes that an independent auditor found that only fifty million dollars additional funds yearly would be required to implement C-55’s policies, over five years, this equates to less then three hundred million? That is a far cry from 2 Billion and I would ask the Minister of Veterans Affairs, just what does he intend on doing with the other 1.3 billion dollars? Give it back to treasury, very much like what will happen to the money promised for Agent Orange victims, but only those who were there for seven days in twenty eight years? Another promise broken, another group of veterans, and there widows, abandoned.

There is only one course of action.

Our duty as patriotic veterans is clear.

The Canadian Veterans Advocacy urgently insists that this minimum wage supplement issue be depoliticalized at once and that the Minister of Veterans Affairs fulfills his duty to these 2000 veterans and their families by taking the appropriate measures to ensure the regulatory necessities are undertaken with all due haste to provide the 40000 dollar minimum award to our most vulnerable disabled veterans without making them political tokens during the upcoming in the upcoming election.

They deserve better, and have for many months now! So do their wives and children.

One veteran, One Standard, One Voice!

The Canadian Veterans Advocacy!
Michael L Blais CD
Founder, Canadian Veterans Advocacy

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)

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    To whom it may concern,

    Having had to ‘battle’ with the VRAB for more than 15 years and having lost my home, my family, all of my possessions and more than half of my meagre RRSP savings, I seek your assistance in obtaining professional legal assistance/direction/representation prior to the 30-day deadline (ends April 14, 2011) so that I might obtain something resembling the service of justice from Canadian law courts.
    Thank you very much.
    Brian Bradley
    Ph.: (403) 455 – 9353

       Please allow me to introduce a Canadian veteran who has unfortunately encountered far too many delayed obligations in attempting to maintain survival in this country.
    This individual completed his army reserve basic training, graduating not much more than 2 and a half years prior to the late Rt. Hon. P.E. Trudeau invoking the War Measures Act, some 23 years prior to successfully completing his army reserve officer training, followed by just less than 5 years of service in the Canadian Navy where he trained as a Combat Systems Engineer (CSE or 044A).  The third and final sessions of this veteran’s military training included basic officer training at Chilliwack, B.C.,, second language training at St. Jean, Que. and a year in Esquimalt, followed by just less than 3 years service in Halifax, NS.!

    While training in Esquimalt, B.C., this veteran was billeted to the HMCS Qu’Appelle where he injured his spinal cord at three levels subsequent to a fall in the showers onboard that warship. As this accident occurred while away from that warship’s homeport, this veteran was confined to his rack and provided with pain killers until returning to Esquimalt some 5 days later where he was rushed by ambulance to the base hospital in Esquimalt.  Other than being supplied with additional pain killers and 3 or 4 brief sessions of physiotherapy, this veteran’s real injuries were not treated at that base hospital, nor at the base hospital in Halifax, where he was shipped to as part of his next phase of training some 2 months later.  Upon release from the Canadian Navy in 1993, this veteran was assessed by a GP, in Lower Sackville, NS, who immediately identified a C5/C6 radiculopathy (upper spinal cord condition) which had resulted from the accident onboard the HMCS Qu’Appelle.  This same GP referred this veteran for assessment initially to a diagnostic service in Halifax (i.e., spinal cord MRI), an orthopedic surgeon, and an internal medicine specialist.  All of these graduates and post-graduates in medicine agreed that the three levels of spinal cord injuries (i.e., C5/C6; T11/T12 & L2/L3) most likely were the result of this veteran’s accident when serving onboard the HMCS Qu’Appelle.

    Email author: bcbrad3

    Subsequently, in March 1996 this veteran applied for a disability pension with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. The VRAB ruled on three separate occasions against this veteran’s application for a disability pension within the first year of application (refer to Table “A” on next page).  This veteran was subsequently forced to bring the VRAB  into the Trial Division of the Federal Court (Fed. Ct.) which ruled that the matter be referred back to a differently-constituted panel of the VRAB  board (Fed. Ct. case T-157-98). 

    The allegedly differently-constituted VRAB panel ruled twice more within the next year against this veteran’s claim and were brought again before the Trial Division which ruled that the matter be referred back to a differently-constituted panel and awarded costs to this veteran (Fed. Ct. case T-2137-99).  This next allegedly differently-constituted VRAB panel failed to provide a decision within the next year, forcing this veteran to file a motion with the Trial Division of “contempt of court”. 

    While the Trial Division would not award this motion by citing the VRAB in contempt, it did award costs to this veteran where none were requested and supplied a step-by-step procedure to obtain justice in this case.  With no legal training, this veteran attempted to bring the VRAB before the Trial Division again, after being denied a disability pension with the VRAB’s next (and sixth) decision, and consequently lost in this decision in spite of providing professional testimony from a neurosurgeon, an orthopedic surgeon and a general practitioner with more than 35 years of experience. 

    None of these submissions by professional graduates of medicine were contradicted by testimonies from similar professionals on the part of the VRAB, yet the Trial Division of the Fed. Ct. ruled against this veteran’s claims.  This veteran was encouraged to re-approach the Trial Division based upon a lady who won her case in the Appeal Division in Ontario using this veteran’s first two cases (i.e., T-157-98 & T-2137-99) as precedents.  To render such a re-approach at such a late stage in the events, this veteran was encouraged to concentrate on his lower back injuries …. thereby, allegedly attesting to settlement for the upper back injuries …. a settlement which never occured.

    The Trial Division, not more than 4 years ago, ruled again in the veteran’s favor (T-401-05) and referred the matter back again to a differently-constituted panel of the VRAB  board.  That same board ruled on 4 more separate occasions against this veteran’s application for a disability pension, forcing the matter back to the Trial Division for ultimate resolution (T-617-09).  The VRAB fully exhausted the total number of decisions to which they were entitled in this veteran’s application, recognizing that an award of a disability pension to this veteran would mean financial ruin and subsequent political suicide for the government ‘in charge’ at the time of such a decision, given the tens of thousands of other veterans who remained deprived of such benefits.

    The Hon. Mr. Justice Phelan (T-617-09) decided: “THIS COURT’S JUDGMENT is that the application for judicial review is granted and the Appeal Board’s decision is quashed.”  Unfortunately, such a ruling does nothing more than refer the same matter back to the Respondent (e.g., Veterans’ Affairs), thus prolonging the history of this veteran’s claims and thereby moving them from the ridiculous to the sublime.

    While Canadian governments over the past 80+ years have continued to disregard their legislated obligations to veterans of the CF and Mounted Police, how do you think these same governments are treating(?) the remainder of Canadian citizens?

    Email author: bcbrad3

    On top of all of this, I have had to represent myself in the Trial Division of the Fed. Ct. on no less than 8 separate occasions with at least 6 of these applying to my claims with the VRAB [refer to case numbers: T-157-98, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 1999 CanLII 7476 (F.C.) or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/1999/1999canlii7476/1999canlii7476.html; T-2137-99, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2001 FCT 793 or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2001/2001fct793/2001fct793.html; T-2137-99, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2003 FCT 12 (CanLII) or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2003/2003fct12/2003fct12.html; T-67-03, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2004 FC 996 or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2004/2004fc996/2004fc996.html; T-401-05, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2005 FC 1470 or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2005/2005fc1470/2005fc1470.html; and T-617-09, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2011 FC 309 or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2011/2011fc309/2011fc309.html].
    In all of these decisions except one, the Hon. Justices supported this applicant’s claims and rejected the VRAB’s decisions.  As the greater burden of factual evidence from both graduates and post-graduates of the fields of medicine applicable to my spinal cord injuries, supported my claims along with the greater majority of the above-listed decisions, who but a politician who allegedly represents his electorate but didn’t see ‘adequate votes’ in seriously supporting this applicant’s claims, would ignore these facts and not attempt to ensure this applicant receive something resembling the actual service of justice …. not to mention the adherence to legislated 
    laws by a Fed. gov’t dept. (i.e., VRAB)?

    History has been written, how more often do we have to ignore it before learning our lessons?

    Yours truly,

    Brian C. Bradley, #801 – 939 Bracewood Dr. S.W., Calgary, AB T2W 3M4
    Phone: (403) 455 – 9353 email: bcbrad3@gmail.com

  2. The largest discrepancies between that our Fed. gov’ts promised to all veterans of the Mounted Police & CFs, are identified in fact by the facts cited in the homepages (listed above….. especially the last cited). If all Fed. gov’ts have unlawfully refused to recognize their legislated obligations to these same veterans, to what extent can you logically determine that these same Fed. gov’ts are cheating all other Canadian taxpayers?

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