CFN – 1. This veteran has served in the Canadian Forces (CF) on 3 separate ‘tours of duty’ with the last tour, as a training Combat Systems Engineer in the Canadian Navy, providing the rationale for my spinal cord injuries and ensuing disability pension claims. These claims remain ignored by Veterans Affairs (VA) and several other government departments.
2. In my last tour of duty at Esquimalt, B.C., I was billeted to HMCS Qu’Appelle where I injured my spinal cord at three levels, subsequent to a fall in the showers onboard that same warship. Upon release from the Canadian Navy in 1993, I was assessed by a qualified medical general practitioner (GP named Dr. R.A. Killeen), in Lower Sackville, NS, who immediately identified a C5/C6 radiculopathy (occurring from one of the spinal cord injuries) which had resulted from the accidental fall onboard the HMCS Qu’Appelle. This same GP referred me for assessment initially to a diagnostic service in Halifax (i.e., spinal cord MRI), an orthopaedic surgeon, a neurosurgeon, and an internal medicine specialist. All of these graduates and post-graduates in medicine agreed that my three levels of spinal cord injuries (i.e., C5/C6; T11/T12 & L2/L3) most likely were the result of my previously described accidental fall when serving and training onboard the HMCS Qu’Appelle.
3. Beginning in March 1996 (initially attempted in 1994 but delayed due to unfounded and / or unsupported excuses on the part of the respondent or VRAB) and continuing to this year (2011), I applied for a disability pension with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB; note: initially this pension was applied for in 1994, but delayed due to typical precursory and unfounded ‘excuses’ on the part of the VRAB). The VRAB ruled on (allegedly) ten separate occasions over the next 15 years against my application for a disability pension. I was accordingly forced to bring the VRAB into the Trial Division of the Federal Court (Fed. Ct.) on six separate occasions (Fed. Ct. case # T-157-98, T-2137-99; T-67-03; T-401-05 & T-617-09).
4. I submitted several letters/reports/etc. by graduates and post-graduates (in associated fields of internal medicine, neurology and orthopaedic surgery) in support of my claims in all of these cases which were brought before the Fed. Ct. Note that none of these submissions by professional graduates of medicine were contradicted by testimonies from similar medical professionals on the part of the VRAB.
5. The Hon. Mr. Justice Phelan (Fed. Ct. case #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 did 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 these same claims from the ridiculous to the sublime, as far as the actual service of justice to this veteran is concerned.
6. While Canadian governments over the past 80+ years have continued to disregard their legislated obligations to veterans of the CF and Mounted Police, along with their spouses and dependants, to what extent do you believe these same governments are allegedly meeting their legislated obligations to the remainder of Canadian citizens?
7. The Bureau of Pensioners’ Advocates presented this veteran’s case to the VRAB on July 6, 2011 and the VRAB provided a decision applicable to this same latest presentation of my case dated July 5, 2011 (i.e., one day prior to the actual presentation of this veteran’s claims to the VRAB). Such pre-emptive decisions and complete lack of fair and due process, has been the ‘ear mark’ of the VRAB’s alleged handling of this veteran’s claims over the past 17 years …. not to mention the similar manner in which this same Fed. govt dept. has ignored it’s legislated obligations to other veterans, their spouses and dependants.
8. Which countries, if any, of this world are willing to countinue trading with Canada which has demonstrated itself in the above facts and paragraphs to be: a) deceitful; b) disreputable; and c) unlawful in disregarding it’s legislated obligations to both this veteran and and his family, along with thousands of other veterans, their spouses and dependants?
9. The critical and unanswered question, after 17+ years of seeking a settlement with the VRAB remains: “If this is the manner in which successive Canadian governments (including the present one) have treated men and women who have placed their lives on the line for these same Canadian governments, to what extent are these same travesties in justice being forced on all Canadian citizens with or without their knowledge of these same unlawful transgressions?”
Brian C. Bradley – Calgary, AB
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