PERIODICAL - Jun 2009
Issue No: 200926
|What is VeteranVoice.info?|
|SISIP Clawback Update|
|SISIP Clawback Court Action Update|
|SISIP Clawback Latest News Articles|
|How you can help!|
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Clawback & Legal Action Update
The Class Action was initiated in March of 2007 on behalf of myself, Dennis Manuge, and all other disabled veterans whose SISIP Long Term Disability Benefits are reduced by the amount of the monthly VAC Disability Pension they receive under the Pension Act.
On May 20, 2008, the Federal Court of Canada certified the claim as a Class Action and defined the Class as follows:
former members of the Canadian Forces whose long term disability benefits
under the SISIP policy number 901102 were reduced by the amount of their VAC
disability benefits received pursuant to the Pension
Act from April 17, 1985 to date.
This legal action brought against the Crown was a last resort after an exhaustive letter writing campaign. Targeting the appropriate political individuals, MP’s, ministers of DND and VAC, and the PM’s office, a large number of Veterans pleaded with the political and bureaucratic machine to act on Andre Marin’s investigation into, and his subsequent October, 2003 special report,
, calling for an immediate end to this “profoundly unfair’ treatment towards Canada’s disabled Veterans.
The impact on the estimated 6500 Canadian Forces disabled Veterans (members of the class) due to the SISIP Clawback has been extreme. In many cases the impact has been horrific. These individuals, who are already disadvantaged due to their varying levels of mental and physical injuries, have gone bankrupt, lost their homes, lost their spouses, children, and most importantly, they have lost their own dignity and self-respect.
While trying to negotiate through the medical release process, applying for and experiencing long waits for VAC and SISIP LTD benefits, the stress and frustration in a majority of cases has left many of us emotionally scarred for life.
This stress and frustration has been compounded yet further due to the lack of action by the government of the day, who has the power to fix this issue immediately, but simply refuses to come to the table and discuss settlement so that we can get on with our lives.
Parliament has previously spoken with a majority vote in November of 2006, supporting a Private members bill, initiated by Mr. Peter Stoffer, NDP MP for Sackville Eastern Shore, calling for an immediate end to the SISIP Clawback. No action by the government on the vote.
Three successive DND Ombudsmen have re-iterated the issue to several DND Ministers since Mr. Marin’s special report and have asked theses ministers to get on with fixing the issue. In fact, Mr. Yves Cote, even advised then DND Minister, Gordon O’Connor, that lack of action to remedy the clawback may in fact place the government in Breach of Section 15.1 of The Charter of Rights and freedoms. No action by the government.
On May 7, 2008 I testified in front of the Senate sub-committee on Veterans Affairs along with Sean Bruyea (disabled Veteran and advocate) and our lawyer, Mr. Peter Driscoll. With the full support of the Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion President, Jack Frost and The Service Bureau Director, Mr. Pierre Allard we educated the sitting committee on the history of the SISIP Clawback and the negative impact it has on those of us affected. Subsequently, the committee’s
Crown, relying on Canada v. Grenier, 2005 FCA 348, objected to the action on
the ground that Mr. Manuge should have proceeded by way of judicial review
since the challenge involved a decision of a “federal board, commission or
other tribunal” within the meaning of the Federal Courts Act, R.S.C. 1985,
c. F-7. The Federal Court dismissed the objection and certified the
proceeding as a class action, but the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the
decision, holding that since Mr. Manuge’s claim sought to impugn the
lawfulness of a joint decision of the Minister of National Defence and the
Chief of the Defence Staff, Grenier applied and a prior judicial review
proceeding was necessary. It granted Mr. Manuge 30 days to serve and file an
application for judicial review and suspended the action until a final
decision was made on the application.
From the SCC Case Summary- http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/case-dossier/cms-sgd/sum-som-eng.aspx?cas=33103
On June 18, 2009 the following decision from the SCC was rendered.
simply means that the SCC will decide if the case can proceed as a class
action or, if we have to continue as a judicial review and then be converted
back into a class action. So an excellent delay tactic by the crown and their
counsel to cause us, the class of disabled soldiers, to wait even longer to
find a resolution to this issue. It also adds to the total cost of fixing
this issue; a cost that will come from the Canadian taxpayers pocket through
the Treasury Board.
conclude with this update I would like to re-iterate to readers that I,
Dennis Manuge, have instructed our lead counsel, Mr. Peter Driscoll, to
invite the crown to sit down at any time during this process and discuss a
settlement so we, the class, can move on with our lives. We do not want this
to spend a decade tied up in various levels of the legal system and we
certainly do not want to add to the cost for the Canadian Taxpayer. No action
or movement by the government.
Court Action Update
Dennis Manuge v. Her Majesty the Queen (F.C.) (Civil) (By Leave) (33103)
Leave to Appeal Granted
Latest press release is as follows:
Latest News Articles
A few of the news articles referring to the SISIP Clawback:
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