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SISIP Clawback


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Mike Blais CD
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« on: April 18, 2009, 10:29:30 am »

This is one item that truly irritates me. Prior to the Conservatives rule, all parties agree that the clawback of a veterans pension was bogus and had to be amended. Many will remember how strong the conservative opposition MPs were on defense at that time and their promises to ensure our burden would be lightened. For me, that equates to thirty five percent for a decade plus, money that was supposed to be flowing tax free and unpenalized. Enter Peter robbing Paul,  a scam to ensure that one's veterans pension, which at one time could only be awarded through operational service, would be deducted by SISIP, a long term disability service that we had no choice but to pay into.

Despite repeated calls for justice, we have been thwarted by disingenuous acts on behalf of the government by attempting to block our right to move forward in the courts united and as  class action suit. Their are over four thousand veterans who are in the dingy with me, every one suffering through not only the debilitating aftereffects of service but an unnecessary, prolonged,  financial penalty. my hosue would now be paid for and my kids universty/college covered through the money deducted from me and without doubt, as it is my duty to provide, we as a family have made do without.

But only because of this unjust, unCanadian policy.

So the next time you see Mr Harper in his blue sweater bemoaning his love for veterans, know the truth.

Ask one of the Agent Orange victims.

Or an atomic blast guiniea pig.

Ask me or one of my four thousand plus fellow veterans who, rendered to the position of second hand veterans, continue to be ignored.

We have all been betrayed by a government who gained our vote by promising to make things right.

This is the truth.  



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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2009, 10:57:08 am »

Dennis, God bless him, is the point man for the class action suit.



November 25, 2008

Disabled Veterans, our families, and our friends…
My name is Dennis Manuge. I am a disabled veteran of the Canadian Forces and also the representative plaintiff in a class action legal case against the government of Canada.

This action is taking place in the federal court of Canada. “Manuge vs. Her Majesty the Queen,” is on behalf of over 6200 other disabled Veterans and 100 estates. Our goal is to
end the illegal claw back of Veterans Affairs Canada disability pensions by SISIP/Manulife and the federal government. SISIP/Manulife are the administers of the long term disability (LTD) plan for the Canadian Forces.

An individual is included, automatically, in this class action, but you must meet the definition of the class; All 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.

Our action was filed in federal court on March 15, 2007. The certification hearing was on March 12 & 13th, 2008. On May 20, 2008 our action was certified by the Federal Court of
Canada allowing us to proceed with our legal action with the protection of the court. Currently we are waiting for the federal court of appeal to hear the Crown’s appeal on our
case being certified.

The government, with their appeal, is saying that I, alone, should
have to take this issue before the courts and win, before any collective action can be taken. This appeal will be heard in Toronto on December 16, 2008.

Timeline:
The timeline for this case has been estimated to range from two-ten years. There are many variables and the Crown will attempt to stall the case at every opportunity. Please
keep in mind that the federal court judge assigned to the case acts as a case manager to increase efficiency and keep the case moving forward. Justice Robert Barnes has been doing just that. It takes time.

Representing me (us) are Mr. Peter Driscoll from McInnis Cooper in Halifax and Mr. Ward Branch from Branch McMaster in Vancouver. They only get paid if the action is successful and the worse case scenario for each of us; it will cost us 30% of what each of
us are owed by the feds. Seventy percent of something is better than zero percent of nothing. Best case scenario is that the crown will be ordered by the federal court to pay for our legal costs in any settlement or judgment.
2
We are well represented by Mr. Driscoll & Mr. Branch. We are fortunate to have them in our corner and the circumstances around their involvement in this case came about due to some hard work by one of our peers and a little bit of luck. I am not the only piece of this case. My name happens to be on the court documents. It could have been any one of us.
There is much that goes on that many do not get to see or hear about.

What to expect if we win:
We are seeking to include damages in this case, but that is the toughest argument to make. If we are successful and win damages that is good for us all, but there is no way to know what amounts each of us would get on top of what is owed to us, with interest,
from our clawed back VAC disability pensions. In the very least you can expect to get 70% of what was taken from you, but more likely you will get 100% of that amount plus interest. Anything else would be speculation at this time.

I encourage all of you to read our web site at McInnis Cooper:
http://www.mcinnescooper.com/index.cfm?cm=SubSection&ce=details&primaryKey=21
790
There is information available on this site for those class members who wish to opt out of the action. There are also links on the home web pages of VAC and SISIP.


Sincerely
Dennis Manuge
Representative Plaintiff, Manuge Vs Her Majesty the Queen
32 Isaac's place RR#2
Site 10A, Box 0
Head of Chezzetcook, NS B0J1N0
Home: (902) 827-4807
Cell : 499-0656
dmanuge@eastlink.ca
dennis.manuge@mobility.blackberry.net
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2009, 11:10:25 am »

The Government is now using the scare tactic that it will cost billions to start up and hundreds of millions to maintain at a time when our economy is down.
However we must also remember that it was Ottawa who stole or removed 5 billion Dollars from our pension funds claiming that it would never be needed, more then enough money to do the job that it was set up to do... well if Paul Martin hadn't used it to balance the budget.
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2009, 01:07:08 pm »

Great stuff here , Mike , Dennis and Ken.. thanks.. i agree.. why did they feel the $5Billion needed to be removed form the Veterans Fund.. Huh to me it means they have it ALL covered.. so , Mr Harper, you got some splainin to do to Vetrans , their families and the VOTERS...find the money.. YOU OWE IT...rong
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2009, 04:20:53 pm »

Good point, ken, one that highlights the subterfuge with which we must deal with. .

The Government is now using the scare tactic that it will cost billions to start up and hundreds of millions to maintain at a time when our economy is down.
However we must also remember that it was Ottawa who stole or removed 5 billion Dollars from our pension funds claiming that it would never be needed, more then enough money to do the job that it was set up to do... well if Paul Martin hadn't used it to balance the budget.
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2009, 10:51:01 am »

Interesting radio show. Check it out if this affects you are you want to know the facts. 

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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2009, 01:43:26 pm »

This is a dandy interview Mike , thanks for putting it up.. i hope all will listen to it.. and post comments..rong
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2009, 02:10:03 pm »

I hope so to, Ron, particularly those amongst the population who were unaware of the hardships we have borne.

Dennis has a way of making a supposedly complex issue quite strait forward, eh?
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2009, 12:43:01 pm »

Yes  he did Mike, he made it very clear what has happened to veterans..i thank him for that great job he did..ranrad
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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2009, 09:27:28 am »

Geez, if the PM is above even the Supreme Court of Canada I doubt we will ever get justice.

PM rejects court order to seek Khadr’s release
MICHELLE SHEPHARD/COPYRIGHT TORONTO STAR NEWSPAPERS LTD. 2009

A Federal Court has ordered Stephen Harper to seek the immediate return of Omar Khadr from Guantanamo Bay, but the Prime Minister is refusing to comply.

Federal Court Justice James O'Reilly ruled yesterday that Canada had denied the Toronto-born Khadr his constitutional right to a fair trial and violated international law protecting children captured in armed conflict.

"Canada had a duty to protect Mr. Khadr from being subjected to any torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, from being unlawfully detained, and from being locked up for a duration exceeding the shortest appropriate period of time," O'Reilly wrote.

Highlighting the fact that Khadr was only 15 when shot and captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in July 2002, O'Reilly concluded that Ottawa must request that the "United States return Mr. Khadr to Canada as soon as practicable."

But when questioned in the Commons yesterday about whether he will seek Khadr's return, Harper said his government's position remains the same.

"The facts, in our judgment, have not changed. We will be looking at the judgment very carefully and obviously considering an appeal," Harper said.

Canada's opposition parties and Khadr's lawyers have argued that he must be treated as a child soldier – and international law stresses rehabilitation rather than reprisals. Canadian courts have condemned the government's actions in Khadr's case twice before, producing rulings that halted his interrogation by Canadian agents at Guantanamo and forced Ottawa to disclose evidence in the case.

But yesterday's ruling marked the first time the courts directly ordered the government to seek his repatriation and rebuked Ottawa for not taking his age into account.

"Canada cannot participate in torture. Particularly if the person being tortured is a Canadian child," said Khadr's Edmonton-based lawyer, Nathan Whitling. "When they decide to do so anyway, they must make amends."

Khadr has been in U.S. custody since July 2002. Now 22 and the only citizen of a western nation still imprisoned, his fate hangs in the balance as the U.S. Justice Department reviews his case.

President Barack Obama ordered the prison at Guantanamo shut by January 2010. The remaining 240 detainees will either be tried elsewhere, repatriated or taken to a willing third country.

Khadr is accused of conspiring with Al Qaeda, and throwing a grenade that killed U.S. soldier Sgt. Christopher Speer.

Last week, Khadr's military lawyers and prosecutors made their final appeal to the U.S. Justice committee reviewing Khadr's case. Even if Harper were to intercede on Khadr's behalf, the U.S. could still decide to try the detainee in a federal or military court.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff told reporters in Washington yesterday that the government must act on principle in Khadr's case.

"My view of the obligations of the government of Canada is, you don't get to pick and choose which Canadians overseas to defend. You have to defend them all – that's what a passport means," he said.

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe raised the possibility that the government could be complicit in torture by failing to act.

NDP Leader Jack Layton said a government appeal of the ruling would simply be "procrastinating."

"Evidently Mr. Harper ... is prepared not only to ignore the will of Parliament, which has called for his repatriation, (and) is prepared to ignore international law and the precedent being set by other countries, but is now prepared to ignore a Federal Court," Layton said.

During the first three months after his capture, Khadr was questioned by military interrogators at the U.S. base in Bagram, Afghanistan more than 40 times, sometimes for eight hours a day.

Khadr alleges he was threatened physically and with dogs, beaten and forced to maintain what's known as "stress positions" despite his age and the wounds he suffered in 2002. Interrogations continued at Guantanamo, where he was transferred in October 2002.

O'Reilly noted in his ruling that the U.S. flouted international law by not providing "special status as a minor" and that Canada was complicit in that violation.

"Canada was required to take steps to protect Mr. Khadr from all forms of physical and mental violence, injury, abuse or maltreatment," he said in his 41-page ruling.

Instead, a Canadian foreign affairs official proceeded to interview Khadr in spring 2004, despite being told that Khadr had previously been subjected to a sleep deprivation regime.

"We know that Canada raised concerns about Mr. Khadr's treatment, but it also implicitly condoned the imposition of sleep deprivation techniques on him, having carried out interviews knowing that he had been subjected to them," O'Reilly wrote.
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2009, 01:15:45 pm »

I guess the PM IS ABOVE THE LAW.. is that true JUDGE?Huh??  rong
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2009, 12:43:43 pm »

Please see the message below from Peter Stoffer, MP regarding Bill C-201.  Veuillez lire ci-après le message de Peter Stoffer, député, au sujet du projet de loi C-201. 

 

Sincerely/Salutations,

 

Holly Brown

Communications and Legislative Assistant for

Peter Stoffer, MP, Sackville-Eastern Shore

2900 Hwy #2 Fall River, NS B2T 1W4

Tel:  (902) 861-2311  Fax:  (902) 861-4620

Email: stoffp0@parl.gc.ca

 

 

I am pleased to let you know that my bill (C-201) to eliminate the unfair claw back of retired Canadian Forces and RCMP service pensions will be debated for the second hour of its second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday May 12th, 2009 at approximately 5:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT).  You can watch the debate on CPAC TV or on the Internet via ParlVu. 

 

I am hopeful that this bill will pass second reading and be referred to a committee for further study.  I expect the bill to be voted on the next day (Wednesday May 13th, 2009) immediately before the time provided for Private Members’ Business.  (Private Members’ Business usually starts at approximately 5:30 EDT so the vote would be before this time).  Please note however that it is very difficult to give an exact time the vote will take place as it is dependent on the legislative agenda for that day and is always subject to change due to events in the House.

 

In case you miss the vote on C-201, I will send out a note via email the following day that explains the results.   

 

In advance of the upcoming debate on Bill C-201, I once again encourage you to contact your Member of Parliament to ask them to support this bill. 

 

Thank you again for your interest and support of Bill C-201.  I know that the entire NDP team stands united to correct this injustice on behalf of our veterans and their families.

 

Sincerely,

 

Peter Stoffer MP

Sackville-Eastern Shore

NDP Veterans Affairs Critic

 

 

J’ai le plaisir de vous informer que mon projet de loi d'initiative parlementaire (C-201) visant à mettre fin à la récupération injuste d’une partie de la pension des retraités des Forces canadiennes et de la GRC fera l’objet de sa deuxième heure de débat à l’étape de la deuxième lecture à la Chambre des communes mardi, le 12 mai 2009, vers 17 h 30, heure avancée de l'Est (HAE). Vous pourrez suivre le débat sur la chaîne de télévision CPAC ou sur l’Internet, par le truchement de ParlVu. 

 

J’espère que le projet de loi sera adopté en deuxième lecture et renvoyé à un comité pour être étudié à fond. Je m’attends à ce qu'il soit mis aux voix le lendemain, mercredi, le 13 mai 2009 juste avant l’étude des affaires émanant des députés (qui commence habituellement vers 17 h 30 HAE; le vote devrait donc avoir lieu avant). Veuillez toutefois noter qu’il est très difficile de prédire avec exactitude l’heure à laquelle le vote aura lieu; elle dépendra du programme législatif de la journée et pourrait changer à tout moment au gré de ce qui se passera à la Chambre ce jour-là.

 

Si vous manquez le vote sur le projet de loi C-201, je vous expliquerai les résultats le lendemain dans un courriel.   

 

Comme le débat sur le projet de loi C-201 approche, je vous encourage de nouveau à communiquer avec votre député(e) fédéral(e) pour lui demander de l’appuyer. 

 

Je vous remercie de nouveau de vous intéresser au projet de loi C‑201 et de l’appuyer. Je sais que toute l’équipe néo-démocrate tient unanimement à corriger cette injustice au nom de nos anciens combattants et de leurs familles.

 

Très cordiales salutations.

 

 

Peter Stoffer, député

Sackville—Eastern Shore

Porte-parole du NPD à l'égard des anciens combattants

 

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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2009, 01:59:48 pm »

More great news fro Mr Stoffer.. i hope all will now goand mail their MPs. asking that they support this Bill..rong
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2009, 09:59:33 pm »

Sweet Jesus!

Top court to hear soldier's bid to recover insurance

Updated Thu. Jun. 18 2009 2:09 PM ET

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- A former soldier who returned his military medals in protest to the Governor General will get a chance to argue for his class-action lawsuit in the country's highest court.

The Supreme Court of Canada said Thursday it will hear Dennis Manuge's case.

Manuge of Porters Lake, N.S., and a handful of other veterans recently sent their Canadian Forces Peacekeeping Service Medals and NATO Service Medals to Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean, the commander-in-chief, to protest the treatment of wounded soldiers.

He described the decision as "outstanding news for disabled vets."

A military mechanic injured at the Canadian Forces base in Petawawa, Ont., Manuge had $10,000 of his disability pension clawed back by the federal government after he left the military.

The decision by the high court to examine the case "renews our faith in the system when they're willing to take another look at it for us," Manuge said in a telephone interview from his home Thursday.

The military ombudsman and a Senate committee investigated his case and both declared the clawback "profoundly unfair." In addition, a private-member's bill tabled to rectify the claim was approved by the House of Commons, but not recognized by the Conservative government.

Manuge launched a class-action lawsuit, representing approximately 6,500 injured veterans, but the federal government won an appeal of the decision to certify the lawsuit.

The high court will determine whether the case can proceed.

As much as $320 million in benefits could be at stake if the case proceeds and if the courts rule in favour of the class-action suit.

Manuge said he believes the federal government is trying to wait out the injured veterans, the way it does former Second World War and Korean War soldiers, hoping they'll simply pass away.

"But I think they make the mistake that we're all young men and women," said the 40-year-old. "We're going to be around. If it has to go through the court system for another 10 years, we're going to be here."

The NDP veterans affairs critic, Peter Stoffer, said the federal government should take the opportunity between now and when the case is heard by the high court to settle the matter.

"It didn't have to go this far," he said.

The longer the federal government fights this, the more expensive it's going to become, Stoffer added.

"They should have dealt with this thing years ago," the Nova Scotia MP said. "It really shows you the level of support from the federal government when they challenge these decisions in court. Instead of dealing with veterans and their families in very pragmatic and honourable way, they basically tell them, `we'll see you in court."'

The policy that initiated the benefits clawback dates to the late 1960s and Manuge's lawyers will attempt to argue that it is illegal because the chief of defence staff at the time did not have the authority to make such a decision.

Manuge, who left the Forces as a corporal, joined the army in 1994 and spent almost 10 years in uniform, serving a tour in Bosnia in 2001 after he was injured.

In 2002, while still serving, he began receiving a $444 monthly disability pension on top of his pay, but that changed when he was discharged for medical reasons in December 2003.

The military's compulsory insurance plan entitled Manuge to 75 per cent of his former income for two years because he had become too physically disabled to do his job.
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2009, 01:42:23 pm »

Well, you got it right on Mr Stoffer, why in any kind of decency would the Fed Gov fight soldiers for something they are entitled to??? It is no wonder why action from Vet Aff is always a fight tooth and tong, it is no wonder why veterans are so ticked off and fed up...rong
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2009, 12:25:02 pm »

Now more bad news. If the Gov falls any Bills not passed, become fodder, as far as i know.. ahhhhh.. keep our fingers crossed..rong
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2009, 02:25:03 pm »

The CRAP had three years to fix it, brother. Clearly, they have no intention of standing up for us, the new second class veterans of Canada.   
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« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2009, 01:13:24 pm »

Hope is still there Mike.. i dont think the Liberals now want an election..they have seen the Cdn voter reaction, and it points to a Conservative  majority win.. so they are rethinking their strategy.. keep our fingers crossed.. maybe Mr Stoffer can give us an update as to when the 3rd reading will take place.. once it passes that it goes to the Senate..BUT is clear of the House..so does not just get thrown out by an election.. its that passage of the 3rd reading thats so important to us all now..rong
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