B.C. Court of Appeal rules against wounded veterans’ lawsuit

File photo.
File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

A landmark class-action case about compensation for disabled veterans will not be heard in court.

READ MORE: B.C. Court of Appeal to rule on whether wounded veterans’ lawsuit can proceed

The BC Court of Appeal ruling revolved around a 2006 decision to replace life-long disability pensions with one lump sum payment, which veterans said amounted to a 40 per cent cut in benefits for some wounded soldiers.

The three-judge panel dismissed the case saying Parliament always has the ability to amend federal laws and Ottawa has clear constitutional authority to legislate in this area.

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The ruling also said Parliament passed the New Veterans Charter, and in doing so, it established the compensation benefits available to injured members of the Canadian Forces and their dependents.

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The suit, which has yet to be certified as a class action, was brought forward by the Equitas Society.

LISTEN: Jon McComb discusses the case with Equitas Society

The veterans had scored a victory in 2014 when a B.C. Supreme Court justice ruled that there was enough merit to the case to proceed to trial.

Don Sorochan, the lawyer representing the veterans, said he will have to consult with his clients to determine whether they want to try to take the matter all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

READ MORE: Federal budget to bring back lifetime pension option for Canadian veterans

Retired Veteran Major Mark Campbell called today’s BC Court of Appeal decision ‘ridiculous.’

“No one has our backs, through your entire military career from boot camp on down the line you’re told not to worry if you’re injured your needs will be taken care of,” said Campbell.

But Veterans Affair Minister Seamus O’Regan said the federal government has made good progress in addressing financial support for veterans and their families.

Adding that the feds will continue to strengthen the support available to Canadian Armed Forces members.

~With files from The Canadian Press and Simon Little