OTTAWA, January 11, 2013 – The Royal Canadian Legion is pleased with the news that Veterans who battled the decades-long practice of clawing back military pensions have been offered a tentative settlement by the federal government. “All credit is to be given to Dennis Manuge for the tenacity and passion with which he, as the lead plaintiff in the clawback class-action lawsuit, fought this important issue,” says Gordon Moore, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion. The proposed deal reportedly includes $424.3 million in retroactive payments to veterans that dates back to 1976 along with $82.6 million in interest.
While this is phenomenal news for our military veterans who have been unfairly subjected to this regime of clawbacks, the Royal Canadian Legion remains concerned about the ongoing lack of fairness and equality being shown to members of the RCMP. The federal government continues to reduce the same benefits for disabled RCMP veterans. In spite of the recent landmark Federal Court decision which ‘unreservedly rejected’ the reduction in pension payments for military members and ruled that its practical effect was particularly harsh to the most severely disabled veterans, the Legion demands equality for all Veterans, including members of the RCMP.
Similar to the lawsuit launched by disabled CF veterans, disabled RCMP members launched a class action lawsuit in 2008 challenging the Government’s policy of reducing RCMP Veteran’s monthly Long Term Disability income replacement benefits by the amount of Pension Act disability pension paid to compensate disabled RCMP veterans for their pain and suffering.
Despite requests by the Legion for assurances from both the RCMP Commissioner and Public Safety Minister that the government immediately cease this practice and undertake the necessary action to ensure disabled RCMP members receive the full-entitlement and compensation they so richly deserve, the government has remained silent on this issue. “This failure to acknowledge an interest in bringing a resolution by the government means that the case will drag through the courts for another decade, taxpayers will continue to pay the legal fees associated with the government’s inaction and procrastination, but most important these veterans will continue to have their disability benefits clawed back,” says Moore “How can the government do this to the men and women of the RCMP?” he adds.
The Legion’s mission is to serve all Veterans, including currently serving members of the Canadian Forces and RCMP along with their families. As the leading voice of advocacy for the rights and benefits for all Canadian Veterans the Legion will never cease in its efforts to ensure the men and women who serve to protect our Country are cared for throughout their lives by their government.Tags: Canadian Forces, CF veterans, clawback class-action lawsuit, Dennis Manuge, Gordon Moore, Long Term Disability, Pension Act, Public Safety Minister, RCMP, RCMP Commissioner, Royal Canadian Legion, Veterans