For Immediate Release November 12, 2013
The FDA’s In-depth and Comprehensive Veterans Report Recommends that the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) be Scrapped
The Foundation for Democratic Advancement’s (FDA) 64-page report builds off previous Veterans Ombudsman reports and other reports which support systematic change to government process involving injured and/or disabled veterans. The FDA’s report examines the causes of the systematic failings of the VRAB itself and its context within the federal government. In addition, the FDA’s case study of disabled veteran Brian Bradley shows the significant harm the failed process is inflicting on Canadian veterans, and therefore, the urgent need for reform. Further, the FDA using its international and national expertise in democracy and government identifies strong indicators that the Canadian federal system of government is far removed from a people-based democracy, and it is susceptible to further democratic decline. This decline has placed injured and/or disabled veterans and their families in a particularly marginalized position where they are not able to exercise the very rights for which they have sacrificed their health and lifelong careers.
Some Key Points from the Report
- Brian Bradley’s seventeen year struggle with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, successfully self-representing in multiple federal court actions against the Board in seeking just compensation for his spinal cord injury demonstrates a particularly egregious failing of review and appeal mechanisms for veterans. Sadly, the Board continues, as in many similar cases, to ignore decisions from the Federal Court.
- 517,854 (or 87.14 percent) of Canadian Forces veterans receive no care from Veterans Affairs Canada.
- The deficiencies of the VRAB, which can be linked to the Prime Minister and patronage politics, and shortcomings in the federal electoral system, further indicate that Canada’s federal democracy is failing our veterans.
On Wednesday November 27, 2013, FDA Public Forum on injured and/or disabled veterans at Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta.
Mr. Stephen Garvey, Executive Director
Ms. Kelsey Angeley (Bilingual)
Mr. Brian Bradley
The Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA) is a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization. The FDA’s mission is: