Legal issues

Class action lawsuits

Jost Class Action (Reserve Force Pension Plan)

  • National Defence is working to standardize and improve the release process across the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • This will ensure that both Regular and Reserve Force releases are expedited and any issues or errors are addressed before a member releases.
  • As this is a current litigation case, I cannot speak to its specifics.

Frenette Proposed Class Action (Racial Discrimination)

  • We fully acknowledge the impact that racial harassment and discrimination has had on members of the Defence Team.
  • This is why we have entered into settlement negotiations to bring closure, healing, and acknowledgement to the victims and survivors of racially-based harassment and discrimination.
  • As negotiations are ongoing, however, I cannot speak to specifics details.

Logan Class Action (Disability Payments)

  • Taking care of our members is our utmost priority and we will continue to take steps to improve services.
  • National Defence is committed to ensuring that all Regular and Reserve Force military members receive their due benefits.
  • Given this is an ongoing legal issue, it would be inappropriate for me to comment at this time.

Key Facts

Jost Class Action

  • June 30, 2017: Former Reservist and Regular Force member filed a class action lawsuit against the Attorney General of Canada alleging chronic, unreasonable delays in the payment of military pensions.
  • The Plaintiff is seeking $100M in damages on behalf of class members.
  • November 5, 2019: Federal Court certified the class action.
  • November 15, 2019: Department of Justice appealed the certification. The Appeal date has not yet been set, but will likely be in 3 to 6 months.

Frenette Proposed Class Action

  • December 14, 2016: Three former Canadian Armed Forces members filed a class action lawsuit alleging that the Canadian Armed Forces failed to protect racial minorities and Aboriginal peoples from racism.
  • January 2019: The parties agreed to suspend the litigation process and are currently in settlement negotiations.

Logan Class Action

  • July 26, 2018: A former Canadian Armed Forces member filed a class action lawsuit alleging the formula used to calculate long-term disability payments is incorrect, resulting in lost benefits.
  • March 24, 2020: Federal Court ruled in favour of the Plaintiff. 

Details

Jost class action lawsuit

  • The Plaintiff alleges that the Attorney General of Canada is responsible for chronic and excessive delays in the payment of pension entitlements to discharged members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and has not compensated discharged members for these delays. 
  • The class action is on behalf of all members of the CAF Reserve Force and Regular Force Pension Plans who were entitled, upon release, to Immediate Pension Entitlements from March 1, 2007 to present.
  • In July 2016, the administration of CAF pension plans was separated from the CAF release process to allow faster processing of pension payments.
  • Under this new process, all pension documentation received from CAF members is reviewed separately and in advance of the release process to ensure payment is ready upon a CAF member’s release. 
  • In Strong, Secure, Engaged, the CAF committed to ensuring all benefits are in place before a member transitions to civilian life.
  • National Defence continues to improve the release process to ensure expedited claims and that any issues or errors are addressed before a member releases from the CAF. There is currently no backlog of pension cases ready to be paid.

Frenette proposed class action

  • The Plaintiffs allege that, while members of the CAF, they were subjected to racial discrimination and harassment based on race or Aboriginal status.
  • Parties are currently in negotiations.

Logan class action

  • The Plaintiff alleged that the Government breached the terms of the CAF Service Income Security Insurance Plan by calculating monthly long-term disability benefits based only on salary alone, omitting certain allowances from the calculation.
  • For the Plaintiff, this included a Special Operations Assaulter Allowance, a Post Living Differential, and a Civilian Dress Allowance.
  • Canada consented to the certification of the class action on March 1, 2019, and the parties agreed to proceed to the Federal Court for a determination of the interpretation of “monthly pay” under the policy:

When calculating long term disability benefits and dismemberment benefits under Division 2, Part III(B) of SISIP Policy 901102, should a Class member’s allowances in effect on the date of their release from the Canadian Armed Forces (or, in the case of a Class “C” member, when the injury was incurred or the illness was contracted) be included in the Class member’s monthly pay?

  • On March 24, 2020, the Federal Court ruled in favour of the Plaintiff, answering the question in the affirmative. 
    • The Court found that allowances paid on a monthly basis at the time of medical release for Regular Force members, and at the time of illness or injury for Class C Reserve Force members, should have been included in the calculation of long-term disability benefits.
  • The Government of Canada will not appeal the Court’s decision and will work with the Case Management Judge and Plaintiffs’ counsel to determine next steps.

Version 1 – 2020-06-09 – Source: Supps (B) 2020-2021 note: Class Action Lawsuits

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LGBT purge class action final settlement agreement

  • We promote the military as an employer of choice for all Canadians, and we are proud of the many LGBTQ2 members that serve in the military.
  • In 2016, three former Canadian Armed Forces members brought a class action lawsuit against the Government of Canada on behalf of former Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, and Federal Public Servants.
  • In June 2018, the Federal Court approved the LGBT Purge Class Action Final Settlement Agreement.
  • This agreement provides compensation to current and former members of the military, the RCMP, and public servants who were targeted for their sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Payments are going towards compensation for members, reconciliation and memorialization measures, external administration, and plaintiffs’ legal fees.

If pressed on the expungement of records of convictions:

  • The Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act made law in June of 2018.
  • This allows for the expungement of any record of conviction of criminal offences involving consensual sexual activity with a same-sex partner.

If pressed on the redaction of personnel records:

  • National Defence arrived at an agreement with the plaintiffs to not erase the personnel records, so as not to erase the history of their experiences.
  • As per this agreement, class members are able to request that a note to file to be added to their records.

Key Facts

  • November 28, 2017: Prime Minister apologized to civil servants, military members and criminalized Canadians who endured discrimination and injustice based on their sexual orientation.
  • June 22, 2018: Federal Court approved Final Settlement Agreement with up to $110M in compensation. Most eligible class members are expected to receive between $5,000 and $50,000.
  • October 25, 2018 – April 25, 2019: individuals submitted claims to Deloitte Canada to request compensation and/or Individual Reconciliation Measures. The claims period is now closed.
    • 719 claimants: 629 military, 78 public servants, 12 RCMP

Details

  • To address the wrongs experienced by those who were unfairly criminalized by unjust laws and actions, the Government passed the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act. This puts in place a process for individuals to apply to the parole Board of Canada for an expungement order to permanently destroy or remove the records of convictions for offences involving consensual sexual activity between same-sex partners that would be lawful today. The Act is not related to the LGBT Purge Final Settlement Agreement.

LGBT purge final settlement agreement

  • Todd Edward Ross, Martine Roy and Alida Satalic were former military members who were fired for their sexual orientation. The Government signed a Final Settlement Agreement to resolve the “LGBT Purge” Class Action in a fair, compassionate, and respectful manner that promotes healing and reconciliation.
  • The parties signed an Agreement-in-Principle in November 2017, and the Final Settlement Agreement was approved by the Federal Court on June 22, 2018. The settlement provides up to $145 million: $110 million for individual compensation, including $15 million for legal fees, $5 million for external administration, and $15 million for recognition and memorialization exhibits and monuments administered by the LGBT Purge Fund.
  • A total of up to $110 million is available to compensate class members — current and former federal public servants, members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who were directly and negatively impacted by discriminatory policies and practices between December 1, 1955 and June 20, 1996.
  • The Individual Reconciliation Measures include the Canada Pride Citation, the personal apology letter, access to members’ records, and a Notation to File. Impacted individuals had until April 25, 2019 to submit a claim to Deloitte Canada to request compensation and/or individual reconciliation measures.
  • Class members who were found to be eligible for individual compensation began to receive an initial payment of $5,000 in February 2019 and all have now received their complete level 1-3 compensation in addition to copies of their service records, letter of apology and the Notation to File, as requested. Assessment for the highest level of compensation continue and approximately 90% have been completed to date by the Assessor. 
  • Claimants have a choice to receive their Canada Pride Citation certificate and insignia by mail or have them presented in a ceremony with either the Federal Public Service, RCMP or the CAF.
  • At this time, it is anticipated that the presentation ceremonies will take place no earlier than late-Fall 2020 due to mandatory COVID-19 precautions. In June 2020, the Government of Canada resumed mailing out the citations to ALL eligible claimants, including to those who requested in-person presentation, to avoid further delays in providing the citations to claimants. The Government is committed to holding presentation ceremonies for claimants who so wish once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Version 5 – 2020-06-16 – Source: D Parl A Supps (B) note, “LGBT Purge Class Action Final Settlement Agreement”

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