Saturday, November 9, 2013

FDA's Brian Bradley Case Study and Process Review of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board

Executive Summary

Building off Veterans Ombudsman reports and other reports which support systematic change to the federal government process involving injured and/or disabled veterans, the Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA) examines closely the federal government veteran processes. Through that examination, the FDA uncovers serve deficiencies which compromise the federal government’s service to injured and/or disabled veterans and ultimately its obligation to Canadians in the Canadian Forces and Royal Mounted Police who put their lives at risk to protect this country. In particular, the FDA documents a system of patronage appointments, mismanagement of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB), and a veterans review and appeal process defined significantly by unreasonable interpretation and application of relevant Acts of Parliament. Using its expertise in democracy and government, the FDA believes that these deficiencies stem from a failure of Canadian democracy and shortcomings in the Canadian federal electoral system. The FDA uncovers evidence that elected officials including the Prime Minister are putting their self-interests above the interests of injured and/or disabled veterans and Canadians as a whole. The Brian Bradley case study, an ongoing egregious seventeen-year legal struggle in which Brian battles for just care for his spinal cord injury, shows that the deficiencies with the VRAB and failings of the federal government have gone on far too long. The FDA recommends a number of reforms, including the elimination of the VRAB and delegation of its responsibilities and duties to the Federal Court, implementation of a non-partisan federal government appointment system, and correction of biases and unfairness in the federal electoral system to help ensure that representatives who represent the broad public good are elected.

"If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost." - Aristotle

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