All posts tagged Veterans Review and Appeal Board

When will Canadian Veterans get a Fair Deal?

I return today to the subject of Canadian veterans. One would have hoped that the government would have learned something from the scandal in which veteran Sean Bruyea was ruthlessly targeted by bureaucrats for daring to speak out against government policy, but so far there’s no sign of relief.

In the first of the two links below, Kenneth Young calls for veterans to band together to form a united front against Veterans Affairs Canada. He criticizes the department as being more interested in bureaucratic mumbo jumbo than helping disable veterans, with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board playing defense. He writes:

Up until recently, the VRAB has been making decisions in a vacuum with nearly zero medical or military expertise to support its calls. VRAB political appointees have always counted on their decisions being kept in total media black-out. When individuals have risen to challenge their calls, VAC and the VRAB have tried to push the challenger into the shadows and as far away from public scrutiny as possible.

This illustrates the need for an appointments commission for the federal government. Only one person in the VRAB has a medical background, while most are lawyers. How could they possibly be qualified for this work.… Read the rest

Is patronage corruption?

Well, it’s certainly legal in Canada. Stephen Harper, who campaigned in 2006 on promises to end patronage (like so many before him) has become known for his patronage appointments (like so many before him). His most recent appointment of three failed candidates to the Senate has sparked unusual outrage, which is what inspired this post.

Not only is patronage legal in Canada, it’s an integral part of our political system. The Prime Minister and the premiers of the provinces each have a great deal of power to appoint whomever they please to a range of positions. Even judicial appointments have room for political influence, as we’ve seen in Quebec.

In some ways, this is right an proper: we elect governments and expect them to carry out their promises. It’s natural that they would want people of similar beliefs to fill key posts. The problems arise, though, when merit no longer matters or the power of appointment is used contrary to the public good.

For example, to serve on the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, one isn’t required to have any experience in the field. Only one of the current members is a medical professional. Plenty of lawyers, though. This may not be illegal or corrupt, but it’s certainly unethical.… Read the rest