It’s been observed that a measure of legality is not the same thing as a measure of morality.
A recent decision by the Supreme Court not to hear the appeal of the class-action lawsuit against the government on behalf of disabled Canadian veterans – championed by the White Rock-based Equitas Society – is likely on the same basis as the BC Court of Appeal’s dismissal of the same case last December. Namely, that courts can only enforce actual legislation.
That’s a triumph of legalese, and, no doubt, considered a victory by Department of Justice lawyers who have been arguing that Canada owes “no duty of care” to its disabled veterans.
But is it a victory for Canada, and for the young men and women who have served their country selflessly for generations? Can any of us look in a mirror and truly say we owe those injured in the service of our country’s democratic ideals no duty of care? There was no doubt for politicians in the aftermath of the bloodbath of the First World War that we owed disabled veterans something. That’s when the Pension Act was brought into law.
Equitas vows to continue the battle to establish a duty of care and reinstate disabled veterans pensions. Perhaps, in time, they will sway public opinion to such an extent that politicians can no longer retreat behind legal excuses.