Another Veteran abandoned by the DVA

I am reproducing an e-mail I received from Brian Bradley, a Canadian Forces Veteran who feels that he has been very badly treated by the Department of Veterans Affairs regarding injuries he sustained while on board HMCS Qu’Appelle in the early 1990’s.

First is an article he wrote outlining his experiences, and below that are links to some on-line posts going into further detail.

If anyone has any thoughts or advice for him, please contact him as shown at the foot of this post.

As for myself, I find it appalling that Canadians can be expected to put their lives on the line for their country, but have no assurance that they will be properly looked after if they become wounded or injured while in harm’s way.

Jeff Goodall.

By Brian Bradley:

1. This veteran has served in the CF on 3 separate ‘tours of duty’, the last tour as a training Combat Systems Engineer in the Canadian Navy provides the rationale for my spinal cord injuries and ensuing disability pension claims, which remain essentially ignored by Veterans Affairs (VA) and several other government departments.

2. In my last tour of duty at Esquimalt, B.C., I was billeted to HMCS Qu’Appelle where I injured my spinal cord at three levels, subsequent to a fall in the showers onboard that same warship. Upon release from the Canadian Navy in 1993, I was assessed by a qualified medical general practioner (GP named Dr. R.A. Killeen), in Lower Sackville, NS, who immediately identified a C5/C6 radiculopathy (occuring from one of the spinal cord injuries) which had resulted from the accidental fall onboard the HMCS Qu’Appelle. This same GP referred me for assessment initially to a diagnostic service in Halifax (i.e., spinal cord MRI), an orthopedic surgeon, a neurosurgeon, and an internal medicine specialist. All of these graduates and post-graduates in medicine agreed that my three levels of spinal cord injuries (i.e., C5/C6; T11/T12 & L2/L3) most likely were the result of my previously described accidental fall when serving and training onboard the HMCS Qu’Appelle.

3. Beginning in March 1996 and continuing to this year (2011), I applied for a disability pension with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB; note: initially this pension was applied for in 1994, but delayed due to typical precursory and unfounded ‘excuses’ on the part of the VRAB). The VRAB ruled on (allegedly) ten separate occasions over the next 15 years against my application for a disability pension. I was accordingly forced to bring the VRAB into the Trial Division of the Federal Court (Fed. Ct.) on six separate occassioins (Fed. Ct. case # T-157-98, T-2137-99; T-67-03; T-401-05 & T-617-09).

4. I submitted several letters/reports/etc. by graduates and post-graduates (in associated fields of internal medicine, neurology and orthopedic surgery) in support of my claims in all of these cases which were brought before the Fed. Ct. Note that none of these submissions by professional graduates of medicine were contradicted by testimonies from similar medical professionals on the part of the VRAB.

5. The Hon. Mr. Justice Phelan (Fed. Ct. case #T-617-09) decided: “THIS COURT’S JUDGMENT is that the application for judicial review is granted and the Appeal Board’s decision is quashed.” Unfortunately, such a ruling did nothing more than refer the same matter back to the Respondent (e.g., Veterans’ Affairs), thus prolonging the history of this veteran’s claims and thereby moving these same claims from the ridiculous to the sublime, as far as the actual service of justice to this veteran is concerned.

6. While Canadian governments over the past 80+ years have continued to disregard their legislated obligations to veterans of the CF and Mounted Police, along with their spouses and dependants, to what extent do you believe these same governments are allegedly meeting their legislated obligations to the remainder of Canadian citizens?

7. The Bureau of Pensioners’ Advocates presented this veteran’s case to the VRAB on July 6, 2011 and the VRAB provided a decision applicable to this same latest presentation of my case dated July 5, 2011 (i.e., one day prior to the actual presentation of this veteran’s claims to the VRAB). Such pre-emptive decisions and complete lack of fair and due process, has been the ‘ear mark’ of the VRAB’s alleged handling of this veteran’s claims over the past 17 years …. not to mention the similar manner in which this same Fed. gov’t dept. has ignored it’s legislated obligations to other veterans, their spouses and dependants.

8. History has been written, how more often do we have to ignore these blatant travesties in the service of justice before learning lessons which apply to all Canadian citizens?

9. Why must this veteran’s case (and/or that of all other veterans, their spouses and dependants) be ‘pushed’ to the Appeal Division of the Fed. Ct. (or ultimately to the Supreme Court), before a ruling and/or decision which forces the Fed. gov’t dept. concerned to recognize it’s legislated obligations to all veterans, their spouses and dependants, while meeting the claims of these same citizens and/or veterans, is provided?

10. The critical and unanswered question, after 17+ years of seeking a settlement with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB = a subdivision of VA) remains: “If this is the manner in which successive Canadian governments (including the present one) have treated men and women who have placed their lives on the line for these same Canadian governments, to what extent are these same travesties in justice being forced on all Canadian citizens with or without their knowledege of these same unlawful transgressions?”

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.” Burke

Yours truly,

Brian C. Bradley

Additionl information:

‘We are all one’, lest we forget how much we really pay; ??

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.” Burke ?? ??

“Check the weather when you venture out’; check the faces when you venture in.” Chinese Proverb

Contact Brian Bradley here:

Brian Bradley
Calgary, AB


Phone: (403) 455 – 9353.