Canada: 'My country fed me to the wolves:' Veteran slams government settlement for military sexual misconduct victims - - PressFrom - Canada
  •   
  •   
  •   

Canada 'My country fed me to the wolves:' Veteran slams government settlement for military sexual misconduct victims

12:10  01 december  2019
12:10  01 december  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Court clears $900M settlement for military and civilian victims of sexual misconduct

  Court clears $900M settlement for military and civilian victims of sexual misconduct The Federal Court has formally signed off on a $900 million class action lawsuit settlement for members of the Canadian military and employees of the Department of National Defence who were victims of sexual assault and misconduct. The case was initiated by seven former members of the Armed Forces on behalf of past members and those still serving.The court determined the federal government's settlement offer is fair and reasonable, said a statement from the law firm representing the victims, who are now being encouraged to apply for compensation.

The proposed settlement also commits the country ’s military to improve its complaints process and to create a forum for victims to share their experiences with OTTAWA — Canada will set aside close to 1 billion Canadian dollars to settle claims of sexual harassment and misconduct within its military .

The Federal Court has formally signed off on a 0 million class action lawsuit settlement for The court determined the federal government 's settlement offer is fair and reasonable, said a The settlement provides for payments of between ,000 and ,000 for victims of sexual misconduct .

a close up of a sign: A court has designated a $900-million settlement to address the class action lawsuit alleging rampant sexual misconduct in the military and at the Department of National Defence. But it's less clear how the abusive culture will be corrected.© Provided by cbc.ca A court has designated a $900-million settlement to address the class action lawsuit alleging rampant sexual misconduct in the military and at the Department of National Defence. But it's less clear how the abusive culture will be corrected.

Deployments in the Middle East, Africa and Europe took their toll on Dale Shewchuck, but it was nothing compared to the suffering he says he faced within the Canadian Armed Forces after coming forward as a victim of sexual assault.

That anguish bubbled to the surface again this week when the Federal Court approved the government's $900-million settlement to address the class action lawsuit alleging rampant sexual misconduct in the military and at the Department of National Defence.

$900M military sexual misconduct settlement 'huge relief' for plaintiff

  $900M military sexual misconduct settlement 'huge relief' for plaintiff One of the lead plaintiffs in a $900 million class-action lawsuit for members of the Canadian military and employees of the Department of National Defence hopes the it brings closure for the people who experience of sexual assault and misconduct. Glynis Rogers, a former military officer from Yarmouth, N.S., said it was a "huge relief" to learn the Federal Court formally signed off on the government's offer Monday. Rogers and six other former members of the armed forces launched the class-action suits on behalf of past and current members.

OTTAWA — The federal government is paying 0 million to settle multiple class-action Over the past few years, participants in several lawsuits alleging similar misconduct and systemic problems “We hope that the settlement will help bring closure, healing, and acknowledgment to the victims

This overview shows the regulations regarding military service of non-heterosexuals around the world. Conceptions and categories of sexual orientation are not universal.

The court determined the federal government's settlement offer was fair and reasonable, said a statement from the law firm representing the victims. It's one of the largest settlements in Canadian history.

But Shewchuck, who is eligible for some of that money, says the settlement fails to take full responsibility for the harm done to victims like him and neglects concrete steps to fix the continuing culture problem in the military — action he says is necessary to make sure no other Forces member faces what he's lived with for 20 years.

"I lost everything," he said.

"I love my country and am proud I served her for as long as I could. I've battled for her, protected her and supported her, only to have her turn her back on me."

Shewchuck took a medical retirement in 2014 after struggling with untreated PTSD.

Former CBSA agent files lawsuit over agency’s handling of harassment complaint

  Former CBSA agent files lawsuit over agency’s handling of harassment complaint Jannelle Buchanan alleges she was subjected to intense and inappropriate interrogation after filing a complaint against a male co-worker. Buchanan worked as a firearms instructor with the CBSA. READ MORE: Federal Court approves $900M deal to settle Canadian military sexual assault, harassment cases She claims that in the spring of 2015, she was barbecuing food for staff working a Saturday overtime shift when she was inappropriately approached by a male employee.

The federal government also agreed to set up a restorative-measures process so that members of the class action can tell senior Canadian Forces or The settlement also includes a commitment to a comprehensive external review of the military 's progress in addressing sexual misconduct .

The federal government has reached a deal worth 0 million to compensate the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct in the The statement continued, adding “we hope that the settlement will help bring closure, healing, and acknowledgement to the victims and survivors of

It's his disappointment in the Canadian Armed Forces and the federal government that he says have pushed him to tell his story publicly for the first time.

"My country fed me to the wolves," he said. "We were taught to suck it up and soldier on."

In 1996, Shewchuck was a 19-year-old private stationed in Petawawa, Ont. After a party one night, he says a soldier of a superior ranked drugged and assaulted him in the barracks.

Fearing repercussions, he kept the incident to himself for six months — finally coming forward when he heard the same officer preyed on another young soldier.

Court affidavits provided to CBC News confirmed that chain of events.

Two decades of persecution

When his colleagues found out he'd "snitched," he says life on the base became unbearable.

The bathroom walls were painted with slurs about Shewchuck. Death threats were slipped under his door at night. His senior officers accused him of lying. The repercussions followed him throughout his 18-year career.

Former SPVM officer, hockey coach accused of sexually assaulting boys

  Former SPVM officer, hockey coach accused of sexually assaulting boys Longueuil police believe there could be other victims, and are asking anyone with information to come forward. Lamarre was a hockey coach in the 1970s and 80s in the Greenfield Park area of Longueuil, and also went by the name "Frank." He lived on Springfield and Campbell Streets, and some of the assaults are alleged to have taken place in his home. © Provided by cbc.ca François Lamarre, photographed here in 2010, is accused of assaulting at least four young boys, and Longueuil police believe there could be more victims. Police say other assaults took place in his vehicles and at hockey arenas.

The federal government promised 0 million in compensation Thursday to settle multiple Over the past few years, participants in several lawsuits alleging similar misconduct and systemic “We hope that the settlement will help bring closure, healing, and acknowledgment to the victims and

In the settlement , announced late on Thursday, the federal government budgeted C0 million The agreement stems from class action lawsuits initiated by seven former members of the military “We hope that the settlement will help bring closure, healing, and acknowledgement to the victims

Shewchuck heard about the class-action lawsuit when it launched in 2016 and submitted his story to the prosecutors.

Government lawyers had originally sought to stop the class-action lawsuit, but faced backlash after making an argument before a court that government does not "owe a private law duty of care to individual members within the CAF to provide a safe and harassment-free work environment, or to create policies to prevent sexual harassment or sexual assault."

The case went ahead and, in February 2018, the government announced its intention to settle out of court.

"We're a government that takes sexual misconduct extremely seriously," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said when the details of the settlement were announced in July. "No one should feel unsafe in their place of work, in their communities."

Under the settlement, class members are eligible for compensation of between $5,000 and $55,000, depending on what happened to them.

Members who experienced "exceptional harm" and who were previously denied benefits in respect of that harm could be eligible for up to $155,000.

'A battle that we've won': LGBTQ military members get personal apologies

  'A battle that we've won': LGBTQ military members get personal apologies A number of former LGBTQ military members are finally receiving letters of apology from the Canadian Armed Forces — two years after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a formal apology for decades of 'state-sponsored' discrimination.So far, 406 letters have been sent, with 26 still left to be mailed out, Department of National Defence communications manager Najwa Asmar told Radio-Canada.

The federal government has settled a deal worth 0 million in compensation packages to the plaintiffs. WATCH: The Canadian government has agreed to a 0-million settlement over a military sexual misconduct class action lawsuit, but one Halifax woman says she wants more done.

WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is preparing new policies on campus sexual misconduct that would bolster the rights of students accused of assault, harassment or rape, reduce liability for institutions of higher education and encourage schools to provide more support for victims .

Four months after the settlement was announced, the court signed off on it.

Michel Drapeau, a retired colonel who now runs his own law firm, is happy to see progress on an issue that has tainted the Forces for decades.

"At long last the government accept its responsibility for the failure of the Canadian Armed Forces leadership and the Department of Defence to deal with this in a comprehensive way," he said.

"It's a very important step in the right direction."

'It puts an end to this chapter'

Though the government agreed to settle, they did not admit liability.

Shewchuck says he wants a formal apology from the federal government. Drapeau suggests he shouldn't hold his breath.

"One of the side benefits of settling, particularly in a case with the government, is they don't get to admit liability. And second, they get a full release when this is done. Nobody else can wake up one morning and decide 'I'm going to sue the government,'" the lawyer said.

"It puts an end to this particular chapter and it may leave a number of people, in fact, dissatisfied with it."

The Canadian Armed Forces told CBC News the settlement is part of the "ongoing culture change efforts."

As part of the settlement, policy changes and new programs will be put in place. A restorative engagement process between class action members and the military, a five-year external review to measure progress, consultations with the complainants and updates to Veterans Affairs policies are all on the list.

Former B.C. mayor sentenced to two years less a day for sexual offences

  Former B.C. mayor sentenced to two years less a day for sexual offences SMITHERS, B.C. — British Columbia's prosecution service says the former mayor of Burns Lake has been sentenced to two years less a day for sexual offences involving four boys under the age of 16. Luke Strimbold pleaded guilty in May to two counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual interference and another count of sexual touching. A special prosecutor had previously approved 29 charges against Strimbold, including sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching, that allegedly involved six people under the age of 16.His indictment said the alleged offences occurred between May 2014 and August 2017.

For generations, the military wasn’t looking for male sexual assault victims , so it failed to see them, according to Nathan W. Galbreath, deputy director of the Defense Department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Mr. Hanson sleeps with several weapons next to the bed that he shares with his wife.

Sexual assault in the United States armed forces is an ongoing issue which has received extensive media coverage in the past several years. At least 32% of U.S. military women report having been sexually assaulted, and up to 80% have been sexually harassed.

"Institutional culture change is difficult, it takes time, and there is no template to follow for an organization the size and nature of the Canadian Armed Forces. We are continually improving as we go, using research, expert guidance and data and analysis to ensure that we're progressing and getting the desired outcomes," a statement from the CAF said.

a man and a woman posing for a picture: Dale Shewchuck, right, says the government is ignoring the harm done to people who were sexually assaulted while serving in the military.© Provided by cbc.ca Dale Shewchuck, right, says the government is ignoring the harm done to people who were sexually assaulted while serving in the military.

Shewchuck says it's insulting that those who have experienced sexual assaults had to reach into the government's wallet before these changes were considered.

"What's a life worth?" he asked. He doesn't know at this point how much compensation he's eligible for.

But the conclusion of the case is cathartic, even if it's not exactly what he wanted.

"I think the most important part of the settlement will be victims' ability to be heard. The ability to tell their story and express their pain."

Just the tip of the iceberg

An external review completed in 2015 by former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps found that "it is not enough to simply revise policies or to repeat the mantra of 'zero tolerance.' Leaders must acknowledge that sexual misconduct is a real and serious problem for the organization, one that requires their own direct and sustained attention."

The military launched Operation Honour in 2015 to stamp out incidents like what happened to Shewchuck.

Data reveals only a meagre decrease. In 2018, 900 members of the regular Canadian Armed Forces, or 1.6 per cent, reported being victims of sexual assault, compared to 1.7 per cent two years earlier, according to a survey released in May.

Statistics Canada showed only one in four victims reported a sexual assault to someone in authority last year, unchanged from the survey they conducted in on the military in 2016.

Drapeau says what has been uncovered so far won't be the end. It's just the "tip of the iceberg."

Shewchuck has a clear idea of what he wants to happen next. He wants to see the military implement more mental health supports for victims and change the screening process to weed out potential abusers. He's still struggling to get mental health supports for his PTSD and adjust to "civilian life" since he left the military.

But the thing he craves desperately is an apology that may never come, and he's haunted by the years of abuse he says the government fails to understand.

"If I could do it all over again, I would have never come forward."

Suicide victim outside legislature was military veteran with depression, family says .
Ken Chan was a quiet man who would help anybody in need, his family says. He was not the type to try to draw attention to himself.Ken Chan was not the type of person to try to draw attention to himself, said Harald Linder, who thinks Chan, his stepfather, suffered from depression and possibly post-traumatic stress disorder.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 13
This is interesting!