The Equitas Society “insists that the rights of disables veterans are no less important than (Omar) Khadr’s, or those of any other citizen.” (Equitas Society website, file photo)

Rights of disabled veterans ‘no less important than Khadr’s: Equitas

White-Rock-based society renews effort after federal lawsuit settled for $10.5 million

A White Rock-based veterans-support organization is calling for improved compensation and restored pensions for disabled soldiers, in light of last week’s report that the Canadian government has settled a $10.5-million civil suit with Omar Khadr.

Khadr is a Canadian citizen who, after being was taken to Afghanistan as a teenager by his father, was affiliated with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. He was detained by the U.S. for 10 years – mainly at Guantanamo Bay – after a 2002 firefight between American and Taliban forces in which Khadr, then 15, is alleged to have thrown a grenade that killed U.S. soldier Sgt. Christopher Speer.

The July 4 reporting of the government’s wrongful-imprisonment settlement with Khadr – which includes an official apology – has drawn criticism from some corners.

However, Equitas Society, in an official statement issued Thursday, simply calls for equal treatment for the country’s vets, and calls on the federal Liberals to “uphold its obligations and respect the Charter rights of Canadian disabled soldiers.”

In the release, Equitas “insists that the rights of disabled veterans are no less important than Mr. Khadr’s, or those of any other citizen.”

The New Veterans Charter, which came into effect in 2006, stripped disabled veterans of lifelong disability pension in favour of lump-sum payments, Equitas notes.

“I know many Canadians are outraged by Mr. Khadr receiving over $10 million of taxpayer money, but every Canadian should be even more outraged that Prime Minister (Justin) Trudeau is treating our disabled veterans so very poorly,” said Marc Burchell, president of Equitas Society.

“The Equitas Society and its legal team remain committed to obtaining fair compensation for our disabled veterans.”

In 2015, the statement continues, Trudeau campaigned on a promise to restore pension benefits for disables soldiers, but has since “broke his promise.”

For more on the Equitas Society, visit www.equitassociety.ca

Just Posted

Antique dealer relocates to South Surrey

‘Contacts are everything,’ says business owner Scott Landon

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Owl found dead in South Surrey after eating rat poison

‘Who’s to say a kid’s not going to be the next one to go?’

Surrey woman reportedly shot

RCMP responded to the 16100-block of 92 Avenue at 7:30 p.m. after reports that a woman had been shot

UPDATE, with video: Man in his 80s hit by SUV at Scott Road near 72nd in Surrey

Victim was reportedly unconscious and suffering from major head injuries

VIDEO: Volunteers, donations needed as ‘Whalley Santa Cause’ returns to Surrey’s 135A Street

Volunteers will descend on the Surrey ‘Strip’ to give hampers to homeless on Christmas Day, but help is needed

VIDEO: balloons and games and music at Basic for Babies in Langley

Event helps Food Banks stock supplies for infants

Kamloops RCMP warning public to stay away from unfolding domestic dispute

The public is being asked to avoid Sabiston Creek Road off of the highway

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Most Read