Author Topic: Dornan's DU Case  (Read 2102 times)

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Dornan's DU Case
« on: March 31, 2012, 11:57:42 AM »
From: Rob []
Sent: February-28-11 8:56 AM
To: >>>----- Freedom Is Not Free -----<<<
Cc: 'A Channel '; 'Bill Rowe '; 'Canada News Centre '; 'Canada Newswire '; 'Canadian Press '; 'Chronicle Herald '; 'Corinne Seminoff '; 'CTV News Ottawa ';;;;;;;;;; 'EdmontonJournal '; 'EdmontonSun '; 'Epoch Times '; 'Esprit De Corp '; 'Gander Beacon ';; 'Global TV ';; 'Hilltimes Ottawa ';;;; 'Kathleen Harris ';;; 'Legion '; 'Liberal Party ';; 'Macleans ';;; 'Mr. Allard '; 'NDP Party ';;;;; 'Ottawa Citizen '; 'Ottawa Herald '; 'Ottawa Metro '; 'Ottawa Sun ';;; 'The Centre '; 'The Hammer '; 'Toronto Star '; 'VOCM News ';;; Blackburn (MVA); Blackburn (MVA); 'DND ombudsman'; 'Greg Kerr ( MP for West Nova )'; Guy Parent (OVO); Jack Layton MP (NDP); 'K Duncan'; 'K Duncan'; 'L Hawn'; 'Michael Ignatieff'; Peter G MacKay ( Minister of National Defence ); 'Peter MacKay'; Peter Stoffer (VA- NDP); Peter Stoffer (VA- NDP); Sheila Fraser; Stephen Harper ( P M Canada ); 'Suzanne Tinning'
Subject: Veterans' wife stages 'sit in' starting today.
Importance: High


   Rob Gallant
From: Dennis []
Sent: February 28, 2011 9:07 AM
To: Dennis & Tracy Manuge
Cc: Guy Parent; John Percy; Kirsty Duncan;; Senator Percy Downe;;; VeteranVoice. Info; 'Brewster, Murray'; 'Gurney, Matt (National Post)'; 'Tom Murphy'; 'Todd Veinotte';;;; 'CTV Newsroom'; 'Atlantic News';;; 'Stephen Harper';;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; 'CBC Information Morning Nova Scotia'
Subject: Veterans' wife stages 'sit in' starting today.
Importance: High

VAC Minister Blackburn

It is time for you to step in, Sir, and right the injustice perpetrated on Steve Dornan and his wife, Rosanne!

"Benefit of the doubt", for Steve Dornan, is provided in the attachments. It is a sad day when the distressed wife of an ailing CF Member has to do a "sit in" to shine extra light on what are a simple case and an even easier decision.

Dennis Manuge

From: S & R []
Sent: February-28-11 8:06 AM
To: Rosanne Home
Subject: Veterans' wife stages 'sit in' starting today.
Importance: High


Good Morning!  My name is Rosanne Dornan and I am the wife of Steven Dornan, a now medically retired 25+ year Veteran of the Canadian Forces.  I am sending you this email this morning to announce that today at 9:00 am AST, I will begin a peaceful ?sit in? at my Member of Parliament, Greg Kerr?s  local constituency office located in Wilmot, Nova Scotia.  To understand why I have chosen to do this and the depth of my frustration and humiliation, please read this entire e-mail.   

For those of you who don?t know, Mr. Kerr is both the Member of Parliament (MP) for West Nova, Nova Scotia, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans Affairs.  He holds the second most influential position in the department of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). I have tried to call Mr. Kerr all last week to discuss my intended actions and to seek advice, but I have not received any response from him or his office.

First a little background:  My husband and I have been battling VAC for nine very long years in an attempt to be awarded a full pension for his non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that was caused or aggravated by toxic chemical contamination (DU) that was inhaled while he was in Bosnia in 1995-1996.  This attempt has left us very tired and humiliated.  Steven's disease is a chronic lymphatic cancer and will eventually not be controlled by drugs or treatments and he will die prematurely. During his career he's has been to both Bosnia and Afghanistan twice; making the first trip to Afghanistan while taking oral chemotherapy after he was diagnosed in 2002.  He's no malingerer/whiner and has always done his job to the best of his ability.

VAC, through the Veterans Affairs Review Board (VRAB), has continually denied his disability pension and recently we were once again denied.  Those that have had the opportunity to take a serious, unbiased look at our file are all in agreement that we have met the burden of proof and have made a strong argument for this pension to be awarded.  Everyone that is, except for VAC and VRAB. 

We have presented expert medical and scientific evidence from five doctors and two scientists who have supported our claim.  VRAB has declared all of their opinions ?not credible?, despite the fact that the Federal Court of Canada has ordered that they have no jurisdiction to do so (see FederalCourtDecisionCompliation attached).  The Board members cherry picked through information and exhibits, erred in both law and fact, utilized obsolete information, misrepresented our issues, used unsubstantiated arguments, assassinated expert opinion and went out of their way to ensure an award was not granted.  They clearly did not ensure fairness, competence and excellence by providing an independent, consistent and reasonable decision that was grounded in law as their very own website states they are to do.  They have not been accountable nor did they administer the law and their processes in an unbiased, fair and effective manner.  It is shameful behaviour and incredibly unjust.

As an example, I site some the many recent Federal Court decisions that have been made (see FederalCourtDecisionCompliation attached). These rulings give Board members very clear and concise direction, but it has not made one bit of difference in how the Board operates.  The Board continues to make the same shameful errors and it is then the Veteran that pays for it, both emotionally and financially.

VRAB and its politically appointed members should be learning from their mistakes and all the Federal court rulings that have been made against them.  These lessons learned should be used to improve their service and knowledge.  It should be helping them be better at their jobs and to administer the law in an effective and impartial way as they are mandated by law to do.  Their inability to do what is right has personally cost us much precious time, energy, frustration, and major financial strain.  Most importantly of these is time, as my husband will only become more ill as his disease progresses. 

VRAB says that we have the right to transparent, and well-reasoned actions and decisions.  VRAB says they work together in a spirit of collegiality and treat people with courtesy, diplomacy and respect.  I only ask that you read our two latest decisions from them to find that it?s not what happens (see VRABdecisionFEB201 attached).
I stage this ?sit in? out of profound frustration and desperation.  I want the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Jean Pierre Blackburn, who I am told has my husbands file on his desk, to be able to take a serious, unbiased, fair and impartial review of it.  As stated in the Pension Act, we would like every reasonable inference to be made in our favour as he peruses the thousands of pages of exhibits, reports, pictures, video, letters, documents and other evidence that is contained within it.  I want him to resolve in our favour any doubt, in the weighing of all this evidence, as to whether we have met the burden of proof in an effective, coherent, valid way.

I would like for him to tell me that the supporting letters from our doctors and scientists mean something and that the opinions they have made are credible even though they differ from what VRAB may believe.  These letters of support and explanation are vital pieces to our case and they provide evidence that my husbands? cancer may have been caused or aggravated by toxic chemical exposure while he did his job for our country. I need to know why the Department of National Defence?s own Deputy Regional Surgeon for Joint Task Force Atlantic?s expert medical opinion (see CausualLinkMalcolm attached) is considered ?not credible? by VRAB members who are not qualified or even allowed under the law to make such a judgment.  Dr. Malcolm clearly states in his letter that the potential for exposure to carcinogens during his tour in Bosnia did exist and that his subsequent diagnosis of NHL may therefore be linked to his deployment.  How is that not a credible opinion considering that Dr. Malcolm is a Military medical doctor who studied my husbands files thoroughly? My guess is that for someone in Dr. Malcolm?s position, he did his homework and research before making such a strong statement.  VRAB is mandated to accept the evidence provided to it, and not take the position of adversary to the Veteran.  They cannot simple ?chew up and spit out? what is not favourable to them just because it?s what they want to do.  I also attached a copy of another letter of support written by his own cancer specialist, Dr. David MacDonald.  Seems his opinion is also not credible according to those on our Board.

I would also like for him to tell me why a Board found one of our scientists? opinion credible in a full pension award decision for Mr. David Sherbanowski (see Sherbanowski VAC Award attached) and here in our decision, this same scientists? opinion is not considered credible, although Dr. Baverstock is saying the exact same thing in both cases.  I would also like to know why Mr. Sherbanowski only needed one doctor and one scientist opinion and the five doctors and two scientists? opinions we had obtained were not enough for our VRAB panel.  Why was so much more demanded of my husband to prove the same illness (lymphoma) from the same place (Bosnia) and from the same chemical (DU).  I also attached a letter of support from Mr. Sherbanowski's cancer specialist, Dr. Crump whose opinion was accepted and had strongly influenced him being awarded his pension; two soldiers, two very different endings.

My husband and I both are aware that according to Section 85 (1)(a) of the Pension Act:

85. (1) The Minister may not consider an application for an award that has already been the subject of a determination by the Veterans Review and Appeal Board or one of its predecessors (the Veterans Appeal Board, the Pension Review Board, an Assessment Board or an Entitlement Board) unless
(a) the applicant has obtained the permission of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board; or
(b) the Veterans Review and Appeal Board has referred the application to the Minister for reconsideration.

Last Thursday February 24, 2011 my husband made a formal request to VRAB and it's Chair, Mr. Larlee, to either give him this permission or for VRAB themselves to refer the file directly to the Minister of Veterans Affairs office.  A second formal request was made on Friday February 25, 2011 from our Bureau of Pension Advocate lawyer, Mr. Charles Keliher.  I have been informed that VRAB has received both of these requests.

What further complicates our situation is that there is only a 30 day window of opportunity between when a Veteran receives an unfavourable decision and when his case will move to the Federal Court system.  Once in the Federal Court system, the Minister cannot in any way become involved in an applicants file.  As of today, there are only 22 days left in which to get VRAB?s permission and then have the Minister of Veterans Affairs personally review our claim as we are told he is willing to do. Time is of the essence and should we not be able to accomplish this in the time period allotted, we will be forced back to Federal Court to get yet another decision ordering VRAB to adjudicate our file once more.

I am hoping that by shining a bright light on our personal, private issues and situation, the Minister of Veterans Affairs will be able to review my husband?s entire VAC file and hopefully give us closure and a graceful exit from this nine year nightmare. 
If you feel so inclined, please contact those that are listed below and tell them your thoughts and feelings.  If you are local and feel you would like to drop in to Mr. Kerr?s office while I?m there, I?d be glad to have your support.  His office is located at 14373 Highway 1, Wilmot, Nova Scotia across from Frenchy?s and office hours are 9:00 am AST until 1:00 pm AST, Monday to Friday.

Frustrated but hopeful,

Rosanne Dornan


Sherbanowski VAC Award

Contact Information (Alphabetically)

Blackburn, Jean Pierre, Minister Veterans Affairs
Office:  613-947-2744

Dornan, Steven and Rosanne
Home:  902-765-6541

Downe, Senator Percy, Charlottetown, PEI
Ottawa: 613-943-8107
Toll Free: 1-800-267-7362

Duncan, Kirsty, Liberal Veterans Affairs Critic/Chris
Office: 613-995-4702
Cell: 416-747-6003

Kerr, Greg, MP/Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans Affairs/Angela
Office:  902-825-2320
Ottawa:  613-995-5711

Larlee, John, Chair, Veterans Review and Appeal Board
Phone:  902-566-8796

Parent, Guy, Veterans Ombudsman
Phone:  613-943-3027
Toll Free:  1-877-330-4343

Stoffer, Peter, NDP Veterans Affairs Critic/Holly
Ottawa:  613-995-5822
Local:  902-861-2311
Toll Free 1-888-701-5557

Tinning, Susan, Deputy Minister, VAC/Valerie
Ottawa:  613-996-6881
PEI Office:  902-566-8666
Home:  902-626-3703

Websites:  (Alphabetically)

Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act

Canada Pension Act

Federal Court of Canada

Greg Kerr

Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Ombudsman

Veterans Review and Appeal Board

Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act
Canadian Veterans Advocacy - One Veteran One Standard

Web Site:

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