Dany Fortin sues federal government, Trudeau for $6M
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, a senior military officer who was acquitted of a sexual assault charge late last year, has filed a $6-million lawsuit against the Canadian government.
Fortin, who was dropped as the lead for Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine program in early 2021, has named 16 high-ranking officials in a wide-ranging suit, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, chief of the defence staff Gen. Wayne Eyre, former defence minister Harjit Sajjan and former health minister Patty Hajdu.
A statement of claim filed on Wednesday with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice accuses the officials of “reprehensible, extreme, flagrant and high-handed” conduct and seeks $5 million in general damages and $1 million in punitive damages.
The document alleges that Fortin suffered the damages due to defamation and misfeasance in public office. It also accuses the officials of negligent investigation, the inappropriate public disclosure of private facts, breach of confidence and conspiracy to cause damages.
“He was not afforded due process,” Fortin’s lawyer, Thomas Conway, said in an interview.
“It’s caused him the kind of grief that you expect anyone would go through, facing the kinds of allegations that he had to face publicly.”
Fortin was removed as head of the government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout in May 2021 pending the investigation of a historical allegation stemming from his time at military college in 1988.
He was charged with sexual assault in August 2021 and acquitted of the charge last December in the Quebec Superior Court.
The lawsuit alleges that the investigation was grossly negligent and that there was never any basis to make a criminal prosecution in the first place. It accuses officials of dismissing Fortin from the prominent vaccine role for political reasons.
“There is a certain, I would say, chill that has descended over the Canadian Armed Forces relating to all of these allegations of sexual misconduct,” Conway said.
“And we are not by any means trying to trivialize that issue. Not by any means. It’s a serious issue. However, unfortunately, everyone seems to have tossed out the notion that someone is entitled to … a fair process.”
He added that despite Fortin’s acquittal, there is a stain on his reputation.
“That stain, that damage, is not something that is ever going to be removed unless he seeks redress for what has happened in the courts by way of civil remedy,” Conway said.
The military formally cleared Fortin of misconduct on the balance of probabilities in January, and said it would assign him to a new role. But the lawsuit alleges the Canadian Armed Forces is either refusing or unreasonably delaying his reintegration.
The statement of claim says that’s because defendants it names as “political actors” have “made it clear” to the military’s leadership that Fortin cannot return to his regular duties, have “tarnished” his reputation with the military itself and have created a climate in which someone who “has done nothing wrong” cannot advance their career once someone else makes an allegation.
The Defence Department still intends to reassign Fortin to “appropriate duties commensurate with his rank and experience,” spokesperson Jessica Lamirande said in a statement.
“We will review the statement of claim and will not be commenting further at this time,” she said.
The Prime Minister’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
No statement of defence has been filed responding to the allegations in the lawsuit.
Separate proceedings are still ongoing at the Federal Court of Appeal, in which Fortin is appealing a Federal Court decision that tossed out his request for reinstatement last year.
In that matter, Fortin has argued that he was ousted from the vaccine role due to political interference and without due process. The government has denied those claims. A spokesperson for Fortin said a date has not been set for further proceedings.
Fortin, who previously served as commander of the NATO training mission in Iraq and as commander of the 1st Canadian Division, also initiated a complaint with the Military Police Complaints Commission after his acquittal.
When asked about whether Fortin pursued a settlement with the government before filing the suit, Conway would only say that Fortin does not have any interest in getting into extended litigation with his former colleagues, and with an institution he served for more than 30 years.
“Believe me, this is the last thing he wanted to do.”
Defendants named in the Fortin lawsuit include:
— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
— Gen. Wayne Eyre, the chief of the defence staff
— Harjit Sajjan, former defence minister and current international development minister
— Patty Hajdu, former health minister and current Indigenous services minister
— Janice Charette, clerk of the Privy Council Office
— Iain Stewart, former head of the Public Health Agency of Canada and current president of the National Research Council
— Jody Thomas, former deputy minister of national defence and current national security adviser to Trudeau
— Lt.-Col. Eric Leblanc, commander of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service
— Retired colonel Bruce MacGregor, former director of military prosecutions
— Brig.-Gen. Simon Trudeau, the military’s provost marshal
— Retired brigadier-general Dyrald Cross, who was the supervisor of the complainant in the sexual assault case
— Laurie-Anne Kempton, the assistant deputy minister of public affairs at the Defence Department
— George Young, Sajjan’s then-chief of staff and current acting chief of staff to the fisheries and oceans minister
— Warrant Officer Denise Hachey, a military police investigator
— Brig.-Gen. Alan Mulawyshyn, then-chief of staff for Eyre and now a deputy executive director at Veterans’ House
— The Attorney General of Canada, who is named in the suit as a defendant in the proceeding on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Department of National Defence, the Ministry of Health, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2023.
Here are 5 ways Budget 2023 will impact your wallet – Global News
Much of the federal Liberal government’s 2023 budget is geared towards helping Canadian households make ends meet — or at the very least, for example, shaving a few dollars off the cost of a concert ticket.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland teed up the 2023 spending plans as providing support for vulnerable Canadians who are feeling stressed about their own budgets after a year of high inflation and rapidly rising interest rates.
Some proposed measures will make a direct impact on households, while others will change the kinds of charges and interest rates businesses can levy at Canadians.
Here are five big takeaways from the federal budget you’ll want to know about.
Tax rebate aimed at grocery affordability
One highly touted measure in the 2023 budget is a one-time tax rebate aimed at helping Canadians cope with rampant food inflation.
The so-called “grocery rebate,” as reported by Global News and others ahead of the budget’s release on Tuesday, would be aimed at lower-income households. It would be delivered through the existing GST tax credit mechanism, with an estimated 11 million Canadians and families expected to qualify to receive the support.
The rebate is expected to deliver $467 directly to a family of four, $234 to a single Canadian without kids and $225 to the average senior.
Federal Budget 2023: Economy made ‘remarkable recovery from COVID recession,’ Freeland says
Despite the name, the government won’t be checking that the rebate is spent directly on groceries.
But given that prices for food from the grocery store clocked in at 10.6 per cent annual inflation in February and has remained in double-digits since the summer, groceries continue to be major stressors on household budgets.
The timeline for the rollout of this rebate is uncertain and depends on when and if the 2023 budget is passed in Parliament.
Cracking down on ‘junk fees’
In the 2023 budget, the Liberal government is declaring war on “junk fees” — defined as “unexpected, hidden and additional fees” that crop up on everything from concert tickets to airfare, from telecom services to excessive shipping costs.
Details were sparse on how and when the government would tackle these fees, but the budget said Ottawa would work with regulatory agencies, provinces and territories to reduce unfair and excessive costs on some common expenses.
Federal Budget 2023: Will the Liberals’ plan help or hurt Canada’s inflation rate?
The United States government recently announced a similar crackdown on fees as consumers have swiftly complained online in the past few years about the exorbitant amounts charged for tickets to popular concerts, for example.
While some measures in the 2023 budget might reduce what you pay on airfare, others could see those costs rise.
The air travellers security charge (ATSC), which is typically paid by passengers on their tickets and helps to fund security screening and baggage protection services in Canada, is set to rise under the 2023 budget proposals.
The ATSC rate for a round-trip domestic flight would rise almost $5 to $19.87 under the new regime, while an international flight will see the charge hiked by nearly $9 to $34.42 on a flight out of Canada.
Help on loans
The federal government also announced its plans to help Canadians dealing with high interest rates on some loans.
Debt-servicing payments have grown rapidly over the past year as the Bank of Canada raised interest rates in an effort to cool spending and take some stream out of inflation. A rise in the central bank’s benchmark policy rate affects multiple kinds of debt, including mortgages, lines of credit and credit cards.
For Canadians struggling with mortgage payments after a year of rate hikes, Ottawa proposed a new mortgage code of conduct in the 2023 budget.
Through the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the document would direct financial institutions to provide Canadians struggling to make mortgage payments with “fair and equitable access to relief measures.”
This could include adjusting payment schedules, extending amortizations on the loan or authorizing lump-sum payments, strategies some lenders already offer to clients who are in danger of defaulting on their mortgage.
Beyond mortgages, Ottawa is also planning to crack down on payday loans and predatory lenders.
The budget notes that these loans often target low-income and other vulnerable Canadians with a promise of quick relief at the cost of “very high interest rate loans” that can end up trapping consumers in a cycle of debt.
Federal Budget 2023: Poilievre says Liberal plan an ‘attack on paycheques of hard-working Canadians’
The Liberals are proposing to amend the Criminal Code to lower the threshold at which a rate of interest would be considered criminal from today’s annual rate of 47 per cent federally to 35 per cent, in line with the current rate in Quebec.
Payday lenders would also be able to charge Canadians no more than $14 per $100 borrowed under the new regime, bringing it down to the cap currently in place in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Standardizing chargers for devices
The federal government is also planning to cut down on the number of charging cables Canadians have lying around their kitchen drawers by standardizing the charging port for smartphones and other devices.
Following the lead of the European Union, which signalled it would mandate USB-C charging ports for small handheld devices and laptops by the end of 2024, Ottawa will also work with international partners to “explore implementing a standard charging port in Canada,” according to the budget.
The document said standardizing the charging port on phones and other devices could lower costs for Canadians and cut down on electronic waste.
Also in the vein of cutting down on waste, the Liberals are proposing a new “right to repair” framework for existing devices.
Currently, fixing broken appliances or devices can come with high fees or face delays when specific parts aren’t available.
Federal Budget 2023: How Freeland balanced fiscal concerns with cabinet, NDP demands
The government is looking to roll out a framework in 2024 to make electronics easier to repair with spare parts expected to be readily accessible.
“By cutting down on the number of devices and appliances that are thrown out, we will be able to make life more affordable for Canadians and protect our environment,” the budget read.
Automatic tax filing to help low-income Canadians
Ottawa is also looking to help the estimated 12 per cent of Canadians who don’t currently file tax returns take advantage of benefits they might currently be missing out on.
Starting in 2023, the Canada Revenue Agency is expected to pilot a new “automatic filing system” to help vulnerable Canadians who don’t regularly file taxes receive the benefits they’re entitled to receive.
Federal Budget 2023: NDP supports Liberal economic plan but unsatisfied by housing and EI, Singh says
The government also intends to expand its existing auto-file program, File My Return, which sees low-income Canadians file returns by answering a few questions over the phone.
Ottawa plans to nearly triple the number of Canadians eligible for the auto-file program to two million by 2025.
More on Politics
PLAY to offer flights to Amsterdam from Hamilton airport
Amsterdam will be available to Canadian travellers on June 22
Hamilton, ON, March 28, 2023 – PLAY, a low-cost airline operating flights between Iceland and Europe, has added Amsterdam to its summer schedule. Tickets for the new route are now available for purchase, and the destination will be available for Canadian travellers when PLAY launches its inaugural flight out of Hamilton on June 22.
As a transatlantic carrier between Europe and North America, PLAY operates from its hub at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, perfectly positioned between the two continents.
From John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, Canadian passengers can fly to Amsterdam for as low as $169. Travel for this new route will be facilitated through Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
Since its first flight in June 2021, PLAY has expanded its fleet from three Airbus A320neo aircraft to six in 2022 and will operate 10 Airbus A320/321neo aircraft in 2023. The average age of PLAY’s aircraft is just 2.3 years, making the passengers’ journey comfortable, safe and reliable. With a network of nearly 40 destinations and over a million passengers flown since its launch, PLAY has a solid track record of an impressive 87 per cent on-time performance in 2023.
In Iceland, PLAY is a listed company in the Icelandic stock market with around 4.000 shareholders.
“We are thrilled to launch our services to Amsterdam and connect more customers to our affordable travel options,” said Birgir Jónsson, CEO, PLAY. “Amsterdam is one of Europe’s biggest hubs and a vital destination for our VIA operations between Canada and Europe. At PLAY, our mission is clear: to provide low-cost flights and offer our customers more value for their money. We aim to give the competition a run for their money with our low prices, providing people in Canada the opportunity to save money on their flights and enjoy more experiences in their destination. As we like to say at PLAY: Pay less, PLAY more.”
Learn more or book a flight at flyplay.com. See media assets here.
PLAY is a low-cost airline operating flights between Iceland and Europe, and North America as of 2022. Founded in Reykjavík in 2019 by a management team with significant experience in the aviation industry, the company operates flights on new Airbus A321NEO and A320NEO aircraft, offering streamlined, no-frills service that allows travelers to pay less and “play more.” Safety comes first for PLAY. On-time performance, simplicity, happiness and low prices are the airline’s core principles. The airline seeks to enable passengers to see the world, but not without considering its environmental impact. PLAY is being developed with sustainability initiatives and benchmarks in place to track and reduce fuel consumption, offset carbon emissions, and limit waste. Learn more or book a flight at flyplay.com or follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @PLAYairlines. For media resources, visit PLAY’s online newsroom, flyplay.com/media.
– 30 –
For more information:
The Recipee Band Brings Back The LIIVE Reunion
THE “LIIVE REUNION”
“Are you ready?”
Toronto, ON – The Recipee Band’s live music experience that ran for 7 years returns!! April 6th at the Black Pearl Restaurant, 184 Pearl Street Toronto. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite with limited tickets at the door. The event is 80% sold. Don’t miss out on the iconic sound of Canada’s “The Recipee” band and their special guests, Mike Ferfolia, Jarelle, Oh! The Artist, Yosvanii, and more. The group are known for the passion of their music, combining R&B, Gospel, Reggae, Pop, Rock, and Soul. Their first single, “Edges Laid (Tonight)” is an example of the strength of the combined talent each of the band members brings every time they step into the studio or live on stage. 2023 will bring two highly anticipated singles from “The Recipee” followed by an album in 2024.
“The Recipee” band members, Jason Larmond, Otis Williams, Juwayon Clarke, Jonathan Kerr and Omar Lunan, continue to perform at major events with Juno and Grammy winning artists. Their soulful sound and ability to connect with sold out audiences everywhere is respected both nationally and internationally. “The Recipee” has performed with Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Deborah Cox, Andy Kim, Ray Robinson, Daniel Caesar, Brandy, Foxy Brown, Ginuwine, Usher, 98 Degrees, Jordan Knight & Carvin Winans as well as Canada’s very own Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, Divine Brown, Shawn Desman & Shawn Hook. With a Canadian Urban Music Award, and drumming championships, the group is constantly evolving… securing their set at the table. Get your tickets now to The April 6th “Live Reunion” Music Event. “The Recipee” will bring the house down!!!
DATE: April 6, 2023
TIME: DOORS OPEN: 8PM DINNER: 9PM SHOW: 10PM
Follow the Recipee Band:
Media RSVP & Inquiries:
Sasha Stoltz Publicity:
Sasha Stoltz | Sasha@sashastoltzpublicity.com | 416.579.4804
Ottawa gives $20.9-billion over five years in tax credits to stay competitive with U.S. on clean economy spending
US President Biden, Israel PM Netanyahu trade words over protests
Here are 5 ways Budget 2023 will impact your wallet – Global News
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Search for life on Mars accelerates as new bodies of water found below planet’s surface
News24 hours ago
Grocery rebate coming in federal budget 2023
Economy11 hours ago
What to expect from budget 2023 as ‘storm clouds’ gather over Canada’s economy
Tech21 hours ago
Is Shimano about to ditch derailleur hangers? Patent reveals direct-mount derailleur design
Politics11 hours ago
Federal budget to announce $7-billion in savings on outsourcing and travel, source says
Tech12 hours ago
Nintendo Switch – OLED Model – The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Edition
Health21 hours ago
Respiratory Outbreak Over: Jasper Place – Thunder Bay District Health Unit
Business9 hours ago
First Citizens acquires troubled Silicon Valley Bank
Sports22 hours ago
Maple Leafs clinch playoff berth with Panthers loss to Senators