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Post by Vizzer1 on Mon 03 Sep 2018, 4:14 pm

Payments to veteran not deemed surplus income

Published September 3, 2018

A veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder received a discharge from bankruptcy after a ruling that some of the money he received from the government should not be considered surplus income.

Registrar Raffi A. Balmanoukian heard the bankruptcy case of Michael Joseph Durdle on Aug. 24 in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax. In a written decision released Friday, Balmanoukian pondered the nature of indebtedness.

“What, then, is the situation … when it is the people of Canada who are indebted to the individual? Should compensation paid out as a consequence be considered divisible among creditors in an insolvency?” he wrote.

Durdle served in the military for over 24 years, Balmanoukian said. The career soldier is 49, and was 45 at the time of his military discharge. The registrar said Durdle has severe service-related PTSD and is under professional care.

In 2013, Durdle made his second assignment in bankruptcy. A 1998 assignment resulted in an automatic bankruptcy discharge the same year. A 2012 proposal to creditors was unsuccessful.

As of a 2015 report, according to the decision, $73,476.76 was owed to proven unsecured creditors against minor non-exempt assets.

In 2014, during the bankruptcy period, Durdle received “significant taxable receipts,” including $16,778 from a wage loss replacement plan; $28,107.04 from a rehiring allowance, including $19,675 in severance pay; $23,594.10 in pension income; $49,289 in disability income and $3,624 in employment income.

Balmanoukian said the challenge was to determine how much if any of this should be considered surplus income under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

“The law has generally excluded cash flows for non-pecuniary damages, such as damages in tort for pain and suffering, loss of amenities and the like, including those of a private nature,” he wrote.

“What is true of a private dispute such as injuries from a car accident must — simply must — be true when a person is injured in lawful service of Queen and country.”

He decided much of the payments wouldn’t be captured by the act, and he discharged the debt.

“It would thus appear that Master Cpl. Durdle’s 2014 income, for BIA purposes, is no more than around $23,000, if I include for the sake of argument the $23,594 in pension and $3,624 in employment income, less statutory deductions. That is below the superintendent’s standards for 2014, applicable to Master Cpl. Durdle,” Balmanoukian wrote.

Balmanoukian stressed in his decision that his intent was not to put military debtors on a different level than civilians.

“The rule of law, including that of civil contract, is one of the core values we hold as Canadians, and which is protected by our men and women in uniform. What is, however, on a different footing is the debt we owe those men and women when they are injured or ill in the discharge of those duties.”

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Post by JAFO on Mon 03 Sep 2018, 8:52 pm

If there is any legal eagles out there please correct me if I misunderstand this....

Last week the Supreme Court of Canada said Canadians do not have a "sacred obligation" to veterans.

But I believe this Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge just said the complete opposite in the last paragraph.

Has anyone forwarded this to the Equitas group?

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