Liberals tell Defence Department to drop appeal of military class-action deadline extension
The federal Liberals have told the Department of National Defence to drop its appeal of a court ruling that extends the deadline to submit a claim for a sexual misconduct class action settlement.
A spokesperson for Defence Minister Anita Anand's office confirmed that the department had dropped the appeal.
"We will always stand up for Canadian Armed Forces members and Department of National Defence employees who have experienced sexual misconduct," the spokesperson said in a statement.
A source, speaking on the condition they not be identified, told CBC that the Liberal government directed the department to drop the appeal.
The decision to drop the case was first reported by Global News.
A Federal Court signed off on the $900-million settlement in 2019. The final date to accept claims was Jan. 23 of last year.
But the court ruled earlier this month that late claims could still be processed after the deadline if there was a reasonable explanation for the delay. Late claims would need to be submitted by Feb. 5, the court said.
The class-action case was initiated by seven former members of the Armed Forces on behalf of past members and those still serving.
The settlement provides for payments of between $5,000 and $55,000 to victims of sexual misconduct.
More than 20,000 people have come forward with claims so far, according to the class action website.
Victims who experienced exceptional harm and were denied Veterans Affairs benefits could be eligible for up to $155,000.
The federal government did not admit liability in the case.