Veterans Law

(for those CF members in active service or retired)

Michel Drapeau Law Office (MDLO) has experience representing Veterans, both serving and retired, and their families for a variety of matters. Our clientele run across the entire CF rank spectrum from brigadier-general to RMC cadets to CF recruits. We have acted on their behalf before the Court Martial Appeal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Canada, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Military Police Complaints Commission, the CF Grievance Board , the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, the Office of the Information Commissioner, and other judicial and quasi-judicial forums.

MDLO recognizes the courage and patriotism of the men and women of the Canadian Forces who dedicate their lives to our freedom and security. We are committed to represent and act for Veterans in need of legal assistance. We provide legal advice, information and referrals on a variety of legal matters and we recognizes the special needs of CF Veterans and their families, and many of our services are tailored to meet their needs.

  • Board of Inquiry: We can advise you, act for you and, if appropriate, accompany you if you are summoned to appear before a Board of Inquiry or a Summary Investigation to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce any document and things under your control.
  • Disability Pension: If you are receiving a DVA disability pension, and your condition has worsened, you may be entitled to a review of your pension entitlement. We offer consultations regarding your entitlements, and have experience making claims with the Veterans Appeal and Review Board to ensure you are receiving your full entitlement under the law.
  • Access to your service records: MDLO has proven expertise and extensive experience in obtaining records under access-to-information and privacy legislation from federal institutions (DND, CF, DVA, Library and Archives Canada, Privy Council Office, Department of Foreign Affairs etc.) For more information, see: http://www.mdlo.ca/english/ATIP.php
  • Protection of your personal and confidential information: We have second-to-none expertise in the present laws of Canada that protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a government institution and that provide individuals with a right of access and a right of correction to that information.
    • Privacy Breaches. We can advise you on how to deal with any unauthorized access to, or collection, use, or disclosure of your personal information in contravention of applicable privacy legislation.
    • Right of Access. We can advise you on how to obtain any and all personal information about you which is held by, or is under the control of, a government institution in Canada.
    • Right of Correction of personal information in service records. We can advise you how to request correction or notation of incorrect or untruthful personal information used by the federal government for an administrative purpose.
  • Records Suspensions (formally Judicial Pardon): If in the past you have been convicted of a criminal offence or a service offence, and wish to have your record expunged, we have experience in seeking to have such records corrected by the Parole Board of Canada.
  • Civil Litigation: We possess the articulacy, skill, experience and courage to litigate a case. As a result, we are able to provide sound advice to our clients that is tailored to their direct needs. We aim to minimize risks to our clients; as such, before litigating we carefully evaluate the hazards and benefits of proceeding to court and provide the client with our candid opinion, in writing. It is only when these alternatives are well understood and agreed to that we proceed to litigation.
    • Judicial Review. We can apply on your behalf before the Federal Court for a judicial review of a decision made by federal government authority or administrative tribunal to correct either or both a legal or factual error.
    • Legal actions before a Court. If your claim is for $25,000 or less or for the return of personal property valued at $25,000 or less, not including interest and costs, you may wish to bring your claim in the Small Claims Court. If you are proceeding with a claim for more than $25,000, you must start your claim in the Superior Court of Justice.

FOR ONTARIO RESIDENTS ONLY

  • Estate Planning. Estate planning involves the transfer of someone’s assets (e.g. property, money) when they die, as well as a variety of other personal matters. Wills, estates, trusts and power of attorney are all common tools used in estate planning. People often make a will and Powers of Attorney at the same time.
    • Wills: A Will expresses your wishes for after you die and has no legal effect before you die. [Note: A serving member may make a CF Will (Form CF 30). However, the CF Will is a very basic Will that is appropriate  primarily for single CF members. It does not provide for complex personal or familial circumstances. On release, a CF Will is normally returned to the CF member.)
    • Powers of Attorney: A Power of Attorney only has effect before you die. The term “attorney” refers to the person or persons you have chosen to act on your behalf. He or she does not have to be a lawyer.
      • Power for Attorney for Personal Care. If something were to happen to you, physically or mentally, it is in your best interest to ensure that persons appointed to look after your healthcare decisions and your property and financial assets are persons you trust. You can give this authority by naming someone as Power of Attorney for Personal Care and also providing that person with a Living Will or Advance Directive in which you write down what you want to happen if you become ill and can’t communicate your wishes about treatment.
      • Continuing Power of Attorney for Property. Many people believe that if something happens and they are unable to make decisions for themselves, their family can do so for them. This is not necessarily true. For financial decisions, legal authority is needed. You can give this authority by naming someone in a continuing power of attorney for property.
  • Certificate of Independent Legal Advice. On appointment and after consultation we can provide a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice in most civil matters.
  • Notarization of documents: Our lawyers and public notaries provide notarial services to verify the authenticity of documents. See: http://www.mdlo.ca/english/notarial.php.
  • Administration of Oaths. Pursuant to the Law of Evidence of Canada and its equivalent provincial statutes, certain administrative procedures require taking an oath. These include applications for passports, applications for a change of names as well commissioning affidavits and sworn statements. These services are available on a reduced cost basis (50%) to Veterans and members of their families on presentation of a valid DND/CF Identification Card.