PM orders review of Justice arguments against military sex misconduct lawsuit

PM orders review of Justice arguments against military sex misconduct lawsuit

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put Justice Department lawyers on notice Wednesday for their response to a proposed class-action lawsuit on military sexual misconduct, saying their arguments are out of line.

The lawsuit was brought forward last year by three former service members who say they were harassed or assaulted while in uniform. They are seeking $800 million for themselves and others in similar situations.

Justice Department lawyers filed documents in late December in which they asked the Federal Court to quash the suit, which comes as military leaders are pushing for a culture change to eliminate all forms of sexual misconduct in uniform.

The documents include a number of arguments for why the lawsuit has no reasonable chance of success and should therefore be dismissed before going to trial.

Officials for Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan refused last month to comment on the federal lawyers’ response because the case was before the courts.

However, after Trudeau’s intervention Wednesday, Wilson-Raybould raised the idea of taking a less adversarial approach and reaching an out-of-court settlement.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau said the lawyers’ arguments were “of concern to me, and I’ve asked (Wilson-Raybould) to follow up with the lawyers to make sure that we argue things that are consistent with this government’s philosophy.

“Obviously the lawyers’ argument does not align with my beliefs or what this government believes.”

Trudeau did not say exactly which arguments were of concern, and his office refused to provide further information.

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Study of U.S. hospital figures links pot use with increased risk of stroke

MONTREAL — New research is being presented at a conference in Montreal… Continue reading

Most Read