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The Trudeau Liberals spent $213,500 taxpayer dollars defending MP Seamus O'Regan, the former Minister of Veterans Affairs, against a defamation suit by Captain Sean Bruyea, newly uncovered documents reveal.
The defamation suit was levied over an article written by O'Regan and published in the Hill Times in 2018. O'Regan wrote that the long-time veteran's rights advocate was "stating mistruths about Pension for Life," a program which helps injured Canadian veterans, and that he was "doing so to suit [his] own agenda." O'Regan was responding to an earlier piece by Bruyea published two weeks prior in the same publication. He had accused the Liberal government of ignoring injured veterans in order to save money.
Bruyea served in the Canadian Air Force for 14 years and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. He sustained injuries in the conflict which lead to his retirement, and since then he has become an advocate for the rights and dignity of injured veterans and their families.
The full expenses of the defamation suit were revealed by Conservative Senator Don Plett, the Leader of the Official Opposition in the upper house.
This is not the first time the Trudeau Liberals, in an effort to avoid admitting to wrongdoing, have waged a legal war against a veteran at the taxpayer's expense.
In 2018, the Crown charged now-retired Vice-Admiral Mark Norman with one count of breach of trust. Critics of the prosecution accused the government of meddling in the investigation, covering up key evidence, and attempting to scapegoat Norman.
The government spent more than $1.4 million on the Norman case before it was ultimately dropped and an all-party apology was issued. The government also covered Norman's legal expenses.
O'Regan has since been shuffled to Minister of Natural Resources.