Legal dispute stemming from substantial accounting mistake at Veterans Affairs to result in nearly $1 billion in expenses for Ottawa

Movie DetailerPolitics Legal dispute stemming from substantial accounting mistake at Veterans Affairs to result in nearly $1 billion in expenses for Ottawa
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An embarrassing multi-million-dollar accounting mistake that was concealed for years at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) will result in nearly $1 billion being paid by taxpayers as a combined class-action settlement, authorized by a Federal Court judge. Over 272,000 former military personnel did not receive full pension and disability payments from 2002 for almost eight years, mostly due to VAC staff not considering provincial tax credits in their calculations. Although the error was discovered in 2010 and fixed, affected veterans were not informed or compensated for the missed payments. A settlement of $817 million, in addition to $165 million set aside by the government, was awarded to the veterans. The Liberal government chose to settle the case, and the agreement was approved in January 2024. The settlement will take effect in March. Former veterans ombudsman Guy Parent initially exposed the accounting mistake in 2018. Despite the government beginning compensation payments in 2019 and 2020, only 48% of the funds have been disbursed so far. Some affected veterans had already passed away by the time the compensation program was introduced, prompting their survivors and other veterans to join the lawsuit. The lack of accountability for concealing the error frustrates Dennis Manuge, a plaintiff in the case, who emphasized the importance of integrity, honesty, and accountability.

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