The Federal Goverment of Canada confirmed on Monday, November 5th that a miscalculation between 2003 and 2010 withheld millions of dollars from Canadian veterans.
Veterans Affairs of Canada has described the mistake as calculation errors that occurred over several years. They also confirmed that $165 million dollars in total is owed to more than 270,000 Canadian veterans who were given lower monthly payments due to the miscalculation.
The shocking news comes only six days before Remembrance Day when Canadians will honour those who have served in the military. According to CTV, the veterans, RCMP officers, and their surviving family members who are owed will be compensated for the error.
Still, how does a mistake accumulate to hundreds of millions of dollars? Veterans Affairs Minister, Seamus O’Regan, said in a statement that "disability pension adjustment calculations didn’t accurately reflect a change to personal tax exemptions."
O'Reagan included in the statement that his department "has secured a source of funds of up to $165 million for retroactive payments. Most individuals will receive a few hundred dollars, while the maximum amount to be paid would be a couple of thousand dollars."
Still considering how many veterans who were affected by this payment shortage there may be some delays. O'Regan stated that "at this stage, given the number of individuals affected, we expect to issue payments by 2020."
This miscalculation was spotted by Veterans Ombudsman's office and was then brought to the attention of the Department and Minister.
O'Regan thanked the Ombudsman's office for discovering the pay discrepancy that took place under Paul Martin's Liberal Government and Stephen Harper's conservative government. He stated that "this is another example of how the Department works closely with the Ombudsman’s office to improve the lives of Veterans and their families."