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The senior managers at Veterans Affairs Canada received almost $700,000 in bonuses and extra pay last year even as their department came under fire for failing to help former soldiers. Veterans' advocate Sean Bruyea called the payments "way out of whack with reality.
The senior managers at Veterans Affairs Canada received almost $700,000 in bonuses and extra pay last year even as their department came under fire for failing to help former soldiers. The last several years have seen numerous complaints from veterans about poor treatment from the department and breaches of their privacy by Veterans Affairs bureaucrats.
But that didn't stop the government from paying out in 2011 both bonuses and what is called "At-Risk Pay," the financial incentives received by managers who achieve results.
"This department has been repeatedly falling short on the services it provides to veterans," said the Ottawa-based veteran. "These people should not be given bonuses for such poor performance."
Bruyea said when veterans find out "they will be furious and justifiably so."
A retired captain and Gulf War veteran, Bruyea made headlines two years ago after he alleged Veterans Affairs bureaucrats were misusing his personal information and harassing his family. The information was used in an attempt to discredit Bruyea, who was an outspoken critic of reforms to the system of veterans' benefits.
Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart ruled that Veterans Affairs broke the law when it came to handling the retired officer's personal information. The government settled a lawsuit with Bruyea out of court and issued a rare public apology in late 2010.
But since then there have been allegations from other veterans that department officials misused their personal information. Bruyea noted all of the bureaucrats named in his lawsuit were given bonuses by Veterans Affairs. (bold emphasis mine)