‘I’m owed $118,000’: Pensioner still out of money after Phoenix fiasco

“Any company that treated its employees in this way would quickly go out of business,” he says diary Retired defenseman Gaétan Thibault, who is chasing his $118,000 check owed to him by the federal government, despite his 35 years of loyal service.

“It changes retirement calculations. It delays the payment of the mortgage, the purchase of a new car, which would have allowed me to start retirement better than tightening my belt for the first two years”, explains Gaétan Thibault, 67, retired of National. defense

six months ago The newspaper told the story of a former Service Canada executive who was unable to collect his $20,000 severance four years after resigning.

It was after reading this article that he came into contact with Gaétan Thibault The newspaper say that failures in the Phoenix payment system, launched in 2016, deprived him of even more money.

“He owes me a total of $118,000 for my vacation pay and my severance pay,” sighs the man from the Capitale-Nationale.

Two weights, two measures

What surprises the Defense retiree is that Ottawa does not hesitate to pursue employees when they owe small amounts, while the opposite is less true.

“When I was manager, I had employees who were forced to take out loans from the bank to pay Phénix, while when they are the ones who owe us money, we don’t see the color,” says Gaétan Thibault.

Gaétan Thibault believes the Canadian government has a duty to pay its own employees.


At newspaper, he says it’s always the same story. Ask the government. The employees are nice, but they can’t do anything to correct the situation.

“When Phénix was implemented, we fired all the payroll employees who could have adjusted the system to solve the problem. It was repatriated to Miramichi. It’s a big black box,” he complains.

He notes that, as a manager, he has lost count of the number of times his newly promoted colleagues have had to chase their extra money because Phénix systematically made mistakes in their pay stubs.

“Phoenix is ​​a big black box for me,” he says.

No idea of ​​the number of Quebecers affected

Asked by The newspaper, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) could not say how many Quebecers are still affected by these recurring wage issues because their system is simply not capable of providing that “degree of detail.”

SPAC also declined to comment on the specific case of Gaétan Thibault.

In late October, the Public Service Alliance of Canada filed complaints alleging “the federal government’s unilateral recovery of Phoenix overpayments” for its Treasury Board members or who work at the Agency. ‘Food Canada Inspection or Parks Canada.

-With the collaboration of Nicolas Brasseur

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