Fantino challenged on claim of veterans receiving $10,000 per month
Statistics released by his own department seem to contradict minister's claim
Only four of Canada's 521 severely wounded Canadian veterans might be eligible to receive up $10,000 per month in allowances and benefits under the Conservative government's beefed-up veteran's charter.
Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino recently cited the dollar figure to illustrate the Conservative government's generosity towards ex-service members.
However, statistics released by his own department show payments of that size would be rare indeed — and maybe even purely theoretical.
The remaining 92 per cent of veterans who receive payments — the permanent impairment allowance, the permanent impairment supplement and the earnings loss benefit — collect far less each month.
The $10,000 figure also includes the monthly Canadian Forces pension, a payment that's made whether a soldier was injured or not.
Calculating precise amounts can be a head-spinning exercise, given the cross-section of benefits, stipends and supplementary payments available to all veterans.
Asked how many wounded soldiers receive anything close to $10,000 per month, department officials would only say the figure represents a "scenario" of a severely wounded major released after 27 years of service and that four soldiers receive the top tier of allowances.