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The Globe and Mail

Defence department fires executive at centre of pension clawback

Three mid-level civilian executives at National Defence were inexplicably fired earlier this month, including a director who's been at the centre of a class-action lawsuit that could cost the federal treasury up to $600-million.

Andre Bouchard, Gerry Mahon and Randy Helgason were let go Oct. 3 in what defence sources say was "an attempt to change the direction of each organization."

The dismissals came out of the blue, according to defence insiders.

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In the case of Mr. Bouchard, president of the Defence Department's insurance program, it came at a critical juncture as the federal government negotiates its way through a multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuit.

Mr. Mahon headed CANEX, the chain of military base retail stores, and Mr. Helgason was in charge of personnel support programs.

Their departures were announced internally, but have not been explained, and in each case deputies have been appointed as acting replacements.

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