Home Equity Assistance

100% Home Equity Assistance in CFIRP

Canadian Forces Families abandoned by the Government face Bankruptcy

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Canadian Forces Families abandoned by the Government face Bankruptcy

This situation is another terrible case of the Conservative government’s hypocrisy.

The Conservatives, and in particular this Minister of Defence, love to wrap themselves in the flag and wrap their arms around members of the Canadian Forces for political purposes.

But when the time comes to fufill our commitments to members and their families, this government is nowhere to be found.

It’s wrong to abandon these families and we’re not going to let them quietly slide into bankruptcy while the government ignores their plight.

The Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program is a DND policy that would reimburse 100% of Home Equity Loss over $15,000 when a member of the Canadian Forces is relocated and they have to sell their home at a time when the real-estate market in their community is much worse than it was when they bought their home, identified as a “depressed market”.

Since 2010, there were 146 applications, and not one of them has been approved. Even the support of the Canadian Forces Military Ombudsman made no difference to those who were denied.

You see, it’s the Treasury Board that has the authority to approve these payments. They are also responsible for declaring whether a community is considered a “depressed market”.

It appears the Treasury Board has manipulated its definitions to ensure that no payments are made. As a result, the program is failing everyone it was created to help.

Some of these members are even considering a Judicial Review in Federal Court. That could take years, and would cost them many thousands of dollars that they don’t have.

The Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program is a commitment that we, as Canadians, have made to members of our Armed Forces and their families. It was created to address a real problem and it is failing to help anyone.

Now we have families facing enormous pressures, and in some cases, even bankruptcy. This is the situation that brought Major Marcus Brauer into my office.

When we met last summer, Major Brauer explained that he had been transferred here to Dartmouth from the community of Bon Accord Alberta with his wife Jaunita and their 5 young children. He and filed his application for HEA relief two years before and had not gotten a reply.

Meanwhile the loss on his home sale was crippling his family’s finances.

I wrote to Tony Clement, the President of the Treasury Board and in September I received a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury Board saying Major Brauer had been rejected.

It explained these decisions are “taken very seriously because of the implications, both for the member and in terms of potential economic impact.”

Well so far there has been absolutely no economic impact for the government with this program, expect for the expense of spending so much time and effort rejecting applications. On the other hand, there have been serious implications for the affected members like Major Brauer, and their families.

I wrote an appeal to Minister MacKay reminding him that the Ombudsman and the Chief of the Defence Staff support these application.

In December Minister MacKay refused further action, saying that “All our members have received and continue to receive fair and equitable treatment.”

In January I appealed to both Ministers, asking them to reconsider their approach and consider the consequences of abandoning these families.

Last week Minister MacKay sent me an email to say it was up to Minister Clement to sort it all out.

In other words, he’s not going to stand with his Chief of Defence Staff. He’s not going to stand with the ombudsman.

He’s certainly not going to stand with his own members and their families who are being denied the help they deserve by the Treasury Board.

In my opinion, this is not an acceptable position from the Minister of Defence. Nor is the silence from Tony Clement on this issue.

We need to ensure that the members of our Canadian Forces, and their families finally receive a solution instead of facing the possibility of bankruptcy.

Major Brauer, and the other CF members who have fallen through this policy gap, deserve redress.

More information can be found here:
Ombudsman Report (mentions HEA) : http://www.ombudsman.forces.gc.ca/mr-sm/nr-cp/2012/2506-eng.asp

Canadian Forces Grievance Board on HEA : http://www.cfgb-cgfc.gc.ca/English/2011-025.html

Major Brauer’s website: https://healoss.wordpress.com/

Major Brauer’s fundraising website with media links: http://www.gofundme.com/Home-Equity-Assistance?forcedesktop=1

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Written by Major Marcus Brauer

May 27, 2013 at 10:33

2 Responses

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  1. $50, hope this will help you Major Marcus Brauer.

    Sincerely

    Like

    Michel Derome

    May 27, 2013 at 11:04

    • Michel- Thank you so much for your generosity. There are so many worthy fundraisers out there, thank you for stepping up and helping out on this issue. We’ll get through this.

      Marcus

      Like

      majorbrauer

      May 27, 2013 at 14:58


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