Home Equity Assistance

100% Home Equity Assistance in CFIRP

ACCESS TO INFORMATION HELP – HOME EQUITY ASSISTANCE

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As posting season is upon us, I have had multiple requests from military members who are expecting to loose a great deal of equity on their home sale. Luckily, the CAF has the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Policy which

Therefore, in order to gain access to government records you will need to fill out a request. You can do this online, or by mail by filling out this form http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/tbsf-fsct/350-57-nf-eng.pdf

Next: You may request information from both DND and TBS by sending requests to their ATI co-ordinator.

The DND forms get mailed to:

Director Access to Information and Privacy
National Defence Headquarters
Major-general George R. Pearkes Bldg.
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K2

and the TBS form gets mailed to:

Access to Information and Privacy Office
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
140 O’Connor Street
8th Floor, East Tower
L’Esplanade Laurier
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R5

Each request can cost $5, so include a cheque (usually reimbursed if you are requesting information about you only).

What to expect: I have experienced that each department will reveal different information to you. Often the ATI officer will call and ask to reword the request to save work/time, stand your ground and ensure you are NOT watering down your request. If you encounter long delays there is an office which can help resolve. For example, DND and TBS both withheld information from me using various excuses. Also information was blacked out or “under review” by another department, and never actioned. With the assistance of the Office of the Information Commissioner  you can get help with some of these roadblocks.

So, you need information about your last relocation as you are expecting to take a large (over $15,000 hit) on your equity? Here are some sample ATI’s for your use as you see fit:

“All memoranda, reports, emails, briefing notes, minutes of meetings held within DND and any letters to or  from Treasury Board for the period 1 January 2009 to 5 August 2012 on the subject of 100% Home Equity Assistance, depressed markets  or policy clarification as it applies to Edmonton and surrounding communities (e.g. Bon Accord, Morinville, St Albert).
DGCB definition of ‘community’ as it applies to the relocation policy used within IRP (e.g. E-mail Thursday, 5, July, 2012 09:43 AM LCol Gash-LCol Raney). Any communications between DCBA/DGCB and TBS demonstrating an effort to resolve the issue of defining “community” as it applies to the CF IRP. Spreadsheet, printout or any document that would show the number of claims submitted, and approved under the Home Equity Assistance (100%) between 1 January 2009 and 5 August 2012″.

Between 2006 and Aug 2012, all memos, reports, emails, briefing notes, minutes, internal and external correspondence regarding Home Equity Assistance, Bon Accord, {Major Brauer}, and the definition of ‘community’ as it applies to relocation policy.  Any documentation on depressed markets, and policy clarification of Home Equity Assistance administration of IRP”.

Drop a line if anyone needs further guidance/assistance. Do note that there are discussions that ATI requests may increase from $5 to $250 each. I myself have been advised that my last ATI would cost hundreds/thousands – but this is my information and I have a right to access it. Without having access to our own personal information, I would not have discovered that we were being cheated out of our entitlements!

Below is an excerpt from the Senate of Canada on the subject of access to our information:

“Access to Information Requests—User Fees

Hon. James S. Cowan (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate and pertains to the proposed increased user fees for Access to Information requests.

Last Thursday, Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault testified before the House of Commons Access to Information and Ethics Committee on the funding crisis facing her office. In response, a number of Conservative Members of Parliament proposed that the solution to the office’s lack of funding would be to increase the $5 user fee charged for ATIP requests. Erin O’Toole, Member of Parliament for Durham, recommended that the government increase the fees charged to ordinary Canadians from $5 to $25 for each request, and to $200 per request from businesses, including commercial news organizations. This would mean that Canadians would be paying $25 to learn whether Mr. O’Toole’s predecessor had charged $16 for a glass of orange juice.

The Information Commissioner made it clear that increasing the cost of ATIP user fees was not, in her opinion, a good idea. She said:

. . . it is not my office that is in a crisis, it is the fact that Canadians’ right to access government information is in jeopardy, that is the real issue . . .

When your Prime Minister came to power in 2006, he promised to usher in a new era of openness and accountability. His exact words were:

We promised to stand up for accountability and to change the way government works.

Can you explain why the government is even considering charging Canadians more for information which by law belongs to them? If the government does increase user fees, does this not negate completely the government’s claim to be more open and transparent and accountable than its predecessors?”

Marcus

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