Home Equity Assistance

100% Home Equity Assistance in CFIRP

Canada supports our troops…but won’t pay them

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A member of the Canadian military has lost his bid to recover thousands of dollars when he sold his home at a significant loss after being posted to another base.

Maj. Marcus Brauer says he was told by a branch of the military Thursday that the Treasury Board had reviewed his housing claims and found the market in Alberta was not depressed at the time.


The letter from the Director Compensation and Benefits Administration says the board determined Bon Accord was not a depressed housing market in 2010 when Brauer sold his home at a loss of $88,000.

As a result, it says Brauer is not entitled to more than the $15,000 he received for the loss.

The decision comes almost a year after a Federal Court judge ordered the Treasury Board to review its initial decision in 2012 not to grant him full compensation for the loss.

Brauer argued that housing prices dropped 23 per cent over three years and that his home 40 kilometres outside Edmonton was in an depressed market.

The dispute centres on provisions in the home-equity assistance program for military members that awards a percentage of a loss based on whether a home is in a depressed market.


The Canadian Press Posted: May 08, 2015 4:02 PM AT Last Updated: May 08, 2015 4:07 PM

Court Orders Feds to Reconsider Canadian Forces Housing Compensation Policy

Brauer v. Canada (Attorney General), 2014 FC 488 (CanLII)

On May 23, 2014 the Federal Court of Canada decided the Federal Treasury Board Secretariat’s interpretation of the policy for compensating Canadian Forces members who lose money on the sale of a house due to a posting was unreasonable.

McInnes Cooper’s Dan Wallace represented Canadian Forces Major Marcus Brauer in the first Canadian court challenge of the Treasury Board’s interpretation of this policy. Major Brauer lost $88,000 when he was reposted and forced to sell his home in Bon Accord, Alberta (40 km north of Edmonton). The policy says the Secretariat will reimburse members who sell their home at a loss for 100% of the loss – if the Secretariat decides the “community” is in a “depressed market”.

For two years, Major Brauer pursued full reimbursement of his loss through the Canadian Forces and Treasury Board’s internal processes on the basis Bon Accord is a community in a “depressed” housing market. However, the Secretariat maintained that Major Brauer’s community was the entire Edmonton Metropolitan Area – not Bon Accord – which was not “depressed”, so he was not entitled to full reimbursement for his loss under the policy. Major Brauer’s only recourse was to ask the Federal Court to review the Board’s decision, find it unreasonable, and order it to reconsider it. The Federal Court did just that:

Reasonableness. For the first time, a Court decided that the Treasury Board’s decisions interpreting this policy must be reviewed on a standard of reasonableness (as opposed to correctness).

Unreasonable Interpretation. The Court decided the Treasury Board’s interpretation of the word “community” for the purpose of deciding whether the market was “depressed” would render the policy virtually meaningless – and was unreasonable.

Reconsideration. The Court did not have the power to apply the policy, so did what it could: ordered the Treasury Board Secretariat to reconsider Major Brauer’s request – but also that the “community” is Bon Accord.

Legal Costs. In a rare move, the Court also ordered the Federal Government to reimburse Major Bauer for 100% of his legal costs – a higher scale than that which courts normally order.


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