Home Equity Assistance

100% Home Equity Assistance in CFIRP

Military Family’s five year battle against Treasury Board preparing for round #2

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In 2010 we were moved by the military and entitled to “home equity assistance”. We lost $88,000 in the sale of our home. The Government has a policy which protects military members due to the amount of moves they must do (often every 2 years). Our shortest posting was 7 months.

We have been fighting for five years, and met success at every step of the way…except for Treasury Board. Each time, they change the assessment criteria, and try to wriggle out of payment using different tactics. Including breaking the law under the access to information act.

In 2014, Justice Mosely found that:

” I find that the TBS decision was unreasonable in the sense that it was not justified and was outside the range of acceptable outcomes defensible in light of the facts and the law.”

The file was sent back to TBS for determination. TBS found someone to do a new report in 2014. That report was provided to a TBS panel who found that there was no entitlement.

Hon Tony Clement – President of the Treasury Board

To date, TBS has used various rationale to deny all 147 of 147 applications (between 2007-2010). These rationale are not written anywhere, nor are they inline with the policy. They are not even consistent between denials. Yes, it is true that the TBS approved two applications for HEA in Temiscaming (2008) and Port Maitland (2010), however 2008 falls under the previous policy. Further, both of these approved applications were done in 2012, at the same time as my application for HEA was working its way through TBS. I have contacted the families who were approved, and neither will speak about their file for fear of having it taken away.

” The TBS interpretation of the term “community” can only be reasonable if it can be established that it does not render the purpose of the CFIRP Directive meaningless by making it inapplicable in all but the most exceptional circumstances. From information provided to the Court by the respondent after the hearing, it appears that TBS has declared only two communities, on one occasion each, to be depressed markets in relation to the CFIRP Directive: Temiskaming, Quebec in 2008 and Port Maitland, Nova Scotia (January 2010-December 2011). The declarations in these two cases contained no finding that the entire housing market had declined by 20% or more. Rather they dealt with the general economic conditions in both communities and the personal circumstances of the individuals concerned. Thus it appears that the standard required in this instance – a decline in the housing market of greater than 20% – was not required in those cases.” Justice Mosely, Federal Court of Canada, 2014.

In my case, TBS denied my application first by declaring that “there are no depressed markets in Canada” without reviewing the files.

I grieved, and the grievance was returned “without action” as the military stated it was not grievable.

I contested this and found to be in the right. I grieved the decision to deny my HEA entitlements, and won at the Chief of Defence Staff level. He could do everything, but pay out.

The CDS directed my file was to be submitted to TBS, with his full support.

TBS denied the application as they indicated that the town of Bon Accord was not a community, and that we were considered Edmonton. I later learned that NO DATA from Bon Accord was used in their assessment. Further, I found that they used a report from 2009 to assess the housing market in 2010!

Yaprak Baltacioglu (secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada)

The military could/did not do anything. They were directed to work with TBS to resolve this “community” definition. They did not. My family was forced to take on TBS to do the military’s job. We did, and won. Bon Accord was now a community and TBS had to re-assess the file. Unfortunately, they decided to have a report crafted for them.  This report, done in 2014 is so flawed, it could not possibly constitute any type of “evidence”. However, the internal TBS board determined that our family was…ineligible. Find below some of the major issues with the TBS “report”:

https://healoss.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/ltr-to-g-hector-12-dec-14.pdf

So now what? Five years down the drain, immeasurable suffering and we are left with starting over with a claim against the Crown or another Judicial Review.

Wouldn’t it be great if the government would start living up to their policies, instead of treating our soldiers like enemies of the state?

Treasury Board Secretariat has misled, mistreated and manipulated for too long. The 6th of June is coming, and with it – a big surprise for TBS (and it is not a gazebo). Its going to be a great show! Time for some payback on behalf of all of those military families robbed of their futures. For all those who assisted with this injustice, you reap what you sow.

It took a single income family of seven many years to save up the equity which is being denied. We are not looking for a free ride. We would like our entitlements, as promised and we would like to see that our fellow soldiers, their families and children do not have to put up with this type of blanket denial by the Treasury Board of Canada.

Please feel free to share this information as you deem suitable.

Marcus Brauer

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