Home Equity Assistance

100% Home Equity Assistance in CFIRP

Thanks Jack Harris for standing up for our military!

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Mr. Jack Harris: Thank you. I hope that we’ll be able to deal with that motion later on today.

To move to another point and I’m finding that, again and again, that services that are expected to be provided to military and military families there seem to be glaring gaps occur. I want to refer you to two that come to mind as a result of recent information and recent reports.

The first one being the fact that the Universal Child Care Benefit doesn’t appear to be universal when it comes to military families. I have here a letter addressed to a military family living and serving in the United States saying that the Universal Child Care Benefit that was given is not available to that family because they’re living outside of the country and demanding $3,600. to be repaid going back to 2012. I wonder how is that that these things occur and is this something that you can actually fix? This seems to be certainly problematic.

The other one is the case of Major Marcus Brauerwho has twice now been refused by the government to be paid for his $88,000 home equity assistance loss that occurred when he was forced to move from Edmonton base to Halifax despite having won a grievance through the grievance procedure and having the Chief of the Defence Staff of that time support his grievance, but being unable to pay it out. Now, that seems to me to be a direct contradiction to the notion that people who serve in the military should be entitled to get the benefits that a policy suggests that they should receive. Secondly, in the case of Major Brauer, that the grievance procedure that we have in place doesn’t seem to provide an effective remedy when a monetary payment is required because the Chief of the Defence Staff doesn’t have the authority to actually order a monetary payment.

These two things are glaring. Major Brauer has been fighting this for five years now. This case of the Universal Child Care Benefit it seems again another fact where our military members are not receiving what they should receive in terms of government benefits.

º  (1640)

Hon. Jason Kenney: Thank you, Mr. Harris. On the first point, I’d be happy to look into that. Of course, many social benefits administered by both federal and provincial governments apply only to residents for taxation purposes. But I will certainly look into that and commit to get back to you.

On the second matter, I’m not familiar with that case. Perhaps the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff could respond.

LGen Guy R. Thibault: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

On the issue that’s been referred to, Major Brauer’s case, one of the dimensions of the Canadian forces that we see is the frequent moves of members of the Canadian armed forces. So in those kind of circumstances, finding the appropriate locations for your homes is always one of our biggest challenge and to find the right place for your children to go to school. In those moves, what happens of course inevitably over time is that individuals who buy into market will find that they may not be able to sell their home when they’re being posted.

So within the protection that we do have for members of the Canadian armed forces with a protection really to offer them in the case where they may not be able to recoup their full cost, there are provisions to allow a member to recoup some of that which would be involved with their overall situation in a particular sale of a home.

We can never tell somebody where they’re going to buy a house or what kind of house to buy.

Mr. Jack Harris: Vice-Chief, he won his grievance procedure and the Chief of Defence Staff has the final say and he says “yes, you should be entitled to receive your full loss of home equity”.

LGen Guy R. Thibault: In this particular case, if I may, the point would basically be is that of course he’s gone through the grievance procedure. He has still measures that are available to him in terms of judicial review which is his entitlement to do and ultimately at this point, I would just say that from the compensations and benefits that we provide for members of the Canadian armed forces, I think are recognized very widely as being a very high standard. We have a good overall compensation and benefits package for members of the forces and that ultimately when you come to each individual circumstance, you’re never going to satisfy 100% of the people, 100% of the time.

Mme Élaine Michaud

I want to very briefly about the case that was raised by my colleague, Mr. Harris, that of Major Browar , because I do not quite understand the answer you gave , General Thibault. The situation is that Major won his grievance, he should not have to take additional action, he won, he got the support of the Chief of Staff. There you mention it always has recourse, I do not understand why he would still have to fight when he won his grievance, he should not have to take further action or use of other services. I do not understand why he has yet to fight for funds that have been granted with a favorable decision.

Lgén Guy R. Thibault:

Mr. Chairman, thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify some the answer.

First, I think that we have no problem with our grievance system; we are now considering the grievances of members of Canadian Armed Forces. In this case, it was answered by Chief of Staff of National Defence. After passing through the grievance, the Government of Canada has seen and confirmed, ultimately with the Federal Court, the need for a review of this specific situation, it was done. In this case, it was a magazine with the Council of the Government of Canada treasury bills and determined that in the case of Mr. Browar, ultimately, there was no winning economy in the situation in which it was. That’s it. In this case, it was just a confirmation that there was no case for reviewing the situation of Mr. Browar. In this case, I think Mr. Browar had taken his own decisions with moving his family from Edmonton to Halifax with the house and he now has the opportunity to judicial review

Mme Élaine Michaud

If I that conclusion, it was revoked by the Federal Court, they reviewed the decision and concluded that this was not the way forward , so I think that there is still a rather problematic situation but here , as I understand it , this seems to be in government hands , and now out of the hands of the chief of the general staff . This is what I understand to this point , yes

Lgén Guy R. Thibault:

I think the Treasury Board responded and need to do an independent review of the situation. They did and the results are established.

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Written by Major Marcus Brauer

October 8, 2015 at 23:13

Posted in Class Action

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