Home Equity Assistance

100% Home Equity Assistance in CFIRP

Posts Tagged ‘caf ombudsman

When minions speak –

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For 5 years, Treasury Board Secretariat has relied on the fallacy that military members do not speak out. That was a bad call.

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Canadian Armed Forces are trained to do the right thing, never pass a fault, and to stand up for those who cannot. That is what a five year battle has become for countless military families.

Personally, the fight has cost me all, and there are no assurances that I will be successful, however I have had an impact. No more to troops have to suffer, applications are now being forwarded to TBS (without the need for a grievance), the word is out that this branch of our own government cannot count on the silence of the troops and Treasury Board Secretariat has been exposed of having a blanket policy denying 100% of the applications which were supposed to help military families when relocating from depressed markets.

In January, I take the Crown to federal court again. The last appearance, we won. Hands down, caught the TBS cheating and yet, they did not pay. Now, we have a new hired gun. Take a moment and look at our side of the story in our Argument, and share your opinion. Should any “public servant”, employee, military member have to fight this hard for their entitlements, or to protect their family?  Should any one have to re-fight in court to have it settled?

On January 19th, follow me once more down the rabbit hole and stare into the faces of our Government who decry…

“we do not owe our soldiers a duty of care”

in an attempt of getting out of following their own reimbursement policy.

As this SECOND judicial review is expected to cost $20,000 out of pocket, we are requesting donations at http://www.gofundme.com/2j18gw

Sign up at www.healoss.wordpress.com for updates.

Accountability starts at the top.

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ATIP # a201200942 now available online

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Home Equity Assistance ATIP response is now online at https://healoss.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/a201200942.pdf for your reading pleasure. It is very interesting to have a look behind the curtain to see how our administration is (mis)managed.

Highlights include:

recommendation to apply a “Blanket policy” by DND; and

Briefing note to the Chief of Defence Staff minimizing the HEA issue by stating it only affects 1% of the troops.

Now that’s looking after the troops!

TBS formula misused on all Home Equity Assistance Cases

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ATIP shows that all of the 2009-2012 Home Equity Assistance applications for military families were assessed incorrectly. Every application shows the decrease in individual home loss was used in stead of the community real estate decline. Resulting in hundreds of military families not being able to access their entitled relocation benefits, some over $100,000!  https://healoss.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/a201200958_2013-12-19_14-06-14.pdf 

Written by Major Marcus Brauer

September 23, 2015 at 17:56

Continued denial of entitlements by Treasury Board Secretariat

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We are having another go at the Federal Government who continues to deny Home Equity Assistance to the majority of those entitled.

We are filing in Federal Court again tomorrow (14 Sept 2015), in a follow on court case from our last victory.  The current status is that we won in Federal Court, TBS was ordered to review the file and they screwed it up, maipulated the data and caused further delay.

That being said, I wanted to provide an update to the several hundred affected CAF members and thousands of supporters.

Wish us luck!

Marcus Brauer

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Written by Major Marcus Brauer

September 13, 2015 at 17:56

Once more, into the fray…with Michele Drapeau Law Office

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Once again, after winning in Federal Court, our battle has been extended by Treasury Board Secretariat. We find ourselves having to take TBS back into Federal Court to finalize our claim for Home Equity Assistance. Our family has carried this load for 5 years now, won our grievances and won in federal court, but TBS continues to SPEND YOUR TAX DOLLARS denying our entitlements.

The only way we can get accountability is by voting, and taking them to court.

We are once again asking for financial support to assist with this legal battle, so that the TBS will be held accountable to follow their own policies, instead of getting away with the use of Blanket Denials for hundreds of Canadian Military families. Details available at www.healoss.wordpress.com

Donations may be made at: http://www.gofundme.com/2j18gw

Thank you so much for your continued support in this quest for Government Accountability.

T

https://healoss.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/2015-06-03-brauer-notice-of-application.pdf

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

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.

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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.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/canadian-military-member-loses-bid-to-recover-losses-linked-to-home-sale-1.3067036

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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