Soldiers' Justice Fund
I am asking Canadians for support in a long standing issue that I cannot resolve. There is a threat affecting many Canadian Forces (CF) members and their families. These members are suffering from bankruptcy, loss of housing, career implications, mental health issues and failed relationships. Some members are leaving the CF as a result. All due to systemic denial of 100% Home Equity Assistance entitlement that has been deemed not important enough to address according to the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS).
For over five years, members have been quietly and patiently going through the bureaucracy hoping that the obvious errors would be corrected. Unfortunately, no one has championed this effort.
When a family is posted (every 2 years for some families), they are entitled to 100% of the loss of equity on the sale of their home if certain conditions are met. Many members have submitted their applications only to be supported by everyone except the Treasury Board Secretariat.
Between 2007-2010 the TBS has:
Changed definitions after the fact to deny all claims;
Provided the administrators in the CF with a blanket denial so that no one can be approved;
Mal administer the policy by applying different standards in different geographic locations;
Denied any relief for affected families;
Based their assessment on invalid data (wrong years, areas, home types and geography); and
Denied all 146 applications between 2007-2010.
As a result, military families have suffered severe financial effects due to the systemic denial.
Families have spent years in the CF grievance system only to determine that they could not have been provided any relief by the Chief of Defence Staff. Without a public voice or any influence on TBS, members can only apply for a Judicial Review. Judicial Reviews cost a great deal (Families have spent years in the CF grievance system only to determine that they could not have been provided any relief by the Chief of Defence Staff. Without a public voice or any influence on TBS, members can only apply for a Judicial Review. Judicial Reviews cost a great deal ($15,000-$20,000) and do not necessarily force an action. Under the law, this is the only option left for these families who are already declaring bankruptcy, using social assistance and suffering a lack of justice. 5,000-$20,000) and do not necessarily force an action. Under the law, this is the only option left for these families who are already declaring bankruptcy, using social assistance and suffering a lack of justice.
We are members of the CF who come from all aspects of military trades and ranks. What we have in common is that we all followed orders and picked up our families and relocated. It wasn't until each family received their posting that financial issues started to turn into nightmares.
Our family has exhausted all methods within our means to resolve this issue however we are out of resources. As a senior officer in the CF, I have cashed out my savings (including severance), taken on odd jobs, sold family assets and heirlooms, collected recyclables and used social assistance to support my family. Our expectation as CF members is that we should not be place in a position that leaves us and our families in such an extreme financial situation. I have served in the CF for 23 years and have never heard of such overwhelming financial losses due to a posting. Our families are still experiencing the severe stress of this crisis and if we are not compensated for our losses we will spend numerous years trying to get out of the debt that we are now in. We have devoted all that we are to , do we deserve any less under the law?
Our families have been put into a catch 22 position between the Department of National Defence and TBS. Although evidence of wrongdoing has been found and confirmed by the CF Grievance Board, the CF Ombudsman, and Chief of Defence Staff there is no obvious movement in this matter, except that on the 6th of April, 2013, The TBS was caught Bid Rigging in the same relocation contract and ordered to pay out $30 million in compensation to the affected companies, plus an unprecedented $10 million extra due to the ""˜outrageous' Canadian government misconduct".
It is unfortunate to say the least that a soldier whose family has been abused by the system for three years has to pay $20,000 to get a chance at justice, for something that is an entitlement. The TBS rationale for not resolving this issue was as follows:
"given other more pressing priorities and CTBS conviction that there simply isn't a big enough problem to justify a submission for a policy change."
The Crown has been caught bid rigging the contract; the same Crown officers are responsible for denying all 146 applications (2007-2010). This systemic denial is confirmed by the Chief of Defence Staff, CF Ombudsman, CF Grievance Board and members of parliament as discussed in the Standing Committee on National Defence. How much more proof is required?
The affected families are left to pay for federal court after being severely financially disadvantaged ($225,000 to date in my case alone). I would truly love to get to know my family and be able to fully focus on my tasks without this onerous task taking up every waking minute. My youngest daughter has only known my while I have been fighting this fight, I would like her to know the real me.
We as military members are very proud people and asking for support does not come easily, but as members of the CF we know that the Family is the cornerstone to making us who we are. Family is everything! We are taking this fight to the next level (Federal Court-Judicial Review), because the TBS does not realize that when they cause pain and hardship to a CF family, it strengthens our resolve for justice. These funds are needed to get representation by a lawyer because I have already suffered severe mental health issued as a result of this issue, and representing these families myself would be doing a disservice to the military families. I have documented out trials to date on the following websites for clarity:
http://healoss.wordpress.com/ (information page);
(journal entries since 2010); and
http://www.gofundme.com/Home-Equity-Assistance (fundraising site).
Will you support us?
I would like to express my thanks for the support of family, friends and strangers. Our 6 year fight with the Government of Canada is over. While our family was not successful in obtaining our relocation entitlements, the Honorable Justice Barnes, did discuss the "fairness" of the relocation policy, which cannot be resolved without an "action" or political pressure.
I am disappointed with the decision, and do not agree with the position of Justice Barnes. However even with the financial assistance to date, I am unable to continue this argument. I have learned a great deal about politics, friendship and myself and also a great deal about the damage that financial stress can make on a family.
I will likely write some more in a while, however I wanted to advise my supporters that the government has worn us out despite my best efforts. I wish I could have done more, just as much as I wish my superiors would have done more to provide support over the years. We have to accept this decision and try to move on.
My best wishes to those engaged in the Home Equity Assistance class action, who (as Justice Barnes indicates) is the appropriate venue to resolve this issue for our military members.
I will be on "radio silence" for a few weeks, while I look at my options and try to put this behind me. My family is my priority, and they have played second to this nemesis for almost 6 years. It is time to regain my family and enjoy their partnership while they are still young. Again, my most sincere thanks to everyone who helped, I could not have done this without your assistance.
Sir, I am pleased to see that the courts have begun the process to give the proper remuneration to you and your family. I am wondering if you have the time and the opportunity, if we could communicate, I have a claim that was denied by the DCBA regarding a posting from Comox, British Columbia. I'm not certain if I have a substantial enough case or where I go next as far as the grievance process is concerned, (After 20 years as an NCO this will be the first grievance I could potentially be filing)
WE WON the Judicial Review! Justice Mosley found (among other disturbing findings), that TBS relied on irrelevant, post dated and unsubstantiated information...it was also noted that the decision to deny was "an after-the-fact justification, not a fair minded evaluation".
For widest distribution: Date for Federal Court announced: April 15 at 9:30 am for 3 hours, Halifax Federal Court http://healoss.wordpress.com/ Please attend and show your support for military families. Thanks to all for their assistance over the past four years!
Hi Michael. Yes, we can take visa. Just click on the donate button to see donating options. Or a cheque mailed to us will save us 10% in processing fees. Your choice. Thanks for helping out. Marcus
Do you accept VISA?
Have a read of this development yesterday. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Judge awards more victim outrageous Canadian government misconduct/8345916/story.html
Last week, I was given a "gag" order by DND and directed to remove my websites and stop communicating with respect to the systemic denial of HEA entitlements. I'm surprised that there is so much effort being spent on halting my efforts to get justice for my family and all of the other families affected. I would have thought that there would have been some support.
Thank you all for the generous donations. Please help by spreading the word.