Recommendations on Systemic Issues
TopicLoss of benefits due to large geographical area
Case number2011-020 (F&R Date: 2011-06-26)
Pursuant to the Compensation and Benefits Instructions and the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program, Canadian Forces (CF) members are not entitled to move at public expense unless they are posted to a new place of duty, and move at least 40 kilometers (km) closer to the new workplace. This means that members who are posted to a worksite within the same geographical area are not entitled to a cost move, or to the benefits that flow from a cost move, such as separation expense. The Board noted that these provisions pose a problem for CF members in the National Capital Region (NCR), due to its current very large geographical area. Despite the fact that postings within the NCR often require a lengthy commute of over 40 km, CF members' requests for cost moves are being denied because they are being posted within the same geographical area. Similarly, the Board has identified the same concern over large geographical areas in other cities, such as Montreal and Toronto, and has made recommendations to the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) to review those geographical areas.
The Board recommended that the CDS direct a reconsideration of the NCR geographical boundary. Within this review, it is recommended that the CDS consider creating several smaller "places of duty" within the NCR area, versus having one large geographical area spanning several hundred km.
Final Authority Decision
The CDS did not agree with the systemic recommendation that the NCR geographical boundary be reconsidered, and that several smaller "places of duty" within the NCR area be created. The CDS was of the view that the wording of CFAO 209.28 allows the flexibility to meet the CF needs and clearly envisions exceptions to be made to enable moves within a geographical area so long as they are fully subtantiated and meet the prerequisites for entitlement.