Petawawa, Ontario – Cheryl Gallant, MP Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke is welcoming the investigation into former General Andrew Leslie’s $72,000 moving claim. Ex-General Leslie is being criticized in the media for the extravagant cost of a move paid for by taxpayers’ dollars to move him five minutes away from his previous home and the subsequent hiring of his daughter by the real estate firm that collected a substantial commission on the sale of his $1 million plus home.
“I intend to use this opportunity of a review of the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program, to seek improvements that are being called for by military members and their families. The military Ombudsman’s office has received a number of complaints related to financial losses when Canadian Forces members are posted, and have to sell their homes in certain areas of the country,” said MP Gallant.
“One of the biggest complaints I hear from military families is about the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program, particularly the home equity assistance policy within the program,” stated MP Cheryl Gallant. “I wish to assure military families that I will fight any changes to the program that may come about because of the “Leslie Affair” unless the changes benefit rank and file soldiers.”
The Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program offers certain retired military personnel free moving costs to relocate after serving our country. Military members are often required to move several times during their career and the program was created to move retirees one last time to a place of their choosing.
“When posted, Canadian Forces members can be faced with volatile market conditions, a lack of availability of military housing, limited housing options in the open market, low rental vacancy rates and a short time-frame in which to decide where to live,” stated Military Ombudsman Pierre Daigle. He added, “As a result of the Home Equity Assistance policy, a number of Canadian Forces members have incurred significant financial hardship through no fault of their own.”
A key finding in a recent Special Report to the Minister of Defence identified the Integrated Relocation Program, which is the principle policy governing moves, as a source of dissatisfaction in the Canadian Forces. The directives that families must follow are very complex and written using unfriendly, bureaucratic terminology that many families find difficult to follow. The Report makes a specific recommendation to modernize Canadian Forces relocation procedures.
Soldiers and their families are invited to share their experiences with the CF Integrated Relocation Program at firstname.lastname@example.org. All responses will be held in strict confidence.