# 2014-059 - Compassionate Travel Assistance (CTA)

Compassionate Travel Assistance (CTA)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2014–05–30

The grievor was denied a Compassionate Travel Assistance (CTA) claim for expenses incurred to travel to and from his father's funeral. He grieved the policy interpretation that he was not entitled to CTA as he had transferred from the Regular Force to the Reserve Force in the same location and had not been moved at public expense for the purposes of the period of Reserve Service in question.

The Initial Authority, the Acting Director General Compensation and Benefits (DGCB), noted that the grievor was a resident in the location of the employing unit at the time of his transfer from the Regular Force to the Reserve Force and therefore was not authorized a move of his Household Goods and Effects (HG&E) at public expense, which consequently did not entitle him to CTA. However, the Initial Authority returned the grievance with no further action, stating that the issue being contested was a Treasury Board policy that could not be grieved as it could not be remedied through the grievance process.

The Committee had to determine whether the decision to deny CTA to the grievor was in accordance with the relevant policy.

The Committee commented on the continued incorrect and overly restrictive interpretation by the DGCB of the Queens Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces article 7.01(1) – Right to Grieve despite several Committee Findings and Recommendations Reports and Final Authority decisions confirming that Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members have a right to challenge the interpretation and application of a Treasury Board policy.

The Committee found that the grievor did not meet all of the required conditions in order to be entitled to the CTA. Contrary to what is required by Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) article 209.51(3), the grievor was not moved at public expenses for the purposes of his period of Class “B” Reserve Service as he was already residing in the location of his employing unit when he accepted the offer. He was therefore not entitled to CTA.

The Committee however observed that the grievor's Commanding Officer made several good and sound arguments in support of a policy review in order to address the situation of Reservists, like the grievor, serving in isolated posts.

The Committee recommended to the Chief of the Defence Staff that the grievance be denied.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2014–11–10

The CDS agreed with the Committee's recommendation that the grievance be denied. The CDS did not agree with the Committee's finding that the grievor's situation meet the intent of the Compassionate Travel Assistance (CTA), as the wording of the policy itself provides a strict and limited application. Nonetheless, the CDS asked Chief Military Personnel to consider these observations in the next revision of the CTA.

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