This directive is now hosted by the National Joint Council, where it was co-developed by participating bargaining agents and public service employers. The document has not been changed and continues to apply.

Note: Public Service employees must contact their Designated Departmental Commuting Assistance Coordinator (DDCAC) with their questions.
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Principles

The following principles were developed jointly by the bargaining agent representatives and the employer representatives to the National Joint Council. These principles are the cornerstone that shall guide the parties in establishing fair and reasonable commuting assistance practices across the public service.

Trust – foster an environment that allows employees, bargaining agents and management to work together to develop mutually acceptable solutions.

Flexibility – create an environment where management decisions respect the duty to accommodate, best respond to employees' needs and interests, and consider operational requirements in the determination of commuting assistance arrangements.

Respect – create a sensitive and supportive environment and recognize employees in a professional manner while supporting employees, their families, their health and safety in the context of this directive.

Transparency – ensure consistent, fair and equitable application of this directive and its practices.

General

Collective agreement

This directive is deemed to be part of collective agreements between the parties represented on the National Joint Council and employees are to be afforded ready access to this directive.

Grievance procedure

In cases of alleged misinterpretation or misapplication arising out of this directive, the grievance procedure, for all represented employees within the meaning of the Public Service Labour Relations Act will be in accordance with section 15 of the National Joint Council By‑Laws. For unrepresented employees, the departmental or agency grievance procedure applies.

Effective date

This directive is effective on June 1, 2010.

Purpose

Commuting assistance is provided to help defray excessive costs incurred in employees' daily travel to and from the regularly assigned worksite on the days when they are required by management to report for work and so report and to facilitate the recruitment and retention of staff delivering government programs at these remote worksites.

Normally, employees are expected to report for work at their own expense since they are free to choose where they will live. However, for some worksites, there are no reasonably close suitable residential communities. Consequently, some employees may be subject to higher transportation costs.

The Canadian Human Rights Act and the Treasury Board Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service, as amended from time to time, apply to this directive.  Decisions and practices flowing from this directive shall be inclusive and barrier free. For instance, it is the employer's duty to ensure that the employee with a disability(ies) is fully accommodated to the point of undue hardship.

Application

This directive applies to all employees at a worksite where commuting assistance has been authorized, and does not apply:

(a) to additional kilometres driven for personal reasons (e.g. the transportation of children to school or day-care);

(b) to those employees who normally take public transportation to and from the worksite and who are unable to do so because of an interruption in service caused by a work stoppage of the public transportation employees;

(c) to transportation to and from a place of work other than the regularly assigned worksite or between the worksite and another place of work;

(d) where adequate public transportation operates between a worksite and a suitable residential community, irrespective of the distance criteria; or

(e) to employees who, when they are assigned to the worksite, decline without compelling reason, in the opinion of the deputy head, a written offer of Crown‑owned or Crown-controlled living accommodation either at or within 16 kilometres from the worksite using the most direct, safe and practical route and choose to reside elsewhere.

Allowances authorized under the Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive shall not be construed to include commuting assistance. The criteria outlined in this directive will be used to determine whether commuting assistance will be authorized at isolated posts.

Definitions

In this directive,

adequate public transportation (transports en commun adéquats) – means public transportation serving the worksite,

(a) whose schedule enables employees to report for work at their assigned times and to depart for home within a reasonable time after the end of their scheduled work period;

(b) that has the capacity to carry the employees; and

(c) that is available to employees at reasonable cost.

commuting assistance (aide au transport quotidien) – means the assistance provided to an employee under this directive.

department (ministère) – means a department or other portion of the public service,

(a) listed in Schedules I and IV to the Financial Administration Act; or

(b) listed in Schedule V to the Financial Administration Act and which is a member of the National Joint Council of the Public Service of Canada.

deputy head (administrateur général) – means the deputy minister or other chief executive officer of a department or agency and includes any employee of the department or agency who has been authorized to act on behalf of the deputy head or chief executive officer for the purposes of this directive.

employee (fonctionnaire) – means a person

(a) employed in the public service;

(b) whose salary is paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund; and

(c) includes a member of the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

majority of the employees (majorité des fonctionnaires) – means 50 per cent or more of the employees at a worksite, excluding those occupying Crown-owned or Crown-leased accommodation that is located at the worksite.

Public service (fonction publique) – for the purposes of this directive, "public service" shall include the same parties and persons outlined in section 1 of the National Joint Council By‑Laws.

suitable residential community (quartier résidentiel convenable) (refer to Appendix C for guidance) – means a location where,

(a) taking the vacancy rate into account, excluding vacant lots, the majority of employees could reside;

(b) adequate utilities and educational and commercial facilities are available; and

(c) road routes to the worksite are the most direct, safe and practical.

worksite (lieu de travail) – means the location at or from which employees ordinarily perform the duties of their positions and, in the case of employees whose duties are of an itinerant nature, the actual building to which they return to prepare and/or submit reports, etc., and where other administrative matters pertaining to their employment are conducted.

Implementation

1 Criteria

1.1 The deputy head will authorize commuting assistance only when:

(a) adequate public transportation is not available between a suitable residential community and the worksite; and

(b) no suitable residential community is located within a road distance of 16 kilometres from the worksite using the most direct, safe and practical route.

1.2 A community will be deemed to be a suitable residential community:

(a) upon the mutual consent of the deputy head and the affected bargaining agents, or

(b) if the majority of the employees reside within 16 kilometres of the worksite using the most direct, safe and practical route.

2 Authorization

2.1 Following consultation with the affected bargaining agents, an authorization shall:

(a) designate a suitable residential community;

(b) specify the type of commuting assistance to be provided; and

(c) be limited to the most practical and economical type of commuting assistance.

2.2 Where practical and reasonable, the same type of commuting assistance shall be authorized for employees of all departments at a worksite.

2.3 A deputy head shall consider energy conservation when choosing the type of commuting assistance.

2.4 Where there are a large number of employees at a worksite or where there are a number of suitable residential communities adjacent to the worksite, more than one suitable residential community may be designated.

2.5 A deputy head shall review an authorization referred to in this section at least once each fiscal year and, subject to section 5, may continue, modify or revoke it.

3 More than one Department

3.1 When more than one department has employees at a worksite, the deputy heads shall determine collectively, following consultation with the affected bargaining agents:

(a) how this directive will be applied and implemented; and

(b) what type of commuting assistance will be authorized.

3.2 Where the deputy heads are unable to reach a consensus, the matter may be referred to the National Joint Council for a recommendation. The Treasury Board Secretariat, on the recommendation of the National Joint Council, shall resolve the matter.

3.3 Subject to subsection 3.2, the authorization that is given by the deputy head of each department shall conform to the decision.

3.4 While departments may seek to establish cost sharing arrangements, each department shall be responsible for the cost of providing commuting assistance for their employees.

4 Types of Assistance

Commuting assistance will be provided by the use of Crown-owned vehicles, charter services, taxi pools, subsidized regular commercial transportation fares, or the use of privately-owned vehicles.

4.1 Employer provided

4.1.1 When a deputy head determines that the most practical and economical type of commuting assistance is to provide a government owned or chartered vehicle service, the deputy head shall direct that employees using the service pay a contribution towards the cost of the service.

4.1.2 When the vehicle service provides transportation only to and from the public transportation stop that is closest to the worksite, the deputy head shall not direct that employees pay a contribution.

4.1.3 When a vehicle service is provided between the designated suitable residential community and the worksite, the employee contribution for each one-way trip shall be $1.75 if no local public transportation system exists or an amount equal to the regular fare of the local public transportation system, whichever is less.

4.1.4 The rate of contribution will be reviewed at each cyclical review, taking into account a methodology approved by the parties.

4.1.5 When the rates are changed, each employee and affected bargaining agent shall be given written notice of the change. Such change shall be effective on the first day of the third month following employees' receipt of the written notice, or the effective date of the change, whichever is later.

4.1.6 The vehicle service may be permitted to stop along its normal direct route to pick up other employees. These passengers shall contribute the same amount as others.

4.1.7 When possible and practicable, the contribution may be collected through payroll deduction.

4.2 Private motor vehicle

4.2.1 When a deputy head determines that the use of private motor vehicles is the most practical and economical type of commuting assistance, the rate of commuting assistance shall be the rate as prescribed in Appendix A.

4.2.2 The amount of commuting assistance to which employees are entitled for each working day they report to work shall be calculated by multiplying the rate:

(a) for an employee who resides in a designated suitable residential community, by the shortest return road distance between the worksite and the geographical centre of that designated suitable residential community, using the most direct, safe and practical route, less 32 kilometres; or

(b) for an employee who does not reside in a designated suitable residential community, by the lesser of:

  1. the shortest return road distance between the worksite and the employee's residence, using the most direct, safe and practical route, less 32 kilometres; and
  2. the shortest return road distance between the worksite and the geographical centre of the farthest designated suitable residential community, using the most direct, safe and practical route, less 32 kilometres.

5 Consultation on changes

5.1 The affected bargaining agents shall be consulted concerning:

(a) any proposed change to the type of commuting assistance;

(b) any modification to or revocation of commuting assistance; and

(c) the effective date of any modification to or revocation of commuting assistance authorized under this directive.

5.2 When commuting assistance is modified or revoked, each employee and affected bargaining agent shall be given written notice of the change. Such change shall be effective on the first day of the third month following employees' receipt of the written notice, or the effective date of the change, whichever is later.

6 Exceptions

6.1 Where deputy heads are of the opinion that they are not permitted by this directive to authorize commuting assistance, either they or the affected bargaining agents may submit the matter to the National Joint Council. The Treasury Board Secretariat may, on the recommendation of the National Joint Council, make a determination.

6.2 The documentation submitted to the National Joint Council shall include a statement:

(a) to the effect that consultations have taken place; and

(b) identifying the abnormal circumstances supporting a recommendation that commuting assistance be authorized, even though such circumstances clearly lie outside these guidelines.

6.3 Examples of such circumstances are:

(a) difficulties in recruiting and retaining employees that are directly attributable to the lack of commuting assistance;

(b) the practice of private employers in the area of the worksite;

(c) excessive commuting costs;

(d) significant alterations to transportation patterns;

(e) major changes to operational requirements of the employer; and

(f) excessive time spent on public transit.

7 Reporting

7.1 Each deputy head shall maintain records that may be examined by the Treasury Board Secretariat or form the basis of reports when requested.

7.2 The records shall include:

(a) by worksite, a statement of the annual commuting assistance costs, the number of employees who are receiving commuting assistance at the end of the fiscal year and the type of commuting assistance provided;

(b) by worksite, the names of other participating departments;

(c) a statement and explanation of any changes in the commuting assistance provided from the previous fiscal year, giving the estimated increase or reduction in cost associated with each change;

(d) the results of any review referred to in subsection 2.5; and

(e) the number of situations that were referred to the National Joint Council for a decision and the number that were dealt with within the department.

Appendix A - Lower Kilometric Rates

Effective October 1, 2017

Province/Territory

Cents/km
(taxes included)

Alberta

17.5

British Columbia

21.5

Manitoba

17.5

New Brunswick

19.0

Newfoundland and Labrador

20.5

Northwest Territories

25.5

Nova Scotia

19.0

Nunavut

24.5

Ontario

19.5

Prince Edward Island

19.0

Quebec

20.5

Saskatchewan

18.0

Yukon

25.0

Appendix B - Non-Exclusive List of Qualified Worksites and Designated Suitable Residential Communities

This appendix was prepared for convenience of reference only.

Last updated:  June 1, 2010

Appendix B is a non-exclusive list of qualified worksites and designated suitable residential communities. Departments are strongly encouraged to ensure that their Designated Departmental Commuting Assistance Coordinator is kept apprised of all changes to qualified worksites and/or designated suitable residential communities for inclusion in Appendix B.

Appendix B is updated as required. As such, it may not capture all worksites where commuting assistance is currently authorized.

Qualified Worksites
Designated Suitable
Residential Communities
Departments / Agencies

Abercorn, QC

Cowansville, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Armstrong, QC

St-Georges, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Atlantic Institution – Renous, NB

Miramichi, NB

Correctional Service of Canada

Bath Institution – Bath, ON

Kingston, ON

Correctional Service of Canada

Big Beaver, SK

Coronach, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

Bloomfield, NB

Woodstock, NB

Canada Border Services Agency

Boissevain, MB

Boissevain, MB

Canada Border Services Agency; Public Works and Government Services Canada

Carievale, SK

Carnduff, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

Cartwright, MB

Cartwright, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Carway, AB

Cardston & Lethbridge, AB

Canada Border Services Agency; Public Works and Government Services Canada

CFAD Rocky Point (CFB) Esquimalt), BC

Colwood Corners & Victoria, BC

Department of National Defence

CFB Shilo, MB

Brandon, MB

Department of National Defence

CFB Suffield, AB

Medicine Hat, AB

Department of National Defence

CFMETR Nanoose (CFB Esquimalt), BC

Nanaimo, BC

Department of National Defence

CFNES Halifax – DC Division, NS

Halifax, NS

Department of National Defence

Chartierville, QC

Sherbrooke, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Chopaka, BC

Osoyoos, BC

Canada Border Services Agency

Clarenceville, QC

St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Climax, SK

Shaunavon, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

Comfort Cove (Loran C Station), NL

Lewisporte, NL

Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Coronach, SK

Coronach, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

Coulter, MB

Melita, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Coutts, AB

Lethbridge, AB

Canada Border Services Agency; Public Works and Government Services Canada

Covey Hill, QC

St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Crystal City, MB

Manitou, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Del Bonita, AB

Magrath, AB

Canada Border Services Agency

Detachment Debert, NS

Truro, NS

Department of National Defence

Detachment Dundern, SK

Saskatoon, SK

Department of National Defence

Detachment Folly Lake, NS

Truro, NS

Department of National Defence

Dundee, QC

Huntingdon, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

East Hereford, QC

Coaticook, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

East Pinacle, QC

Cowansville, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Edmonton (International Airport), AB

Edmonton, AB

Department of National Defence

Emerson, MB

Altona, MB

Canada Border Services Agency; Public Works and Government Services Canada

Enfield, NS

Halifax, NS

Department of Transport

Estevan Highway, SK

Estevan, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

Forest City, NB

Woodstock, NB

Canada Border Services Agency

Fort Edward (Armoury), NS

Halifax, NS

Department of National Defence

Fosterville, NB

Woodstock, NB

Canada Border Services Agency

Franklin, QC

Huntingdon, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Frelighsburg, QC

Cowansville, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Gillespie, NB

Grand Falls, NB

Canada Border Services Agency

Glen Sutton, QC

Cowansville, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Goodslands, MB

Deloraine, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Gretna, MB

Altona, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Halifax (International Airport), NS

Halifax, NS

Canada Border Services Agency; Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Department of National Defence

Hemmingford, QC

St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Herdman, QC

Huntingdon, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Hereford Road, QC

Coaticook, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Highwater, QC

Magog, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Jamieson's Line, QC

Huntingdon, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Joyceville Institution – Kingston,  ON

Kingston, ON

Correctional Service of Canada

Kingsgate,  BC

Creston, BC

Canada Border Services Agency

Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village – Harrison Mills, BC

Agassiz & Mission, BC

Correctional Service of Canada

Lacolle – 9, rue de l'Église, QC

St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Lacolle – Route 221, QC

St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Lacolle – Route 223, QC

St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

La Macaza Institution – La Macaza, QC

Mont-Tremblant, QC

Correctional Service of Canada

Landsdowne, ON

Brockville & Kingston, ON

Canada Border Services Agency

Lena, MB

Killarney, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

LFCA Training Center Meaford (CFB Borden), ON

Collingwood & Owen Sound, ON

Department of National Defence

Lyleton, MB

Melita, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Millhaven Institution – Bath, ON

Kingston, ON

Correctional Service of Canada

Mirabel (International Airport), QC

Laval, QC

Department of National Defence; Public Works and Government Services Canada

Monchy, SK

Ponteix, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

Morses Lines, QC

St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Nelway, BC

Trail, BC

Canada Border Services Agency

North Portal, SK

Estevan, SK

Canada Border Services Agency; Public Works and Government Services Canada

Northgate, SK

Oxbow, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

Noyan, QC

St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

NRS Newport Corner (CFB Halifax), NS

Halifax & Dartmouth, NS

Department of National Defence

Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge –  Maple Creek, SK

Maple Creek, SK

Correctional Service of Canada

Oungre, SK

Estevan, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

Pê Sâkâstêw Centre – Hobbema, AB

Ponoka & Wetaskiwin, AB

Correctional Service of Canada

Pigeon River, ON

Thunder Bay, ON

Canada Border Services Agency

Piney, MB

Steinbach, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Pittsburgh Institution – Kingston, ON

Kingston, ON

Correctional Service of Canada

QAM Enfield Work Centre, NS

Halifax, NS

Department of National Defence

Regway, SK

Radville, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

River de Chute, NB

Centreville, NB

Canada Border Services Agency

Rockwood Institution – Stony Mountain, MB

Winnipeg & Teulon, MB

Correctional Service of Canada

Roosville, BC

Cranbrook, BC

Canada Border Services Agency

St. Anthony (Airport), NL

St. Anthony, NL

Department of Transport

St-Armand, QC

St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Ste-Aurélie, QC

St-Georges, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

St-Bernard de Lacolle, QC

St-Jean-sur-Richelieu & St-Jean d'Iberville, QC

Canada Border Services Agency; Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Public Works and Government Services Canada

Snowflake, MB

Manitou, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

South Junction, MB

Steinbach, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Sprague, MB

Steinback, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Stanhope, QC

Coaticook, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Stanstead 143, QC

Magog, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Stanstead-Beebe, QC

Magog, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Stanstead – Route 55, QC

Magog, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Stony Mountain Institution – Winnipeg, MB

Winnipeg & Teulon, MB

Correctional Service of Canada

Tolstoi, MB

St. Pierre Jolys, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Torquay, SK

Estevan, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

Trout River, QC

Huntingdon, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Victoria (Airport), BC

Victoria, BC

Department of National Defence

Warkworth Institution - Campbellford, ON

Trenton, ON

Correctional Service of Canada

West Poplar River, SK

Assiniboia, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

Williams Lake (Loran C Station), BC

Williams Lake, BC

Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Willow Creek, SK

Maple Creek, SK

Canada Border Services Agency

Windygates, MB

Morden, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Winkler, MB

Winkler, MB

Canada Border Services Agency

Woburn, QC

Lac-Mégantic, QC

Canada Border Services Agency

Woodstock Road, NB

Woodstock, NB

Canada Border Services Agency

Appendix C - Non-Exclusive List of Criteria for Suitable Residential Communities

This Appendix was prepared for convenience of reference only.

Effective Date: June 1, 2010

Appendix C is a non-exclusive list of criteria to assist departmental representatives and bargaining agents in determining if a community may be deemed a suitable residential community for the purpose of this directive. The information provided below is for general guidance only.

Criteria
Description of Criteria
Relevance

(a) Adequate Housing Facilities

⟨ Sufficient Accommodation

Vacancy rate (excluding vacant lots and excessively priced dwellings) where majority could reside – Need 4 of 5 housing types: townhomes/semi-detached; single family dwellings; 1, 2 or 3 bedroom rentals

Very Important

(b) Adequate Infrastructure Services

⟨ Adequate Road Routes to Work

Most direct, safe and practical road route

Very Important

⟨ Public Utilities

Water supply, electricity, gas

Very Important

⟨ Telephone

Land line or cellular phone

Very Important

⟨ Internet

Internet access

Very Important

⟨ Cable or Satellite

 

Important

⟨ Garbage

Pickup or Community dump

Important

⟨ Public Transportation

 

Desirable

⟨ Taxi

 

Desirable

(c) Adequate Educational Facilities

⟨ Schools

Elementary & secondary or bus service within 20 km

Very Important

⟨ Official Second Language School

Elementary & secondary or bus service within 20 km

Desirable

(d) Adequate Commercial Facilities / Services

⟨ Grocery Store

Basic requirement

Very Important

⟨ Fuel Station

Basic requirement

Very Important

⟨ Mechanic Service

 

Important

⟨ Pharmaceutical Services

Open 6 days/week

Important

⟨ Restaurants

 

Important

⟨ Clothing Store

Items for Women, Men and Children

Important

⟨ General Convenience Store

 

Desirable

⟨ Electrical/Plumbing Services

 

Desirable

⟨ Hair Salon/Barber

 

Desirable

⟨ Hardware Goods

 

Desirable

⟨ Furniture Items

 

Desirable

(e) Adequate Health and Emergency Services

⟨ Medical Service

Hospital or clinic or physician within 20 km

Very Important

⟨ Dentist

Within 20 km

Important

⟨ Veterinarian

 

Desirable

⟨ Ambulance

Including Volunteer(s)

Desirable

⟨ Fire Department

Including Volunteer(s)

Desirable

⟨ Police

Including RCMP

Desirable

(f) Adequate Public Services and Social Facilities

⟨ Child Care

Public or private

Very Important

⟨ Financial Institution

Bank or Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

Important

⟨ Sport/Recreational/Social Establishment

 

Important

⟨ Place of Worship

 

Desirable

⟨ Postal Services

 

Desirable

⟨ Library

 

Desirable