The NJC Isolated Posts and Government Housing Committee has developed the following questions and answers in order to provide departments and employees with clarification of the intent of Part V of the Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive (IPGHD).

Question 1

Do the benefits under Section 5 apply to locally hired employees in isolated posts?

Answer 1

No, the benefits for relocation upon end of employment do not apply to locally hired employees given that relocation expenses cannot exceed the amount that would be incurred in relocating to their normal place of residence. Since they were hired from their normal place of residence, they cannot be relocated to another location.

Question 2

What is the definition of a "local hire" for purposes of the IPGHD?

Answer 2

For purposes of the IPGHD, a local hire is defined as follows:

A person:

Who when initially hired by the federal government in a particular isolated post and already resides there. This becomes their normal place of residence from that point onward whether they spend their careers there or move to other locations.

Examples:

  1. I am an individual who was hired via a staffing process in a restricted area of selection which did not require that I relocate. This location would be considered the employee's normal place of residence.
  2. I was born in Yellowknife and was raised there. I went to the University of Alberta in Edmonton for post-secondary education. I returned to Yellowknife and was hired initially by Environment Canada then deployed to a position in Whitehorse where I worked my entire career. Does this mean that my normal place of residence is Yellowknife? Yes, Yellowknife is considered to be your normal place of residence for purposes of the IPGHD.
  3. I live in Mount Ulisses, BC. I relocated to Whitehorse with my spouse who is employed with the private sector. Shortly after our arrival, I found employment with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) in Whitehorse and then was successful in a competition with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). After 25 years with PWGSC, my spouse and I decided to return to Mount Ulisses. Am I entitled to the provisions of Part V of the IPGHD? You do not qualify for the relocation upon retirement provisions under the IPGHD given that your normal place of residence is considered to be Whitehorse.
  4. I was recruited from Ottawa in 1992 to work in Repulse Bay for the territorial government of Nunavut. In 1999, I obtained a transfer to the department of Natural Resources Canada in Iqaluit and worked for that organization 7 years after which time I retired from the federal public service. Do I qualify for relocation upon end of employment to Ottawa? No, your normal place of residence for purposes of the IPGHD is considered to be Iqaluit since you joined the federal Public Service in Iqaluit.

Question 3

The definition of a "Normal Place of Residence" in the directive is confusing. There are two parts to the definition and it is not clear when a) or b) would apply.

Answer 3

Normal place of residence (lieu de résidence ordinaire) means :

(a)        the last place in Canada where employees permanently resided prior to their assignment to an isolated post, or

(b)        where paragraph (a) does not apply or employees are not returning to the place referred to in paragraph (a), the place in Canada determined by the deputy head to be their normal place of residence.

For purposes of (a) the last place in Canada where employees permanently resided prior to their assignment to an isolated post refers to the location from where:

(i)         a federal government employee who was recruited to work at an isolated post and therefore received relocation expenses to the isolated post; or

(ii)        the non-isolated post location where a federal government employee has storage of personal effects (section 4.4) prior to being assigned at an isolated post; or

(iii)       the location from where a person was recruited by a federal government department to work in location that is designated as an isolated post.

Please refer to the examples provided under Question 2 above.

For purposes of (b) the place in Canada determined by the deputy head to be the normal place of residence refers to a location as the last place in Canada where the employee permanently resided prior to their assignment to an isolated post for purposes of relocation. The definition is only in reference to relocation benefits to an isolated post (storage of effects section 4.4) or upon end of employment (section 5.2).

It provides for a deputy head the authority to approve reimbursement of expenses to employees who:

  1. are ending their employment and who meet the criteria under Part V; and,
  2. who do not have personal effects in storage at their normal place of residence.

This authority entails designating another location for purposes of relocation upon end of employment as the employee's normal place of residence provided it does not cost more than if the employee were to return to the last place in Canada where they resided prior to being assigned to an isolated post.