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Canadian Forces urges patience as personnel ask when they’ll receive posting messages

Local Input~ IS2009-4001-03 06 March 2009 Ottawa, Ontario Canadian Forces, Combat Camera  Canadian Forces National Defence Headquarters.  101 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, Ontario.  Photo By: Cpl David Cribb
ADD: DND NDHQ ND HQ  DNDHQ /pws  0916 dnd centre
Local Input~ IS2009-4001-03 06 March 2009 Ottawa, Ontario Canadian Forces, Combat Camera Canadian Forces National Defence Headquarters. 101 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, Ontario. Photo By: Cpl David Cribb ADD: DND NDHQ ND HQ DNDHQ /pws 0916 dnd centre

The Canadian military is moving ahead with posting messages for its personnel but is doing so with regard to provincial restrictions aimed at dealing with the novel coronavirus.

Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces officials acknowledge there are concerns among personnel and their families that they have not received details about where they are expected to move to this summer.

But the department and military are asking for patience.

“We are aware that Canadian Armed Forces members and their families have questions and concerns surrounding the upcoming posting season, and appreciate their patience,” department spokesman Dan LeBouthillier explained in an email. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on members who have received a posting instruction or who are expecting a posting instruction for Active Posting Season 2020 is significant for members and their families.”

Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance said April 24 the Canadian Forces intends to proceed with a limited “posting season,” a reference to the annual movement of thousands of military personnel and their families to new jobs across the country. Much of the movement takes place in the summer.

Around 11,000 military personnel usually move each year. That happens as military personnel are promoted or sent to new positions in units or other jobs at bases around the country. Others are moved to various headquarters overseas.

The busiest time for postings and relocations from one community to another is during what is known as the “Active Posting Season” or APS, according to the Canadian Forces. During APS, about 5,000 to 6,000 members receive their posting messages, usually during the spring. Those come 90 days before the date they are expected to report to the new location.

Vance stated the posting season “has clearly been delayed, and will be made more challenging by COVID-19 related travel restrictions, uncertainty in the real-estate market, availability of commercial interim lodgings and meals and safety. For many, you will be informed if your posting is cancelled or delayed by a year.”

But some military personnel say they’ve been told they are moving but haven’t received a formal message confirming that move. That, in turn, makes it difficult to sell their homes, purchase new ones and set up households in their new communities.

“The CAF has been and will continue to issue posting instructions,” LeBouthillier responded. “We are doing this deliberately and methodically to ensure that we take into account our members and their families’ needs while respecting provincial and territorial COVID-19 restrictions.”

“We are working hard to balance the needs of operations while continuing to put health and safety at the forefront of decision making; we remain committed to keeping our members informed as the situation develops,” he added.

LeBouthillier said the current restrictions on house-hunting trips and destination inspection trips will remain in effect for military personnel “until such time as international, federal, provincial and territorial constraints on travel are lifted and a more permissive environment exists.”

“As regions move towards re-opening, it is expected that any restrictions will be lifted,” he added.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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