Frequently Asked questions

Find the answers to the questions that we are regularly asked on different topics.

Postings

Finance 
Will I see a difference in my taxes when I move to another province?

Probably. Check with your accountant, plan for an amount of money if you need to reimburse certain expenses, such as childcare costs. The tax rate differs from province to province. You can check at: https://www.canada.ca/fr/agence-consommation-matiere-financiere/services/vos-outils-financiers/impot-quebec/impot-quebec-2/6.html

What happens to my childcare prepayments when I leave Quebec for another province?

You’ll have to pay them back on your taxes. You have 2 choices; stop them when you get your message or put money aside for the refund.

Employment and education
Will I be entitled for unemployment even if I quit my job voluntarily?

Yes, you must check the box “follow a spouse for their employment” in the unemployment application. The amount will vary depending on the number of hours worked in the last year, and the salary. It is therefore important to validate directly with Service Canada. In addition, it is very important to wait until you have received your official posting message before notifying your employer and taking the necessary steps.

I am worried about my job, what can I do to prepare for the posting?

You can use the VFC’s Employment Assistance Service to prepare yourself before you leave. Guidance counsellors will be able to guide you. They can also update and translate your resume. Your new MFRC can also provide you with information about the job market in your new place of residence.

How can I find out about the reality of the market and job prospects in my field and the possibilities of working in French/English in my new environment?

Your new MFRC can help you answer all these questions. We can help you find the contact person, or you can visit: https://www.connexionfac.ca/National/Programs-Services/Employment/MFRC-Employment-Services-List.aspx

Child 
How do I register for daycare?

Check how it works in your new province and put your children’s names on the list as soon as your posting is official. It is important to consider that childcare costs are quite different from one province to another (for example, $7 daycare centres only exist in Quebec). Refer to your MFRC for more information.

What to do to register your children in school?

If, during the school enrollment period, you did not receive your message, it will be important to enroll your child at the school in your current place of residence. Upon receipt of your message, you will be able to cancel this registration at the time of your HHT, you will be able to register your child at the school in your new area of residence. Schools accept registrations even if the deadline has passed.

How can we prepare our children for the change?

Depending on their age (children or teenagers), a tool has been created to give you tips and tricks on how to tackle the subject. These tools are available online at https://www.cafconnection.ca/Valcartier/

How do I register my children in Day Camp?

For Quebec, you can refer to the following link for day camp options: https://campsquebec.com/ . For other provinces, you can refer to your new MFRC for more details. As soon as we receive your message, it will be important to verify your camp needs and to make the necessary contacts. Registrations are usually done around April and spots sell out quickly.

Can I get childcare to help me during my move?

Absolutely. You can use the daycare centre at your Military Family Resource Centre, both at your departure location and at your arrival location (for example, during the packing and loading day, as well as the unloading day). As the transfer season is concentrated during the summer, you are advised to reserve your place in advance, when you know the days you will need the service. Visit www.cafconnexion.ca to find the necessary information depending on your base as well as the eligibility criteria.

Administration and Canadian Armed Forces and BGRS 
How does the physical removal of my furniture and belongings work?

The physical move is taken care of by the Forces, they are the ones who take care of assigning you a removal company. Once your BGRS account is created, you will have access to the DND-443 form. You will need to fill it out and send it to the Base Furniture and Effects Moving Section (in person or by e-mail). You will then receive all the information on this subject.

If we are a military couple, or if my spouse joins the Forces, will the military automatically move us to the same base?

Couples where both spouses/partners are CAF members are usually posted to the same location. However, the Forces may not be able to accommodate all couples such as where there are significant differences in trades or elements (e.g., when trying to post an air weapons specialist with an infantry spouse) or operational requirements, such as deployments abroad. (Answer taken from the FAQs on the CAF website)

Can I move with my CAF partner even if we are not married or in a common-law relationship?

Yes, however, certain aspects of the move will be at your expense.

Can I get help or support even if I am not formally in a common-law relationship with my CAF partner?

Yes! The VFC offers support for all services, whether you are in a common-law relationship or not, married or not, cohabiting or not.

Can I put my house up for sale before I receive my posting message?

It is your choice but be sure to put a close “conditional upon receipt of the transfer message”. This will protect you if your posting never takes place. Also check the BGRS policy at this level.

Can I advance or postpone the date of the posting?

Yes, you can request more or less 30 days. The member must go through their Chain of Command to make the request, and the unit must also accept the request.

What happens if our house is not sold when the posting date arrives?

You have 2 choices; the member can leave under Imposed Restriction (IR) until the house sells or the family can move and receive “The Temporary Dual Residence Allowance”. You will find all the details on page 91 of the BGRS policy.  https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/dnd-mdn/documents/military-benefits/cfirp/a-pp-005-irp-ag-001-cfirp-eff-19-april-2018.pdf

Should I renew my lease, even if we have to be posted?

Yes! There is always a possibility that the message does not arrive. There is a section dedicated to leases in the BGRS policy, check the compensation associated with it.

Is it mandatory to be posted during your career in the Canadian Armed Forces?

For Regular Force members, postings are an integral part of employment and career development. Over the course of their careers, members of the Canadian Armed Forces may serve in many parts of Canada and around the world. Postings are established for a variety of reasons: promotion, training, priority position vacancies, development and acquisition of experience. Members are periodically asked to indicate their preferences for postings. Members can change their preferences at any time, depending on their personal circumstances. This information is handled by a career manager, whose role is to coordinate key aspects of the member’s career, including postings and course registration. On average, military members serve an average of three to five years. However, a new posting does not necessarily mean a move. There are a variety of positions at major bases, squadrons and units. In some cases, it is possible to obtain a new posting without having to relocate.

Is it true that if a CAF member is promoted, they will have to be posted?

Obviously, a promotion brings with it a change in responsibilities and possibly a change in assignment. However, a new assignment does not necessarily entail a move. Major bases, squadrons and units have a variety of positions. In some cases, it is possible to obtain a new assignment without having to move.

How does a posting work, who makes the decisions?

Career managers are the specialists regarding postings. To avoid any unpleasant experience, CAF members must always inform their career managers regarding their posting choices or any personal situation that could have some impact on the posting. The chain of command for departure and arrival are also in communication. The CAF member will then be notified of the final decision and will receive their official posting message so that they can begin the process with the BGRS. Therefore, the element or the trade could also influence the posting options. For example, Valcartier is not a Search and Rescue base. Therefore, there is no chance that a Search and Rescue Technician will be posted to Valcartier.

How does postings outside of Canada (OUTCAN) work?

Postings outside Canada (OUTCAN) are done through an extensive screening process, which includes medical and child education requirements. Here is a link where you will find more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/programs/outcan.html

Once the preselection process has been successful, a posting message will be transmitted. Subsequently, CAF members and their families who are posted outside of Canada will be well taken care of administratively and then contacted by their new MFRC to coordinate a personal meeting during their HHT. Please note that some OUTCAN postings are unaccompanied, so the family cannot move with the CAF member. In general, these are postings to countries that could be less safe and be of higher risk for the family. OUTCAN assignments and postings last from one to four years and extensions are possible.

In what context can we live with an imposed restriction (IR)?

IR is defined as: “An approved delay in the relocation of dependants, household goods and effects (HG&E) for a specific period of time after being assigned to a new place of duty in Canada” and “The imposed restriction policy provides the member with the opportunity to travel to the new place of duty without being accompanied by the family. The imposed restriction is a short-term solution to balance the demands of military service and family obligations.” The reasons for applying for IR are therefore predominantly family (employment of spouse, child rearing, finance, etc.). The request should be addressed to the career manager. The member can refer to the Career Manager for more information.

Change of province 
Can I perfect my second language through the MFRC?

Of course! The MFRCs can offer you courses in French or English as a second language, in class or online. This will certainly facilitate your move. You do not need to wait until you have officially received a posting message to make the request, just do it as a preventative measure to reduce the stress of a possible move to a French-speaking province.

Will I have to wait to get a health insurance card from my new province?

No! With your posting message as proof, you will not have the normal three-month waiting period. You must apply within the first 90 days of your arrival. In addition, if you need to go to the hospital before you get your new health insurance card, you will still be covered within the first 90 days.

Will I be able to drive in my new province before applying for a driver’s licence transfer?

Yes! Your Quebec licence is valid for the first 90 days. On the other hand, it will be important to make the request quickly when you arrive, since you will probably need an appointment, and waiting times may occur. Validate the procedure for your new province.

Other / mental health 
I am really stressed with my posting, how can I reduce my stress level?

Focus in your preparation! It is the one thing you have control over. The more prepared you are, the less stress you will be. We have implemented several tools. In complete confidentiality, you can also meet with a posting support counsellor or a social worker. Contact us for more information.

Check out the BGRS Policy

Absence

Child
How can I prepare my children for the absence?

We have created tools for you. The toolbox for 0-5 year olds and the Passport for 6-12 year olds. The paper version is available at VFC and online at cafconnexion.ca/Valcartier. We also offer two types of groups: Club Oasis (3-12 years old) and Pros of absence (5-12 years old). Pros of absence is spread over 6 workshops. With the help of the counselors, children will create tools to help them be better prepared for any form of absence, no matter when they experience it. Oasis Clubs are held during larger absences. They happen at the same time when the parent is absent. The goal is to bring together children living the same reality, to change their ideas, to be equipped and above all to see that they are not alone in experiencing the absence of one of their parents. This helps normalize the situation.

I am afraid of my children’s reaction to announce the departure of the deployment and during the deployment as well, what can I do?

This is normal, children all react differently. However, generally speaking, children react according to the parent who stays. So, the more control you have, the less your children will react. You can consult our tools with tips and tricks on our portal: https://crfmv.com/en/absences/

I have children, what is the most important thing for me to put in place?

Your emergency care plan! If the parent at home is unable to care for the children, who can take over? Friends, families, co-workers. Our emergency childcare service is a safety net in this regard. Make sure it is up to date and functional. The child care plan is kept at the unit, and it is very important to discuss it with your spouse at the time of implementation, so that the parent staying at home is aware of it. Contact us if you need help or have any questions.

I don’t have close family to help me with my children, does the VFC offer an alternative?

We have 3 types of child care services offered; drop-in daycare, respite and emergency childcare (safety net for your family child care plan). Visit www.crfmv.com/fr/enfance for full details on each. Please note that it is important that you have a family child care plan in place that will be very helpful if the parent at home cannot take care of the children.

Administration / Military 
Why are Valcartier CAF members often absent? (deployments, exercises, domestic operations,etc)

The Valcartier base is an operational base (there are also Petawawa and Edmonton) while some other bases, such as Montreal, are training bases. The big difference is that we have deployable units and trades rather than having schools and instructors who are dedicated to training (new or specializing) members. In addition, the Valcartier base has over 5,000 military personnel, and therefore a larger pool of opportunities to be deployed.

Why do CAF members from Valcartier often go on courses and exercises outside the base?

The Valcartier base is not equipped to receive all trainings and exercises. Some other bases are larger and better equipped. For this reason, CAF members from Valcartier have to travel outside the base to participate in those exercises.

Is it normal for information to change regularly?

Yes! It is part of the military reality of having to constantly live with changes, and often last minute. Military families are champions at adapting! If you have difficulty coping with all of this and all that it entails, know that we can support you in your journey and your reflections.

Can I reach my CAF partner in the event of an emergency (illness, death)?

Absolutely. You can try through the means that you normally use. You can also call your Family Centre during business hours, which will bridge the Chain of Command on a mission. Make sure you have the CAF member’s service number, rank, unit and mission to facilitate communication. Outside working hours, you can go through the family info line, which is available 24/7 at 1-800-866-4546. You can also go through the Padré on duty from the base.

How does the vacation work during deployment? (HLTA – Home Leave Travel Assistance / ARDC – Aide de retour au domicile en congé)

During a deployment, CAF members are entitled to a vacation where they can leave the mission location. In general, vacations cannot be taken within the first 30 days and the last 30 days of the mission. Normally, priorities for date selections are based on rank and duties. There are 2 options: the member can return home (Article 10.21.05 of the link below) or the member and their family can meet at a third destination (Article 10.21.06 of the link below) to spend their vacation. An amount of money is offered to cover the cost of airline tickets. It is important to know that only the member’s next of kin can obtain reimbursement (must be recorded in the member’s file, therefore unofficial “girlfriends and boyfriends” cannot obtain financial compensation). https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/corporate/policies-standards/compensation-benefits-instructions/chapter-10-foreign-service.html

During what type of absence is free military mail offered for sending parcels?

The parcel service is available for missions outside of Canada (the shipping time is approximately 4-6 weeks, so the mission must be several months for the parcels to reach their destination before the CAF member returns) and for OUTCAN postings. The service is not available for exercises, courses or postings within Canada. All Resource Centres, as well as reserve units, are drop points for packages. Visit www.crfmv.com/en/absences for more information.

Does CAF member have a maximum or a minimum deployment in their career?

No. It all depends on the opportunities, as well as the trade and rank of the CAF member. On the other hand, there is a good chance that they will be deployed at least once in their career.

If for medical or family reasons I would like to cancel the absence, what should I do?

The CAF member can apply for ‘special status for personal reasons’. This kind of request should not be taken lightly and the process that follows must be understood. You will find all the details at the following link: https://www.canada.ca/fr/ministere-defense-nationale/organisation/politiques-normes/directives-ordonnances-administratives-defense/serie-5000/5003/5003-6 -moving-unforeseen-statutes-individuals-and-assignments-for-personal-reasons.html. In addition, it is essential that the CAF member warns their Chain of Command of all situations that may lead to repatriation. Sometimes it is better for the forces not to deploy a member rather than having to repatriate them since it has much more impact and consequences.

If I don’t want the CAF member to go, what recourse do I have?

It must be remembered that the job of the military is to defend and serve their country, and therefore may be called upon to be deployed. The family has very little or no control over this situation; it’s part of the military reality. The VFC exists in order to help you better live this reality, so do not hesitate to call upon our services if you need them. If you have an exceptional medical or family reason, refer to the following question to see the procedure to follow.

Does the CAF member have the choice to leave or not?

In the regular force, it depends on each deployment. In general, it is more difficult not to go because it is an official task requested by the Chain of Command. You also have to consider the fact that it is their job. If they are a reservist, normally they have a choice. Here is a sentence from the Canadian Armed Forces site: “The CAF is a professional institution which requires the military to serve their country and put the needs of the CAF before personal considerations. Members must remain mobile and able to be deployed to meet the requirements of the CAF, to develop and gain experience.”

Can I get help even if I am not formally in a common-law relationship with my CAF member?

Yes, we offer support for all the services at the VFC, whether you are a common-law spouse or not, married or not, whether you live together or not.

Can I contact my military spouse while they are away?

It depends on the location but generally communications are possible and recommended. We advise you to establish rules for communicating. For example, e-mail for the more technical elements and telephone or live conversations for the rest. You can also determine more convenient times to talk to each other. This could avoid creating stress on both sides before an important moment (child’s exam, an important meeting for the parent staying at home, or an important task for the absent member).

What are the financial benefits of the absence?

It depends on the type of absence. For a deployment in operational mission, a bonus is associated with it. The amount varies depending on several factors, including the location and the dangerousness of the mission. Your military spouse can give you all the details. For a course or an exercise, it is the “closing bonus” which is associated with it. The CAF member (certain specific trades) receives it all year round, on each pay, even if they are not away from home. We recommend that you place part of it aside so that you can use it during absences (snow removal, household help, ready-to-eat meals, childcare services, etc.)

The Valcartier Family Centre’s role
What kind of assistance can the Valcartier Family Centre offers me if my spouse must be absent (deployment, exercise, courses,etc.)?

The Absence and Transfer Support Team is there to help you prepare for your absence, to help you think about what to put in place (snow removal, lawn mowing, power of attorney, your emotional preparation as well as that of your children, etc.) Our role is also to support you in your search for resources, and to refer you to external resources, if necessary. We can also offer you support during your absence: meetings to allow you to vent on the situation, to be listened to without being judged, and also offer you tips and tricks to keep you on track. In addition, we can help you prepare for the return, how to best reintegrate the CAF member into the family routine. We offer group workshops as well as individual meetings.  You will find all other services at the VFC in the ”Guide des services” which you will find at the following link: https://crfmv.com/en/documentation/

I am really stressed by this coming absence; how can I reduce my stress level?

Focus on your preparation! It’s the one thing you have control over. The more prepared you are, the less stressed you will be. We have implemented several tools, contact us for more information or visit our portal www.crfmv.com/fr/absences

Do not hesitate to contact an absentee support worker or a social worker if necessary, in complete confidentiality.

I am a parent, brother, grandparent…do I have access to the VFC service?

Of course. The majority of MFRC services are available to the member’s extended family. Visit www.cafconnection.ca to find your local MFRC.

I am not from the immediate region of Quebec, can I have access to family services?

The Valcartier Family Center serves from Gaspé to Trois-Rivières, including les Iles de la Madelaine. You can access our services virtually if it is difficult for you to get around. If you are from another region, visit www.cafconnection.ca to find your local MFRC. (Bagotville for the Saguenay region, and Montreal for the metropolitan region)