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Updated: Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:52:30 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Canadian Forces major sues feds over moving bill



Major Marcus Brauer has been with the Canadian Forces for 25 years. CBC

Major Marcus Brauer has been with the Canadian Forces for 25 years. CBC

A Canadian Forces major is taking the federal government to court next week in Halifax for what he says is its refusal to follow its own policy on military family relocation.

Maj. Marcus Brauer has spent the last four years battling the federal government. He moved with his family in May 2010 after he was transferred from Edmonton to CFB Halifax.

He said the relocation has brought his family close to financial ruin.

Brauer sold his home in Bon Accord, a small town north of Edmonton, for $317,000, losing $88,000 on the sale when the real estate market dropped.

He thought his family would be fully reimbursed since the Treasury Board has a policy to compensate soldiers if the real estate market drops more than 20 per cent.

But in July 2012 the Treasury Board told him he would get just $15,000.

“Absolute fury. I couldn't believe that they would take that money away from people after it's been promised,” said Brauer.

He now carries $73,000 of debt and has resorted to selling furniture and picking bottles. He is also crowdsourcing to raise $20,000 for his legal fees.

The case is being heard next week.

According to court documents, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat considers Bon Accord part of the larger metropolitan Edmonton area which did not see the same type of real estate collapse. It said that's why Brauer is not entitled to the money.

“There's going to be two things that are going to happen,” said Brauer. “We're going to win this case or we're going to be declaring bankruptcy.”

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