Table of Contents
Part One – Overview
1.0.1 The Senior Leadership of the Communications and Electronics (C & E) Branch identified a need to establish a fund that provides financial support to serving and non serving members of the Canadian Forces Communications and Electronics Branch. Rather than establish an independent charitable organization, it was agreed, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), that the C & E Branch and the Military C & E Museum Foundation would develop a mechanism whereby, through the yearly business planning cycle, funding would be made available to the C & E Branch to financially support C & E Branch members who have demonstrated need.
1.1.0 The C & E Branch is one of many personnel Branches which were created in 1968 following the integration of the Canadian Forces. The purpose of these Branch structures was to enable members of the Canadian Forces in related occupations to identify with each other in cohesive professional groups (CFAO 2-10). Since 1968, the C & E Branch has evolved to better meet the occupational and social needs of Branch members, as well as their associates in related professions.
1.1.1 The C & E Branch is not an operational entity, rather a professional body, which represents its members through the support of those who belong to it. Chief of Military Personnel (CMP) has directed that the Branches will be represented by a Branch Advisor. The advisor is to be a focal point for Branch personnel and to provide advice to CMP regarding personnel and professional matters, which may affect the members of the Branch.
1.1.2 An important enabler of the Branch Advisor is the Branch Advisory Committee (BAC). The BAC is composed of C & E Branch Officers at the top of the three disciplines within the C & E Branch, namely Director of Signals, the Senior Air Force C & E Advisor and Commander CFIOG, as well as the Branch Leader, and the Branch CWO. Members of the BAC meet periodically to discuss the direction of the C & E Branch and all its trades.
1.1.3 Until 2004, the C & E Branch Secretariat administered the C & E Branch Fund. The C & E Branch Fund was used to support Branch activities that could not be supported by public funds and was administered separately from the Military C & E Museum Foundation (see para 1.2 below). It was decided that the C & E Branch fund would be absorbed into the Military C & E Museum Foundation and the Foundation would provide financial support to the Branch Fund on a yearly basis. The funds earmarked for use for C & E Branch Fund continues to be administered by the C & E Branch Secretariat IAW the All Ranks Communications and Electronics Branch Constitution main document to which this Annex refers.
1.2.0 The Military Communications and Electronics Museum Foundation was created to provide a funding environment for the Museum. It was incorporated as a federal non-share charitable corporation on 26 June 1985 under the guidance of CFAO 27-5. The purpose of the Foundation is to raise funds for the Museum for expansion, operations and to support Branch initiatives and increase the sense of identity and esprit de corps within the C & E Branch.
1.3.0 CFSCE is the CF school for all C & E Branch trades training, and the Communications and Electronics Branch Home Station. The Commandant of the Home Station is the Commanding Officer (CO) of the C & E Museum. As the CO for the Museum, he is responsible for providing the strategic direction to the Museum and coordinating Museum operations.
1.4.0 The C & E Museum is a DND non-public funds (NPF) entity that exists to maintain, promote and display the history of the C & E Branch. The operations of the Museum are financially supported by CFB Kingston, CFSCE, the Directorate of History and Heritage and the Military C & E Museum Foundation.
2.0.1 The Commandant of the C & E Branch Home Station submits a yearly business plan to the C & E Museum Foundation for funding. The business plan addresses the operating costs of the Museum, provides money to the All Ranks C & E Branch Fund and establishes fundraising targets for Museum expansion projects. The C & E Museum Foundation funds the business plan as finances permit and the Museum director executes the business plan.
2.0.2 In order to make funds available to support C & E members in distress, the C & E Branch will request funding through the business planning process for the All Ranks C & E Branch Fund. The ability of the C & E Museum Foundation to make funds available to support distressed members will rely heavily on the P070 contributions of serving members. The Branch Executive will actively work to enrol members in the P070 program to ensure that the C & E Museum Foundation has sufficient cash flow to support Branch Funding requests. The number of serving members contributing to the P070 program will be considered when the Branch Executive submits their request through the Museum Business Plan.
3.0.1 The C & E Branch distress funding is intended to assist:
3.0.1. a Former or serving members of the Canadian Forces who have served at least one year qualified in a C & E trade or classification;
3.0.1. b Former members of the C & E Branch, providing they completed a minimum of one year’s service, or if less than one year’s service:
a. were released due to a disability attributable to service; or
b. had war service.
3.0.1.c Former or serving members of the Communications Reserve who have completed five years part-time Reserve service or at least one year of full-time Reserve service qualified in a C & E trade or classification.
3.0.1.d Dependents of any individual who qualifies for assistance as described above. The word “dependents” as used above, means spouses, widows/widowers, children up to 18, each of whom are, or were, dependant upon the earnings of an individual in one of the categories specified above. In addition, children over the age of 18 who are physically, or mentally unable to provide for themselves; and, children over the age of 18 who have been in continuous, fulltime attendance at college/university or vocational training, may be classed as dependents up to the age of 27.
3.1.0 The purpose of the financial support is to relieve distress or to promote the well-being of individuals who qualify for assistance.
3.1.0.a Distress is deemed to exist when an applicant or his/her dependents are suffering hard-ship due to a lack of the necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical care including hospitalization. Distress may also be evident when an applicant has personal debts which cannot be met as a result of unexpected calls upon income due to sickness, accident, death, or other unforeseen eventualities, and where the payment of such accounts would deprive the applicant or his/her dependents of the ordinary necessities of life, or would cause undue hardship.
3.1.0.b In meeting its secondary objective of promoting well-being, the funding has no rigid guidelines or definition although unforeseen misfortune and serious debt causing financial distress are partial prerequisites. The financial status of the applicant is a prime factor in assessing the merits of each application. The promotion of well-being might include, for example, financial aid for transportation in connection with death or serious illness, or aid to meet unforeseen contingencies or to provide temporary comforts or amenities.
3.2.0 Assistance from the C & E Branch can be awarded in the form of a loan or grant.
3.2.0.a A loan is a sum of money that is given to the applicant whereby both parties agree to the terms of the loan and the full amount of the loan is repaid into the Fund.
3.2.0.b A grant is a sum of money that is given to an applicant whereby no money is required to be repaid to the Fund
3.3.0 Eligible applicants serving in the Canadian Forces should apply through their Commanding Officer or their representative as laid down in local orders. Applications will be forwarded to the C & E Branch Advisor through the C & E Branch Secretariat.
3.3.1 All other applications for assistance should be made through the Communications and Electronics Museum, who will forward the application together with all documentation to the C & E Branch Advisor.
3.4.0 Individuals seeking assistance must demonstrate that they have exhausted all other avenues of support. This would include other low interest loans through SISIP. The C & E Branch distress funding can be used in conjunction with other forms of financial aid if it is determined that the case merits such financial support.
3.5.0.a Applicants must realize that in administering money’s provided by the Branch, the Branch is required to verify the circumstances under which applications are made for the relief of distress. Such investigations are made in a confidential manner and usually do not take very much time. It is vitally important to the person making application, and to the Branch, that all the particulars of the applicant’s circumstances are made known and must include estimates, proof of service, proof of income and up to date statements from all creditors. The application form itself must be carefully completed and all questions fully answered.
3.6.0 The files of both serving and non-serving members will be directed to the C & E Branch Advisor who will in turn provide copies of the application to members of the BAC. Members of the Executive BAC will review the application and provide their recommendations to the Branch Advisor on whether this application should be supported, or denied. Members of the BAC will also identify the level of financial support that should be awarded. A letter from the Branch Advisor stating the decision, will be forwarded from the C & E Branch Secretariat to the applicant and the applicant’s chain of command.
3.7.0 The decision made by the Branch Advisor with recommendations from the BAC is final and no appeals will be entertained.
3.8.0 When a grant has been awarded, the C & E Branch Advisor will direct that the funds be submitted to the successful applicant. The C & E Branch Secretariat will track, as a separate line item in the All Ranks C & E Branch Fund, the amount of the expenditures to support distressed members.
3.8.1 In the event that an interest free loan is given, the applicant will receive a contract outlining the re-payment schedule of the loan. Once the Branch Advisor receives the signed contract, the C & E Branch Secretariat will then issue the funds to the successful applicant.
4.0.1 The C & E Branch will provide C & E Branch members with a unique opportunity to look after fellow brothers and sisters in arms. With continued financial support from Branch Members, the C & E Museum Foundation will be in a position to support requests through the C & E Museum business planning cycle and enable the Branch to help serving and retired members and their families overcome hardships.