Cédric Gouillart Remission Order: SI/2021-99
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 155, Number 26
SI/2021-99 December 22, 2021
FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION ACT
Cédric Gouillart Remission Order
P.C. 2021-1007 December 9, 2021
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, considering that the collection of the amounts is unjust, on the recommendation of the Treasury Board, pursuant to subsection 23(2.1) footnote a of the Financial Administration Act footnote b, remits the amount of $22,031, and all relevant interest on it, payable by the succession of Cédric Gouillart for the overpayment to the pay account of Cédric Gouillart.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
Pursuant to subsection 23(2.1) of the Financial Administration Act (FAA), the Order remits the amount of $22,031, and all relevant interest on it, to the succession of a deceased Department of National Defence (DND) employee.
The objective of the Order is to extinguish the amount owing from the succession and allow DND to delete debts from its accounts, thereby leading to a balancing of financial accounts.
A civilian DND employee disappeared in May 2018 and has not been found.
Initially, DND deliberately continued the employee’s pay to avoid causing financial hardship to the family. Search efforts were unsuccessful in finding the employee alive or recovering any remains. In October 2018, approximately six months after the disappearance, DND stopped pay.
In August 2019, the Superior Court of Quebec issued a declaratory judgment of death and established the date of disappearance as the date of death. In this case, the Court determined that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that the individual was deceased and issued a declaratory judgment of death.
Following the declaratory judgment of death, DND took steps to regularize the individual’s pay file. As the employee had no right to get paid while deceased, DND determined that the salary paid to the individual between May and October 2018 constituted an overpayment and therefore a debt to the Crown. In addition, the employee had a debt to DND prior to his disappearance/death related to overpayments related to Leave Without Pay and insurance benefits.
In January 2020, the individual’s spouse was contacted and informed that the entire debt would need to be recovered. Subsequently, the President of the Union of National Defence Employees contacted DND to relay that the recovery of this debt would have significant negative impacts on the individual’s family and asked that the debt be deleted.
Upon reviewing the case, DND made a determination to delete the debt and seek a remission based on compassionate reasons. The remission is being sought on compassionate grounds (severe hardship), due to the financial, mental, and emotional hardship the family would face should the debt be collected.
Under the FFA and its regulations, recovery of overpayments is mandatory. The only way to extinguish the debt owing by the deceased individual’s family is through a remission order under the subsection 23(2.1) of the FAA. The remission of this debt avoids the negative impact repayment of this amount would have on the deceased individual’s family.
The Order impacts the deceased individual’s family and is relieving in nature. Therefore, no external consultations were undertaken.
Civilian Labour Relations
Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources – Civilians)
Department of National Defence