March 6, 2003




On April 1, 2003 the National Joint Council of the Public Service of Canada will launch the second and final phase of the modernization of the Isolated Posts and the Living Accommodation Charges Directives.

The two Directives have been merged into a more comprehensive and user-friendly one, which will be called the Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive (IPGHD). The following are some of the highlights contained therein:

Living Costs Differential (LCD):

Basket of Goods and Services – Expanded

The basket of goods and services has been revised and expanded to be more representative of today’s northern lifestyle and modern purchasing patterns. The additions to the revised basket of goods and services include:

Food purchased from restaurants, pharmaceutical products (non-prescription), household insurance premiums, entertainment supplies and services, rental of cablevision/satellite services and reading materials.

New Levels

The 8 LCD levels, previously reflected in 10 or 15 point ranges, have been increased to 16, which reflect 5-point ranges. This will more accurately indicate the cost of living in isolated posts.

7.5% abatement – discontinued

The 7.5% abatement applied to the calculation of the allowances has been discontinued. As a result the LCD allowance will go up for all isolated posts.

Fuel and Utilities Differential (F&UD) – Lower Qualifying Level

The 20% qualifying level has been reduced to 15%.

Base Shelter Values (BSV) – Fair Market Value

In response to concerns of equity and fairness, the methodology for calculating the BSV for Government Housing units has been modified. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) shall determine the Base Shelter Value of a unit based on local market conditions, or where no market exists, the market in the nearest location with similar conditions.

New Shelter Cost Differential (SCD)

Recognizing there may be a need for some form of relief at certain isolated posts where housing costs are abnormally high, a new SCD will be introduced. Initially, the SCD will be payable to employees living in private accommodation at qualifying locations. Employees in Government Housing may eventually receive it.

Keep looking to this site for periodic updates and/or information relating to the new Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive (IPGHD).