The National Defense and Canadian Armed Forces Ombudsman, Gregory A. Lick, released a report today titled Getting Redress Right: An investigation into the inequities Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members face when they have limited or no grievance rights. This is Lick’s final report before his mandate ends on July 2nd.

The Ombudsman’s investigation focused on the CAF’s limited authority to resolve military members’ grievances related to compensation and benefits since these directives and instructions are under Treasury Board authority. 

The report identifies how the CAF’s limited authority to resolve compensation and benefits grievances makes the military grievance process ineffective for providing redress.  

The most significant inequity found is that, unlike their civilian colleagues, CAF members cannot access a grievance process to determine if the CAF treated them within the intent or “spirit” of the directive. The result is a disparity in benefits and longer resolution time when compared to civilians. This has a negative effect on morale and trust in the CAF as an institution.

The Ombudsman urges the Minister of National Defense to engage appropriate authorities to ensure that the CAF can make decisions that align with Treasury Board policies. He also recommends that the CAF consult the Treasury Board and the National Joint Council as they implement the CAF Grievance Transformation initiatives.

The Ombudsman makes seven recommendations. If implemented, they will bring lasting improvements to resolve compensation and benefits issues for CAF members.

By Editor