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youtube play iconWhat is the Ombudsman's Office?

How do I make a complaint?

What types of cases do you handle?

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New Ombudsman report on Canadian Rangers.
Also available in the following langugaes: Denesuline, Montagnais, Ojicree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut.

Read the Report

Ombudsman Messages

Recent Reports

Canadian Rangers

Annual Report 2016-2017

Progress Report on Recommendations

Support to Bereaved Military Families

The Case For a Permanent and Independent Ombudsman Office

Cadets: An Investigation of the Support Provided to Cadets Who Suffer an Illness or Injury as a Result of a Cadet Activity

Our People, Our Security, Our Future: Defence Policy Review

Simplifying the Service Delivery Model for Medically Releasing Members of the Canadian Armed Forces

Determining Service Attribution for Medically Releasing Members

Helpful Information

NEW Canadian Rangers Tasks and Operations

info icon This information is also available in the following languages: Denesuline, Montagnais, Ojicree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut.

Check out our Helpful Information page for information on the following subjects:

  • Boards of Inquiry
  • Cadets
  • Civilian Employees
  • Mental Health
  • Military Families (NEW)
  • Military Moves and Postings
  • Rangers
  • Reservists
  • Transition to Civilian Life

Video Gallery

What if I am unhappy with a complaint I made through another mechanism?


At the Ombudsman’s Office, we’re here to help. We can do this in a variety of ways – by giving you information, by pointing you in the right direction or by investigating your complaint.

There are many options available to you if you feel that you have been treated unfairly – such as informal resolution, alternate dispute resolution and mediation. There are also more formal options available to you, such as the Canadian Forces Grievance Process, or the Public Service grievance and complaint processes.

It is important to note that there are timelines associated with the submission of a formal complaint.

If you call our Office before seeking help from one of these mechanisms, our intake officer will listen to your complaint and explain the options available to you, as well as relevant timelines.

So what happens if you’ve decided to go the more formal route and you’re unhappy with how that resource is handling your complaint? Say there are delays or you are not being kept in the loop?

We may be able to help.

An Ombudsman investigator can review your file to make sure that the process and policies were understood and applied fairly and may assist in ensuring the process is back on track.

If you contact us after a formal decision is complete, we do not have the power to change a decision or to act as the final authority – but we can make recommendations if we believe that you were treated unfairly within the process.

Remember, the best thing that you can do if you’re unsure about the treatment you received is to ask. Our intake officers, analysts and investigators have a wide range of knowledge about Defence and Canadian Forces issues and they are well equipped to point you in the right direction. We’re here, ready to help.

Please visit our Video Gallery for more information on subjects such as:

  • Are you being medically released from the Canadian Armed Forces?
  • Making the Transition to Civilian Life
  • How did we help the Defence Community in 2014-2015?
  • What is a Board of Inquiry?
  • What Are Compelling Circumstances?
  • What Happens When You Contact the Ombudsman's Office?
  • Who Are We?

info icon Our videos are also available in American Sign Language.

Recent Media

Official Languages

Some or all of the following material originates with an organization not subject to the Official Languages Act, and is available on this site in the language in which it was written.

La Presse +*

[translaton of title] Stress our soldiers do not need
[translation] Military families encounter numerous problems

The Globe and Mail
September 27, 2017

Politics Briefing: Some movement in NAFTA talks heading into final day

quote left icon ...Gary Walbourne, National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman, in The Globe and Mail on Canada's veterans: "Nothing should stand in the way of putting current and former members of the Forces first in the decision-making process... quote right icon

The Globe and Mail
September 26, 2017

Opinion: Injured, ill military personnel deserve an easier transition to civilian life

The Edmonton Journal
July 26, 2017

Opinion: Ease the nightmare of moving for military families
The Globe and Mail

Panel implores military to adopt more suicide-prevention resources

quote left icon Military Ombudsman Gary Walbourne has recommended that no military staff should be released until their veteran's benefits are in place. quote right icon

 *This publication is available in French only.

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