ARCHIVED - Response from the Minister Concerning Authority for the Chief of the Defence Staff to Make Ex Gratia Payments

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July 26, 2012

Mr. Pierre Daigle
Ombudsman for the Department of
National Defence and the Canadian Forces
100 Metcalfe Street, 12th Floor
Ottawa ON K1P 5M1
 

Dear Mr. Daigle:

I am writing to you concerning authority for the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) to make ex gratia payments within the Canadian Forces Grievance Process.

The fact that the Chief of the Defence Staff lacks financial authority to deal with grievances has been clearly recognized. There is no provision within the National Defence Act (NDA) that specifically states that the Chief of the Defence Staff does not or cannot have the power to order financial compensation as part of a grievance decision.

As a result, authority for the Chief of the Defence Staff to make ex gratia payments within the Canadian Forces Grievance Process was proposed to Treasury Board on June 13, 2012.

The Treasury Board granted approval of the Minister’s submission regarding the Chief of the Defence Staff’s authority to make ex gratia payments on June 19, 2012.

  • The approved Canadian Forces Grievance Process Ex Gratia Payments Order states:
  • The CDS may authorize an ex gratia payment to a person in respect of whom a final decision is made under the grievance process established under the NDA;
  • A payment may only be authorized if the final decision is made on or after the day on which this order came into force;
  • The CDS may delegate the power to authorize a payment to an officer who is directly responsible to the CDS; and
  • The power to authorize a payment is subject to any conditions imposed by the Treasury Board.

I believe this financial authority provides an initial basis to address the concerns you have raised and will fundamentally help provide an improved and fairer grievance process for members of the Canadian Forces. The financial authority will also be revisited in one year to confirm that the financial authorities are adequate and are addressing the issue.

Sincerely,
 

Peter MacKay

c.c. General Walter J. Natynczyk, CMM, MSC, CD
Chief of the Defence Staff

Vice-Admiral A.B. Donaldson, CMM, CD
Vice Chief of the Defence Staff

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