ARCHIVED - Chief of Military Personnel Provides Response to Ombudsman Concerns

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01 March 2007

Mr. Yves Coté
National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman
100 Metcalfe Street, 12th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5M1

Dear Mr. Coté,

The Chief of the Defence Staff has asked me to respond to your letter of 8 January 2007 in which you expressed concern regarding the ability of the Canadian Forces training system to offer services in French to unilingual francophone recruits. Upon receipt of your letter, I immediately asked the Commanding Officer of the Canadian Defence Academy to review the situation and to provide me with a clear plan to address your concerns. Although you asked for a response by 1 March 2007, I regret to inform you that I require another three to four weeks in order to provide you with a substantive response to all of the issues identified in your letter.

As discussed at our last meeting of 27 Feb 07, let me provide you with a few brief comments on the steps we have taken to date in addressing this situation. The Canadian Defence Academy (CDA) has undertaken a comprehensive review of their ability to provide instruction in both official languages in compliance with the Official Languages Act. They have appointed a local Official Languages champion, developed an Official Languages Strategic Plan, and presented a number of options that are currently being analysed. In addition, I have submitted a proposal to the Chief of Review Services (CRS) to conduct an evaluation on the language of instruction at Canadian Forces training establishments. CRS is currently developing a plan that will clearly identify the aim and scope of this evaluation as well as a methodology and timelines for achieving the aim. Following my review of the CDA proposals and strategic plan, and the development of the CRS plan, I will be in a better position to provide you with a substantive response to your letter.

Although the National Defence Official Languages Program Transformation Model does address the CF’s systemic weakness with respect to language of instruction, I wish to thank you for bringing this important issue to the forefront at this time. I also appreciate your understanding of the necessary delay in providing you with a final written response. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please contact my office.


T.H.W. Pile

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