Letter from the Deputy Minister of National Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff: Sexual Misconduct

Mr. Gary Walbourne
Office of the Ombudsman
Department of National Defence
100 Metcalfe St, 12th Floor
Ottawa, On K1P 5M1


Dear Mr. Walbourne,

We are aware of your recent comments in the media on harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Specifically, you mention that your office has received certain complaints that may not be known to the Departmet of National Defence (DND). Thank you for providing an outlet for members of the defence team who for their own reasons feel more comfortable approaching your office.

As yo are aware, the central themes of Madame Deschamps' report and operation Honour are to understand the scope of the problem, provide support to the victims and ultimately change the culture of the CAF as relates to HSB. To that end, DND has established a safe, independent way for CAF members to get support thatthey require in the form of Sexual Misconduct Responce Center (SMRC). The SMRC has already had a meaningful impact on some of our members. At the same time, the chain of command is working to address harmful behavior that undermines our institutional credibility. We are concerned that without a holistic view, we will be unable to fuly understandthe nature and scope of the problem.

In the interest of meaningful change and support to all members of the Defence Team, we ask that you undertake to share statistical information with the SMRC. As well, though we understand you must treat information you receive with the confidentiality it is due, in order to ensure the safety of CAF members we would request that you consider using your discretion as per your mandate to disclose any infrmation you receive that you judge would warrant further investigation or reporting by sharing with either the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal or the Executive Director of the Canadian Forces Sexual Misconduct Response Centre.

Thank you for your support in this critical endeavour. We look forward to our continued cooperation to the betterment of the men and women serving Canada.



J.H Vance                                                                    John Foster
General                                                                        Deputy Minister
Chief of the Defence Staff

c.c Minister

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