Response from CDS: Cadets Follow-up Apr 2018

27 April 2018

Mr. Gary Walbourne, MBA, CHRL, CPA, CMA
Office of the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman
100 Metcalfe Street, 12th floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 5M1


Dear Mr. Walbourne,

The Office of the Commander, National Cadets and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group (Natl CJCR Sp Gp) received a request for an update on the progress toward meeting the recommendations identified in your initial report. The Management Action Plan provided by your staff has been included with this letter.

I sincerely appreciate your ongoing support of our women and men in uniform and their families. Listed below is the current status of the recommendations from your previously released report.

Recommendation #1: In the event of illness or injury, cadets should be compensated in a manner that is commensurate with the compensation and support available to members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). 

The review of the insurance policies that compensate cadets is still in progress (Recommendation #3) and will form a key component of the response to this recommendation. Once insurance benefits are finalized with the Cadets Leagues, and evaluation of those benefits coupled with the coverage under the Government Employees Compensation Act (GECA) will be conducted. Following this review, we will be better positioned to determine what, if any, additional coverage is required and what further legislative and/or policy changes must be made.

Recommendation #2: With regards to general availability of information on cadet entitlements, the Department of National Defence (DND) should: 

  • Amalgamate information on cadets’ health care entitlements and Cadet League accident insurance policies and the process to access them;
  • Provide this information to all those in charge of supervising cadets;
  • Ensure compliance with the process;
  • Publish the same detailed information on the Internet; and
  • Include the same information in documents provided to cadets and their families  

The Medical Care for Cadets and Junior Canadian Rangers brochure was sent to the Regional Cadet Support Units and Canadian Ranger Patril Groups on April 28, 2017, for distribution to parents. It will be included with cadet joining instructions prior to summer training and will be provided to parents and future cadets upon joining the program, either in paper-based format or via a website link. The content of the brochure was initially place online at on June 2, 2017, and the brochure is currently being amended. This amendment will take into account recent changes such as coverage for the replacement of eyewear if the damage or loss is unavoidable and directly attributable to training or duty. This information will be updated on the website in April-May 2018. Additional briefings will be conducted with staff working at Cadet Training Centres during their ramp-up training beginning in April 2018.

The process to access health care is a combination of provincial, CAF-furnished (i.e. summer training centres or military bases), and League accident insurance. CAF personnel (located at either Squadron, Corps, or Training Centres depending upon location of the cadet) monitor cadets and facilitate access when provincial coverage is insufficient or League insurance is required. The website is being updated to clarify the process required for cadets, parents, and CAF members to receive/coordinate support. A CANCDTGEN message will also be sent to all levels of the Natl CJCR Sp Gp to inform personnel of the updated website as well as re-emphasis roles and responsibilities in the support process. These changes will take place in May 2018. 

Recommendation #3: As part of the next annual review of the accident insurance policy of the Leagues, that DND and the CAF ensure that the benefits are identical across the three Leagues.

A review of all Leagues insurance policies and Compensation Benefits Instructions for CAF members, cadets, civilian instructors, and civilian volunteers has been conducted. The review has identified where differences exist and the three Leagues were provided with this review in November 2017. The Leagues are in agreement that the policy being developed for the provision of an acceptable insurance policy should have identical benefits across the three Leagues and JCRs. They have been presented with the proposal for an amalgamated insurance policy, which they are currently reviewing. Natl CJCR Sp Gp HQ staff net with the Leagues in March 2018 to confirm policy requirements and plan for the meeting with insurance broker(s). The three individual insurance policies currently managed by the Leagues remain in place for the time being, but will be replaced by a single insurance policy that would equally cover sea, army, and air cadets. Implementation of identical insurance coverage is being targeted for September 2018, when the last of the existing policies is set for renewal.

Recommendation #4: DND and the CAF conduct necessary consultations and institute policies and procedures regarding staff cadets’ possible entitlements to compensation in case of illness or injury arising from their duties.

As temporary/casual DND employees, it has been confirmed that staff cadets are covered under GECA through their respective provincial workers’ compensation. Staff cadets are also covered under the insurance policy of the applicable League. The CANCDTGEN identified in the response to Recommendation #2 will highlight this information and serve as Natl CJCR Sp Gp policy until such time as a Group Order can be written. The CANCDTGEN will also be provided to staff cadets as part of their Joining Instructions for summer training.

I hope this information is helpful. Your recommendations will continue to be implemented by DND and CAF. We will take all possible steps to address your findings and recommendations in order to enhance the quality of our programs and ensure the wellbeing of our members and cadets.

Yours sincerely,


J.H. Vance

c.c.   Minister of National Defence

         Deputy Minister

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