Response From The Minister On Concerns With The IC2M Project

Jan 11 2017

Mr. Gary Walbourne
National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman
100 Metcalfe Street, 12th Floor
Ottawa ON  K1P 5M1

Dear Mr. Walbourne,

Thank you for your letter on the Integrated Complaint and Conflict Management (IC2M) Program. The concept for IC2M arose in 2011-2012 out of the Integrated Conflict Management Working group (ICM WG). Over a year, the working group conducted a holistic review of conflict management (CM) mechanisms available to CAF members and explored opportunities to integrate processes in an efficient, comprehensive and collaborative manner. The ICM WG determined that current conflict management systems are complex, slow (too many approvals and handoffs), expensive, stove-piped, wasteful, and neither measured nor connected.

The ICM WG proposed an integrated concept that is more efficient, comprehensive and collaborative with an overall goal to develop a simplified, integrated C2M system and a standardized process that is responsive to and trusted by both Canadian armed Forces (CAF) members and the chain of Command. Over the last four years, this proposal has become the IC2M Program. The IC2M places an emphasis on informal resolution and will create a greater synergy between the Military Grievance Authority, the Alternate Dispute Resolution directorate, and the Human Rights and Diversity directorate. A review of the mandate of the Ombudsman, the Military Grievance External Review Committee, and the Military Police Complaint Commission is not within the purview of the IC2M program. I anticipate no changes to your role and the important services you provide to your stakeholders.

IC2M also helps address two recommendations made by former Supreme Court Justice Marie Deschamps in her March 2015 report: the need to simplify the harassment complaint process and the needs to establish a better harassment complaint tracking system.

As conflict resolution continues to be a primary leadership responsibility, the IC2M program will enable both the chain of command the CAF members to deal more effectively with conflicts and complaints. Your mandate is complimentary to the role played by CAF leadership and the IC2M program. As defined in the Ministerial Directive, you are an office of last resort (except in compelling circumstances). In the future, we expect CAF members to turn towards IC2M for guidance, referral and/or to resolve their complaints prior to requesting your services. It makes sense that the CAF have the capacity to support its members in this manner.

The IC2M program continues to evolve as its full implementations is not scheduled until 2019. The program is being introduced by using a prototype approach on selected bases. Lessons learned and the best practices will guide the evolution of the program throughout its implementation. As IC2M is a consolidation of existing C2M systems, no changes to the National Defence Act or Queen’s Regulations and Orders are expected at this time.

Should you have additional questions, I encourage you to reach out to the Vice Chief of Defence Staff, the IC2M Program sponsor or the Director General Canadian Forces Grievance Authority.

Yours sincerely,


The Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan, PC, OMM, MSM, CD, MP

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