ARCHIVED - Response from the Chief of the Defence Staff

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24 February 2006

Mr. Yves Côté, Q.C.
Office of the Ombudsman
100 Metcalfe Street, 12th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 5M1

Dear Mr. Côté,

I am writing in response to your concerns regarding the February 11, 2006 Ottawa Citizen article on the new Mobile Gun System.

Your preliminary assessment is indeed correct in that the article contained dated and inaccurate information. It was based on old documentation, which referred to Phase One of the project which was the initial purchase of 16 United States Army configured vehicles to be used by the Army’s Direct Fire Unit (an English Language Unit) for trial purposes to develop tactical employment concepts prior to fielding the full fleet of 66 vehicles. During Phase Two – Implementation, the necessary and appropriate documents were to be translated. However, due to a change in procurement strategy in 2005, the acquisition of the Mobile Gun System will no longer be split into two phases. Consequently, the Project Management Office put in place their plan to translate all hard-copy technical and operators’ manuals into both official languages as part of the equipment fielding plan.

As asserted by the Chief of Land Staff, Lieutenant-General Marc Caron, in an Army news release on February 14th, the Canadian Forces is very proud that we live, train and fight in both official languages. Our training manuals and technical manuals for our soldiers are always issued in English and French. I can confirm that the planned approach for bilingualism within the MGS Project meets the intent and expectations of the official languages policy.

Yours sincerely,

[original signed by]

R.J. Hillier

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