Minister Responds to Ombudsman's Concern Regarding the Chief of the Defence Staff's Lack of Financial Authority to Deal with Grievances

June 27, 2011

Mr. Pierre Daigle
Ombudsman for the Department of
National Defence and the Canadian Forces
100 Metcalfe Street, 12th Floor
Ottawa ON K1P 5M1


Dear Mr. Daigle:

Thank you for your letter of February 10, 2011, concerning the lack of financial authority for the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) to settle a grievance within the Canadian Forces (CF) grievance system. Please accept my apology for this delay in responding.

I assure you that much work has been done on this matter. While I am committed to providing the CDS with the financial authority to resolve grievances, a number of complex authority issues remain to be resolved. It has proven difficult to find a mechanism that is both legally and administratively acceptable. The Department of National Defence and the CF continue to review options. In the interim, measures have been implemented to ensure that CF members obtain appropriate and timely resolution to their grievances.

To facilitate the just and timely reconciliation of grievances, the Director General for the Grievance Authority and the Director of Claims and Civil Litigation have established a system to accelerate and improve the resolution of grievances that may have a claims component. The goal is for CF members to receive a reply to their grievances and related claims as close to each other in time as possible. Although grievance and claims processes are separate and distinct, the new system will enable them to run in parallel. When the Grievance Authority becomes aware that a grievance also contains a claim, the Director of Claims and Civil Litigation will be advised. Upon receipt of the particulars of the claim from the Grievance Authority, the Claims and Civil Litigation Section will proceed with the review of the claim pursuant to the Directive and Guidelines on Claims and Ex Gratia Payments. Thus, CF members can be given more complete answers in a more timely fashion.

Once again, thank you for writing.


Peter MacKay

Date modified: