Ombudsman Weighs In On Transition Program for Releasing Military Members

 
January 26, 2015 – Ottawa, ON – Office of the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces
 

The Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces, Mr. Gary Walbourne, today released an analysis on the priority hiring of medically released Canadian Armed Forces members, entitled “Canadian Armed Forces best positioned to determine Public Service priority hiring for releasing members.”
 

Last year, the federal government introduced a bill to amend the Public Service Employment Act. One of the goals of this bill is to give ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members priority for appointments to jobs in the public service. A key aspect of the bill is the need to choose one organization to determine whether a military member’s medical release is a result of service in the Canadian Armed Forces.
 

The Ombudsman is recommending that the Canadian Armed Forces, rather than Veterans Affairs Canada, be assigned the responsibility to make the determination, as it would encourage a straightforward and uninterrupted transition for former military members who have become ill or injured as a result of their service.
 

Quick Facts
 

  • On March 4, 2014, Parliament introduced Bill C-27 – An Act to amend the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA). One of the goals of this bill is to give ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members priority for appointments to public service positions.
     
  • The Ombudsman’s analysis compared the three key stakeholders – the Public Service Commission, Veterans Affairs Canada, and the Canadian Armed Forces – to determine who would be best positioned to determine whether a military member’s medical release is a result of service in the Canadian Armed Forces.
     
  • The Ombudsman concluded that the greatest benefit lies with assigning responsibility to the Canadian Armed Forces.
     
  • The Canadian Armed Forces is the logical choice because it has the necessary expertise to make the determination of attribution to service, has control of the evidence (i.e., personnel and medical records) and is already responsible for registering military members for priority hiring status.
     
  • The Canadian Armed Forces is also positioned to make the timeliest decision (i.e., at the time of a member’s release), thereby providing the quickest access to public service jobs, which is the main advantage intended by Bill C-27.
     

Quotes

"Bill C-27 presents an excellent opportunity to grant ill and injured soldiers with speedier access to public service jobs. The intent of Bill C-27 will only be met though if access to priority hiring is streamlined. Adding yet another review or adjudication step will not achieve this bill’s main advantage, which is to provide ill and injured military members with the quickest access possible to public service jobs. It is my view that the Canadian Armed Forces can best determine if a medical release is related to military service."

- Mr. Gary Walbourne, Ombudsman, National Defence and Canadian Forces
 

"I concur with the assessment of the CAF Ombudsman that the Canadian Armed Forces is best placed to make the quickest determination of attribution of service for a soldier's medical release for priority staffing. Giving ill or injured soldiers speedier access to potential jobs in the public service is vitally important to the CAF member/Veteran."

- Mr. Guy Parent, Ombudsman, Veterans Affairs Canada
 

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Media Contacts
 

Jamie Robertson
Director of Communications
Office of the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces
613-995-9551
Jamie.Robertson@forces.gc.ca
 

Angelina Nikkel
A/Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces
613-995-8643
Angelina.Nikkel@forces.gc.ca
 

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