Message from the Ombudsman – July 24, 2015

Ombudsman Introduces a Focus on Reserves

My Office acts as a direct source of information, referral and education for the Defence community. We are also responsible for reviewing and investigating complaints from constituents who believe they have been treated improperly or unfairly by the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Armed Forces.

Reservists, both serving and retired, as well as their immediate families, form an important part of our constituency. Recently, we have focused our engagement activities to reach out to Reservists in order to inform them of the Office and the role that we play, make our services more readily available to them, and gather a better understanding of the issues and challenges facing Reservists and their families. We will continue to do this over the coming years.

We have also focused some of our systemic investigations on Reserve matters, reviewing two significant issues:

  • Operational stress injuries and the Reserve Force; and
  • Compensation for ill and injured Reservists.

In the coming months we will be publishing a series of educational products focusing on members of the Primary Reserve, as well as the findings and recommendations of the above-mentioned systemic investigations. I invite you to monitor our website and Twitter account for:

  • An information sheet on the Primary Reserve Force (summer 2015);
  • A study by the Office in partnership with the Director Health Services Reserves on the feasibility of providing periodic health assessments to all members of the Primary Reserve (summer 2015);
  • Educational products on ill and injured Reservists’ entitlements to compensation (summer 2015);
  • Educational products on Reservists’ entitlements to health care (summer 2015);
  • Investigation findings and recommendations on the compensatory system for ill and injured Reservists (fall 2015); and
  • Investigation findings and recommendations on the tracking, support and care of Reservists with potential operational stress injuries (winter 2015).

I encourage Reservists and their family members to contact my Office if they have any questions or concerns about the processes affecting their care or compensation, or about any other issue relating to the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Armed Forces. We are ready to help.

Gary Walbourne

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