Progress Report on Recommendations: Cadets: An Investigation of the Support Provided to Cadets Who Suffer an Illness or Injury as a Result of a Cadet Activity

Message from the Ombudsman | 14 August 2018

 

As part of our ongoing initiative to follow up on any and all recommendations made to the Minister of National Defence through our systemic investigations, my Office is releasing our report card today.

In November 2016, my Office released Cadets: An Investigation of the Support Provided to Cadets Who Suffer an Illness or Injury as a Result of a Cadet Activity.

During the course of the investigation, we found that Canadian cadets, although treated fairly following minor incidents, were not treated on par with Canadian Armed Forces members or civilians involved in cadet activities when it came to compensation for serious, life-changing injuries and illnesses.

We also found that information on how to access Canadian cadet health care entitlements was not readily available, and the process was not well understood.

Our review concluded that more needed to be done to support our most vulnerable participants of the Cadet Program.

With this in mind, we recommended that:

  1. In the event of an illness or injury arising out of an approved cadet activity, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces ensure that cadets are compensated and supported in a manner that is commensurate with the compensation and support available to members of the Canadian Armed Forces.                                                                                                                   
  2. the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces complete a series of activities with regard to the general availability of information on cadet -entitlements in time for summer training 2017.                                      
  3. the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces ensure that the benefits are identical across the three Cadet Leagues.
  4. the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces conduct necessary consultations and institute policies and procedures regarding Staff Cadets’ possible entitlements to compensation in case of illness or injury arising from their duties

All four recommendations were accepted by the Minister of National Defence.

However, 19 months following the publication of our report, we have determined that the first recommendation has yet to be implemented, and the three remaining recommendations are currently partially implemented attributable to the ongoing review of the Cadet League insurance policies.

I invite you to read the progress report for more details on the status of each recommendation.

 

Gary Walbourne
Ombudsman

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