Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Information: FAQs

The following are examples of questions we are asked and the kinds of answers we usually give. Please keep in mind that every situation is unique, so use this section as a guide only.

(These answers should not be viewed as legal advice.)

If you have any questions or would like more information or clarification, please call us toll-free at:

1-888-828-3626.

1. The Ombudsman's Office

1.1. What does the Ombudsman do?

The Ombudsman investigates complaints and serves as a neutral third party on matters related to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. Acting independently of the chain of command and managers, the Ombudsman reports directly to the Minister of National Defence.

The office is a direct source of information, referral, and education for the men and women of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. Its role is to help individuals’ access existing channels of assistance or redress when they have a complaint or concern. In addition, the Ombudsman may investigate and report publicly on matters affecting the welfare of members and employees of the Department or the Canadian Forces and others falling within the office’s jurisdiction. The ultimate goal is to contribute to substantial and long-lasting improvements to the Defence Community.

The office takes complaints from constituents, reviews administrative processes, and investigates allegations of unfairness in a confidential and secure manner. In this way, the office protects the information it receives. After an investigation, we can make different types of recommendations to ensure fair treatment for members of the Defence Community.

Three ways to learn more about how the Office of the Ombudsman can help you:

  1. Explore our web site. You can read about how helping the Defence Community is part of the Ombudsman’s mandate. You can also find out more about the different kinds of complaints and the frequently asked questions we receive.
  2. Contact the office by using one of the following on-line tools:
    1. Secure online complaint form
    2. Live Chat
    3. Online Booking Tool
  3. Contact the office by telephone using our toll-free number: 1-888-828-3626.

However you choose to contact us, we will help you find the most appropriate way to get your concerns addressed. Should we determine that there are compelling circumstances that will cause you undue hardship, we can intervene to help.

Contact us if you are using an existing channel and feel you are being treated unfairly. Examples of this are unreasonable delays or errors in the processing of a harassment complaint or a grievance. If you are unsure about your situation, contact us. We are here to help get your concerns addressed in a fair manner.

2. Pay / Benefits

2.1. I have been having difficulties with my pay. What can I do?

2.2. I submitted a claim through my chain of command regarding benefit entitlements. My claim was denied. Can I appeal the decision?

2.3. I’m having Phoenix payroll issues. What will happen with my taxes?

2.4. I have an issue related to Phoenix – who should I contact?

2.1. I have been having difficulties with my pay. What can I do?

If you are a Canadian Forces member seeking assistance with your pay, you should first contact your local Unit Resource Management Support (RMS) clerk, as most source documents are held at unit level.

If your Unit RMS clerks cannot solve your problem, they will contact the appropriate Military Pay staff member on your behalf.

You can also submit a formal complaint through your chain of command outlining your concerns regarding your pay. Be specific. Your memo should clearly state what resolution you are looking for.

If you are not satisfied with the resolution of your complaint, you can submit a redress of grievance through your chain of command in accordance with Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders.

The Ombudsman’s Office may be able to intervene if, in the Ombudsman’s view, your circumstances are compelling. See subsection 13(2) of the Ombudsman’s mandate.

2.2. I submitted a claim through my chain of command regarding benefit entitlements. My claim was denied. Can I appeal the decision?

You have the right to submit a redress of grievance in accordance with Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders.

The Ombudsman’s Office may be able to intervene if, in the Ombudsman’s view, your circumstances are compelling. See subsection 13(2) of the Ombudsman’s mandate.

Information on your entitlement to benefits can be accessed at your unit orderly room.

2.3. I’m having Phoenix payroll issues. What will happen with my taxes?

Tax implications of Phoenix payroll issues from the Canada Revenue Agency

(Information from Canada Revenue Agency Website)

2.4. I have an issue related to Phoenix – who should I contact?

You can consult the GCpedia Phoenix Support Guide for Employees for information on support mechanisms*. This will help you determine the nature of the issue and ensure that you are contacting the appropriate support desk.

SupportQuestionsResolution
Technical Support

For questions related to technical/computer issues including:

  • MyKey not working
  • Cannot log into Phoenix
  • Possible system outage or malfunction
Call your Departmental IT Help Desk
Self Sevice Support

For questions related to Phoenix or Compensation Web Applications including:

  • Error messages when using Phoenix self service (e.g. timesheet entry or schedule updates)
  • How to use Phoenix or access online Phoenix support
  • How to locate/access your tax slip or navigate Phoenix
  • Manager not able to see their employee's account

Phone or Email the Compensation Web Application (CWA) Service Desk

1-866-634-2358
awraide.cwahelp@tpgsc-pwgsc.gc.ca

 

Compensation Support

For questions related to your personal pay or payments owed to you including:

  • Missing or incorrect payments received
  • Pay advice (e.g. promotion or compensation-related matters)
  • When you can expect to receive payments (e.g. increments, overtime)

Email your Departmental Compensation Advisor or the Public Service Pay Centre*

Centredepaye.Paycentre@tpgsc-pwsgc.gc.ca

*All communication submittd by email to the Pay Centre must be accompanied by a Pay Action Request (PAR) form

 *If you do not have access to internal GCpedia content, you can ask your manager to provide this information.

I have a pay issue – what should I do?

The Public Service Pay Centre and Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources-Civilian) websites provide information and step-by-step instructions that employees can follow to resolve their pay issues.

Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources-Civilian):

http://hrciv-rhciv.mil.ca/en/e-compensation-pay-escalation.page  

This website provides information that is specific to DND civilian employees*. It includes instructions on how to report a pay problem, how to complete a pay action request (PAR), how to request an Emergency Salary Advance (ESA), how to request a priority payment on non-basis pay, how to escalate your pay complaint, how to contact the National Civilian Compensation Support Unit (NCCSU), and how to submit a claim for out-of-pocket expenses related to the Phoenix pay system implementation.

*If you do not have access to the Intranet, you can ask your manager to provide this information

Public Service Pay Centre:

http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/remuneration-compensation/paye-centre-pay/probleme-paie-pay-problem-eng.html  

This website provides information on service standards and updates to the Pay Centre’s activities, instructions on how to report a Phoenix pay issue, how to claim out-of-pocket expenses, how to repay overpayments and salary advances, how to claim reimbursement for tax advice, and information on year-end and tax slips for 2016.

It is important to follow the pay escalation process in order to ensure that all necessary steps to report and document the pay issue have been completed. It is also advisable to keep a record of all actions taken and individuals involved in the resolution of the pay issue. If you encounter difficulties in accessing any of the steps in the escalation process, do not hesitate to contact our office.

3. Release Category

3.1. I am not satisfied with my release category. How can I get it changed?

You can submit a redress of grievance regarding your release and/or release category. You should do so as soon as you are notified of your pending release and/or category. If you are unable to submit your grievance in a timely manner, you should submit a memo indicating your intention to grieve and provide a tentative date for submission.

Should you decide to file a redress of grievance, ensure that you do so before your release takes effect. Once you have been released from the Canadian Armed Forces, you will no longer be able to file a redress of grievance. However, any redress filed before your release will still be considered. (Refer to Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders for more information.)

If you are a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, you can contact the Ombudsman’s Office for information and assistance.

4. Voluntary Release

 4.1. I would like to request a voluntary release for personal reasons before my period of obligatory service expires. What can I do?

4.2. I would like to request a voluntary release for personal reasons before my term of service expires. I am unable to provide the CF with a six-month notice. It is important that I get my release as soon as possible. What can I do?

4.1. I would like to request a voluntary release for personal reasons before my period of obligatory service expires. What can I do?

A request for voluntary release may be approved when there are compelling circumstances and if the operational requirements permit. (Refer to DAOD 5049-1 for more information.)

You should address your concerns with your padre or social worker who will then provide their recommendations in writing as to whether or not they agree you have compelling reasons that warrant the voluntary release. If they agree, you should submit a formal request through your chain of command for review. Your request should include the recommendations from your padre or social worker.

If your request is denied, you can submit a Redress of Grievance regarding your release. (Refer to Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders for more information.)

If you have compelling reasons why you feel the Ombudsman’s Office should intervene, you can contact the Ombudsman’s Office by phone and/or submit your concerns in writing to the Office for review.

4.2. I would like to request a voluntary release for personal reasons before my term of service expires. I am unable to provide the CF with a six-month notice. It is important that I get my release as soon as possible. What can I do?

A request for voluntary release may be approved when there are compelling circumstances and if the operational requirements permit. (Refer to QR&O 15.01 for more information.)

You should address your concerns with your padre or social worker who will then provide their recommendations in writing as to whether or not they agree you have compelling reasons that warrant the voluntary release. If they agree, you should submit a formal request through your chain of command for review. Your request should include the recommendations from your padre or social worker.

If your request is denied, you can submit a Redress of Grievance regarding your release. (Refer to Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders.)

If you have compelling reasons why you feel the Ombudsman’s Office should intervene, you can contact the Ombudsman’s Office by phone and/or submit your concerns in writing to the Office for review.

5. Involuntary Release

5.1. I have received a Notice of Intent of Release and I do not wish to be released from the CF. What’s my next step?

You should familiarize yourself with QR&O 15.21 if you are a commissioned officer or with QR&O 15.36 if you are a non-commissioned member.

You will be required to advise your commanding officer of any objections you have regarding your release within a prescribed timeline. You can request an extension if you consider that you are not given sufficient time to make your rebuttal. You also have the right to request an assisting officer to help you in the preparation of your rebuttal.

Following this, your file will be forwarded to the Director General Military Careers (DGMC) for consideration. DGMC should disclose copies of all information and documentation that substantiate the proposed release and that would be considered before making a final decision. You will be given an opportunity to make a written rebuttal. If you feel that you are not given enough time to prepare your rebuttal, you can request an extension.

If the DGMC decides that your release should proceed, you have the right to submit a redress of grievance to contest the decision to release you. You also have the right to request an assisting officer to help you in the preparation of your redress.

Should you decide to file a redress of grievance you should ensure that you do so before your release takes effect. Once you have been released from the Canadian Forces, you will no longer be able to file a redress of grievance. However, any redress filed before your release will still be considered. (Refer to Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders.)

6. Medical Release

6.1. I will be released on medical grounds and I feel that I require prolonged medical treatment from the CF. What can I do?

6.2. I will be receiving a medical release and I am concerned I will not receive the appropriate medical follow-up care. What can I do?

6.3. What can I do to ensure my medical release takes into account all of my medical problems?

6.4. I have been notified I will be released on a medical category. I do not want to leave the CF and feel I can still provide a service. What can I do?

6.1. I will be released on medical grounds and I feel that I require prolonged medical treatment from the Canadian Forces. What can I do?

You should discuss your concerns with the medical officer. If it appears that prolonged medical treatment is required, the medical officer can recommend in writing that you be retained temporarily in the Canadian Forces. (See CFAO 15-1 for more information.)

6.2. I will be receiving a medical release and I am concerned I will not receive the appropriate medical follow-up care. What can I do?

Please contact the Director Casualty Support Management (DCSM). DCSM is qualified to assist with these types of concerns. You can reach DCSM by calling their toll-free number: 1-800-883-6094.

6.3. What can I do to ensure my medical release takes into account all of my medical problems?

Please contact the Director Casualty Support Management (DCSM). DCSM is qualified to assist with these types of concerns. You can reach DCSM by calling their toll-free number: 1-800-883-6094.

6.4. I have been notified I will be released on a medical category. I do not want to leave the Canadian Forces and feel I can still provide a service. What can I do?

Your file will be forwarded to the Director General Military Careers (DGMC) for consideration by medical authorities. DGMC should disclose copies of all information and documentation that substantiate the proposed release and that would be considered before making a final decision. You will be given an opportunity to make a written rebuttal. If you feel that you are not given enough time to prepare your rebuttal, you can request an extension. You also have the right to request an assisting officer to help you in the preparation of your rebuttal.

If the DGMC decides that your release should proceed, you have the right to submit a redress of grievance to contest the decision to release you. You also have the right to request an assisting officer to help you in the preparation of your redress.

Should you decide to file a redress of grievance you should ensure that you do so before your release takes effect. Once you have been released from the Canadian Forces, you will no longer be able to file a redress of grievance. However, any redress filed before your release will still be considered. (Refer to Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders.)

7. Harassment / Sexual Harassment / Abuse of Power / Discrimination

7.1. I feel that I have been subjected to harassment. What are my rights and responsibilities?

7.2. I am an involved party in a harassment investigation. How can I make sure I am kept informed?

7.3. My harassment complaint is overdue for a response from a convening authority. What can I do?

7.4. I am not satisfied with the findings of an investigation or the investigation itself. What is my next step?

7.1. I feel that I have been subjected to harassment. What are my rights and responsibilities?

All Canadian Forces (CF) members and Department of National Defence (DND) employees have the right to be treated fairly, respectfully and with dignity in a workplace free of harassment, and they have the responsibility to treat others in the same manner.

You have the right to access information regarding harassment prevention and resolution. You should familiarize yourself with the resolution processes proposed by DAOD 5012-0 and by the Harassment Prevention and Resolution Guidelines. These resolution processes include the self-help method, as well as the informal and formal resolution processes.

The related Human Rights – Discrimination directives, DAOD 5516-0 and DAOD 5012-0, also apply to harassment issues.

You have the right to access assistance from a person in a position of responsibility. This includes a supervisor, a specialist officer, such as a medical doctor, a social worker, padre or personnel selection officer.

You have the right to get help preparing your complaint from an assisting officer.

The following agencies may also be able to help you:

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 1-800-268-7708
  • Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program (CFMAP) 1-800-268-7708
  • Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) 1-888-589-1750 

You may wish to document any actions and attempts you have taken to resolve the matter.

Information on harassment can also be accessed at your unit orderly room or at the DND/CF Human Resources website.

7.2. I am an involved party in a harassment investigation. How can I make sure I am kept informed?

Write a memo requesting information on the investigation and submit it to your immediate supervisor. Be specific. Your memo should clearly state what information you are looking for. You have the right to request and obtain an assisting officer to help you make your submission. If you have not received a response within 30 days, send a follow-up memo. (Refer to DAOD 5012-0.)

If you are not satisfied with the response, you can contact us if you wish and we will determine if we can assist you.

7.3. My harassment complaint is overdue for a response from a convening authority. What can I do?

You can submit a memo through your chain of command requesting the status of your complaint and requesting the expected time of completion.

If you are not satisfied with the treatment of your complaint, you can submit a redress of grievance in accordance with Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations (military personnel), Civilian Personnel Administrative Orders (CPAO) 7.07 (civilian personnel) or Section 11 of the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency – Volume 5 (non public fund employees).

7.4. I am not satisfied with the findings of an investigation or the investigation itself. What is my next step?

You can submit a redress of grievance outlining your concerns and stating what resolution to your complaint you would like to see. You have the right to request and obtain an assisting officer to help you make your submission. (Refer to the Department of National Defence / Canadian Forces (DND/CF) grievance procedures outlined in Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations (military personnel), Civilian Personnel Administrative Orders (CPAO) 7.07 (civilian personnel) or Section 11 of the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency – Volume 5 (non public fund employees).

8. Postings

8.1. I would like to request a contingency cost move or compassionate posting for personal reasons. It is important that I get my requested posting. What can I do?

8.2. I requested a contingency cost move or compassionate posting for personal reasons and did not receive it. What can I do?

8.3. What is Imposed Restriction?

8.4. What is Separation Expense?

8.5. I requested Imposed Restriction status or Separation Expense benefit and was denied the status and benefit. What can I do?

8.6 Where can I find more information about Relocations under BGRS?

8.7 Who can I contact if I can't find answers in the online information?

8.8 Looking for general information about postings?

8.1. I would like to request a contingency cost move or compassionate posting for personal reasons. It is important that I get my requested posting. What can I do?

You should address your concerns with your padre or social worker who will then provide their recommendations in writing as to whether or not they agree you have compelling reasons that warrant the posting. If they agree, you should submit a formal request through your chain of command for review. Your request should include the recommendations from your padre or social worker.

DAOD 5003-6 provides more information on contingency cost moves and compassionate postings.

8.2. I requested a contingency cost move or compassionate posting for personal reasons and did not receive it. What can I do?

You can submit a redress of grievance regarding your posting in accordance to Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders.

If you have compelling reasons why you feel the Ombudsman’s Office should intervene, you can contact the Ombudsman’s Office by phone and/or submit your concerns in writing to the Office for review.

8.3 What is Imposed Restriction?*

It is an approved delay in moving dependants and household goods and effects for one calendar year, with a possibility of extension up to a maximum of five calendar years. Imposed Restriction is a status, not a benefit, and must be approved by the member’s career manager under the Director Military Careers.

You may be eligible for Imposed Restriction Status if:

  • You are a Regular Force member or Class “C” Reservist;
  • You are not on your first posting after reaching Operational Functional Point; or
  • You are not on your first posting after re-enrollment in or transfer to the Regular Force.

8.4 What is Separation Expense?*

It is a benefit administered at the Base/Wing level that reimburses members for some additional living expenses resulting from separation from their dependants and household goods and effects, following relocation within Canada. Per Compensation and Benefits Instruction 208.997, these expenses can include: free quarters or accommodation, parking expenses, basic internet, cable and cellular or land-line telephone connection expenses, up to the maximum allowable amount.”

As of 1 February 2013, meals, rations and incidentals are no longer provided at public expense for members who are entitled to the Separation Expense benefit. The same date, the Separation Expense benefit ceased to be available for reservists on Class “B” Reserve Service relocations.

There are several criteria, all of which must be met to be entitled to the Separation Expense benefit:

  • You must be a Regular Force member or a reservist on Class “C” Reserve Service who is eligible for Imposed Restriction Status;
  • Your career manager must have approved your Imposed Restriction Status;
  • Your immediate former place of duty must be in Canada;
  • You must have a principal residence in Canada;
  • If you are a Reservist, you must be posted to or on Class “C” Reserve Service at a new place of duty in Canada;
  • You must be entitled to a move of dependents, household goods and effects at public expense to the new place of duty;
  • The move of your dependents, household goods and effects at public expense to the new place of duty is, for service reasons, prohibited or restricted, in accordance with orders or instructions issued by the Chief of the Defence Staff;
  • You do not move your dependants, household goods and effects to the new place of duty;
  • You occupy an accommodation at a new place of duty; and
  • A dependent occupies the principal residence on a full-time basis.

For more information:

CBI 208.997 – Separation Expense  

Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CFIRP) Directive

8.5 I requested Imposed Restriction status or Separation Expense benefit and was denied the status and benefit. What can I do?

You can submit a redress of grievance regarding your posting in accordance to Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders.

If you have compelling reasons why you feel the Ombudsman’s Office should intervene, you can contact the Ombudsman’s Office by phone and/or submit your concerns in writing to the Office for review.

* For any discrepancies between this document and the official instruction approved by Treasury Board, the latter shall prevail.

8.6 Where can I find more information about Relocations under BGRS?

Know your Benefits - Relocation

8.7 Who can I contact if I can't find answers in the online information?

You should contact your Base or Wing Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CFIRP) Coordinator first. If you still do not have an answer regarding a BGRS Service Delivery question, it is possible to email DRBM2_DGAR2_DPRFC@forces.gc.ca.

8.8 Looking for general information about postings?

See "The ABCs of Military Postings" in our Helpful Information page.

9. Redress of Grievance (ROG)

9.1. I am concerned about my ROG going through the Chain of Command. Can I bring my ROG to the Ombudsman for review instead?

9.2. My ROG is overdue for a response from a redress authority. What can I do?

9.3. My ROG has taken over two years to go through the Chain of Command. I have been advised it is at the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) level. How long do I have to wait for a response? Where can I direct my questions? Will the Ombudsman’s Office intervene because of the delay?

9.1. I am concerned about my ROG going through the Chain of Command. Can I bring my ROG to the Ombudsman for review instead?

The Ombudsman’s Office is set up as a method of last resort, so you must use the existing grievance system first to attempt to resolve your complaint. We may be able to intervene in lieu of existing complaint mechanisms if, in the Ombudsman’s opinion, your circumstances are compelling. See section 13 of the Ombudsman’s mandate.

Canadian Forces (CF) members and Department of National Defence (DND) civilian employees have the right to access assistance from an assisting officer in the preparation of their grievance.

CF members have the right to access information regarding the Canadian Forces Streamlined Grievance Process. This information can be found in Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders and the Canadian Forces Grievance System website.

You can also contact the Director General Canadian Forces Grievance Authority (DGCFGA) at 1-866-474-3867 with your questions on the Canadian Forces Streamlined Grievance Process.

DND civilian employees have the right to access information regarding the DND grievance procedures. This information can be found in the Civilian Personnel Administrative Order (CPAO) 7.07.

Non public fund (NPF) civilian employees have the right to access information regarding grievance procedures. This information can be found in Section 11 of the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency – Volume 5.

9.2. My ROG is overdue for a response from a redress authority. What can I do?

You can submit a memo through your chain of command requesting the status of grievance and requesting the expected time of completion.

If your ROG has not been responded to within the appropriate time, you can also bring your ROG to the next redress authority for review.

If you have concerns about the handling of your grievance at any stage in the process or if you feel that there are compelling circumstances to justify the Ombudsman’s Office getting involved, you can contact the Office by phone and/or forward your concerns for review.

9.3. My ROG has taken over two years to go through the Chain of Command. I have been advised it is at the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) level. How long do I have to wait for a response? Where can I direct my questions? Will the Ombudsman’s Office intervene because of the delay?

You can submit a memo through your chain of command requesting the status of grievance and requesting the expected time of completion.

Questions may also be addressed to the Director Canadian Forces Grievance Administration (DCFGA) at 1-866-474-3867.

To find out if your grievance has been referred to the Grievance Board by the CDS, you can call the Board: Toll Free 1-877-276-4193 or (613) 996-8529 or fax (613) 996-6491.

There is no time limit for the CDS to respond to your ROG. However, if you feel there has been undue delay or you have concerns about the handling of your grievance at any stage in the process, you can contact the Ombudsman’s Office by phone and/or forward your concerns to the Office for review.

10. Military Justice

10.1. I have been charged under the Code of Service Discipline. What are my rights and entitlements under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the National Defence Act?

10.2. I have been convicted at summary trial. What can I do to get my trial reviewed?

10.3. I have been convicted at court martial. What can I do to get my trial reviewed?

10.4. Can I appeal a decision of the Court Martial Appeal Court?

10.1. I have been charged under the Code of Service Discipline. What are my rights and entitlements under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the National Defence Act?

For general information on the Code of Service Discipline, read "The Code of Service Discipline and Me." You can get this booklet at your unit orderly room.

For specific information on the Code of Service Discipline, read Part III of the National Defence Act and the regulations contained in Volume II of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders.

An accused must be given the opportunity to consult with legal counsel before making an election between summary trial and court martial. You can contact Defence Counsel Services at 1-888-715-9636 or (819) 997-8985.

It should be noted that the Ombudsman does not act as a lawyer or an advocate for any party. His role is neutral. We can provide options, but we cannot give advice.

Please note that the Ombudsman’s Office cannot investigate complaints relating to the exercise of discretion in laying charges by the chain of command or the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) or in preferring charges by the Director Military Prosecution (see section 14 of the Ombudsman’s mandate).

However, the Ombudsman’s Office may report complaints of delay or abuse related to the administration of the Code of Service Discipline to the appropriate authority (see section 19 of the Ombudsman’s mandate).

10.2. I have been convicted at summary trial. What can I do to get my trial reviewed?

If you have been convicted at summary trial, you are entitled to apply to a Review Authority within fourteen days of the termination of the summary trial to have the guilty finding or sentence imposed on you reviewed. The grounds and procedure for requesting review are set out in QR&O 108.45. You also have the right to request an assisting officer to help you in the preparation of your rebuttal. The Review Authority is normally the next superior officer to whom the presiding officer is responsible in matters of discipline. The Review Authority is required to seek the advice of a legal officer before making a final determination.

You can also contact Defence Counsel Services at 1-888-715-9636 or (819) 997-8985.

Members dissatisfied with the finding of their summary trial may not grieve the matter under the Canadian Forces (CF) streamlined grievance process.

Please note that the Ombudsman’s Office cannot investigate complaints relating to military judges or summary trials (see section 14 of the Ombudsman’s mandate).

10.3. I have been convicted at court martial. What can I do to get my trial reviewed?

If you have been convicted before a court martial, you can appeal to the Court Martial Appeal Court, a division of the Federal Court, normally within thirty days following the date the court martial terminated its proceedings to the Registry of the Court Martial Appeal Court. The grounds and procedure for requesting an appeal are set out in Chapter 115 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders.

You can also contact Defence Counsel Services at 1-888-715-9636 or (819) 997-8985.

Members dissatisfied with the finding of their court martial may not grieve the matter under the Canadian Forces (CF) streamlined grievance process.

Please note that the Ombudsman’s Office cannot investigate complaints relating to military judges or summary trials (see section 14 of the Ombudsman’s mandate).

10.4. Can I appeal a decision of the Court Martial Appeal Court?

You can appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada against a decision of the Court Martial Appeal Court. The grounds for requesting an appeal are set out in QR&O 115.27.

11. Administrative Action

11.1. A verbal or recorded warning has been issued against me. Can I appeal the decision?

11.2. I was provided with a notice of intent to recommend counselling and probation (C&P). I am not in agreement with the CO’s recommendation. What can I do?

11.1. A verbal or recorded warning has been issued against me. Can I appeal the decision?

You have the right to submit a redress of grievance. Refer to the Department of National Defence / Canadian Forces (DND/CF) grievance procedures outlined in Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations (military personnel), Civilian Personnel Administrative Orders (CPAO) 7.07 (civilian personnel), or Section 11 of the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency – Volume 5 (non public fund employees) for information on how to go about this. You also have the right to request an assisting officer to help you in the preparation of your grievance.

Read DAOD 5019-4 for more information on recorded warnings.

11.2. I was provided with a notice of intent to recommend counselling and probation (C&P). I am not in agreement with the Commanding Officer's (CO’s) recommendation. What can I do?

You will be required to advise your CO of any objections you have regarding the C&P within a prescribed timeline. You can request an extension should you consider that you are not afforded sufficient time to make a written rebuttal. You also have the right to request an assisting officer to help you in the preparation of your rebuttal.

Your CO should disclose copies of all the documentation that substantiate the proposed C&P and that would be considered before making a final decision.

Read DAOD 5019-4 for more information on counselling and probation.

If the CO decides that your C&P should proceed, you have the right to submit a redress of grievance in accordance with Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders. You also have the right to request an assisting officer to help you in the preparation of your grievance.

12. Military Police / NIS

12.1. I am concerned about the conduct of a member of the military police in the performance of their policing duties. What can I do?

Each military police section on base should have complaint forms that you can complete and mail to the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal.

You can also file a complaint directly to the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal without completing the above-mentioned form.

If you are not satisfied with the resolution of your complaint, you can file a complaint to the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) about the conduct of a member of the military police in the performance of any of their policing duties or functions. The MPCC has jurisdiction over incidents that occurred after Dec 1, 1999. They can be reached by calling 1-800-632-0566.

Any military police member who believes on reasonable grounds that the chain of command has interfered with an investigation can make an interference complaint to the MPCC.

13. Housing

13.1. Who can apply to live in Department of National Defence housing?

13.2. I am a military member and would like to live in Department of National Defence housing. How do I apply?

13.3. How is housing assigned to Forces members and their families?

13.4. How does the Canadian Forces Housing Agency decide who has priority for housing?

13.5. What is the average cost of a housing unit?

13.6. There are no housing units available where I’m posted. If I move into housing in the local market, what will happen to my application for Department of National Defence housing?

13.7. I told my Housing Services Centre about an issue with my home and I’m still waiting for it to be settled. How does the Canadian Forces Housing Agency manage issues with their housing units?

13.8. How are decisions made for the repair and maintenance of our home?

13.9. I am having a problem with my neighbour. What can I do?

13.10 How does the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) decide where and how it spends money on its homes? For example, why is my neighbour getting a new furnace and I am not getting my new garage?

13.11 I live in military housing (a Residential Housing Unit [RHU]), and I’m going to be away for an extended period. Am I still responsible for my home during my absence?

13.12 I live in military housing (a Residential Housing Unit [RHU]), and I’m going to be away for an extended period for service reasons. Can I get any financial assistance to cover care and maintenance of my home?

13.13 I live in military housing (a Residential Housing Unit [RHU]), and I’m going to be away for an extended period. What should I do before leaving my home?

13.1. Who can apply to live in Department of National Defence (DND) housing?

You can apply to live in DND housing if you are:

  • A regular Canadian Armed Forces member posted to a new location or already living in the area.
  • A Reserve Force member working full-time (37.5 hours per week or more) and on at least a 6-month contract.
  • A foreign military/exchange member.
  • A Government of Canada indeterminate employee.
  • A Royal Canadian Mounted Police employee, a Military Family Resource Centre employee or Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services employee (CANEX, SISIP Financial Services, and Personnel Support Programs) working a minimum of 27.5 hours per week.
  • A DND contractor on a contract of over 6 months.

13.2. I am a military member and would like to live in Department of National Defence (DND) housing. How do I apply?

Once you have received your posting message, you can fill out an Application for DND Housing and fax your completed application to the local Housing Services Centre (HSC) of the Canadian Forces Housing Agency where you have been posted. Remember to include a copy of your posting message.

When you first arrive at your new location, make sure to go to the local HSC to sign your Licence to Occupy (similar to a rental agreement) and review the Occupant Handbook.

13.3. How is housing assigned to Forces members and their families?

The Canadian Forces Housing Agency manages housing for National Defence and assigns units based on household size; and on a first-come, first-served basis (rather than rank or position).

For example, if a family with two children applies for a house on Monday and another family of the same size applies on Tuesday, the family who applied on Monday will be offered a house first. If the household size is different, the family offered housing first will depend on the size of the unit available.

13.4. How does the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) decide who has priority for housing?

The CFHA’s main concern is to support applicants who are moving to a new location and help them into a suitable home as soon as possible.

Housing is assigned based on the following three priorities:

Priority 1 Regular or Reserve* Force members and foreign military/exchange personnel who are posted to a new location and are authorized to move at public expense.
Priority 2

Regular or Reserve Force members who already live in the area but have applied to move into housing; and

Members who currently live in housing that have a change in family size and would like to move into a larger or smaller unit.

Priority 3 Government of Canada employees including Royal Canadian Mounted Police members, indeterminate Public Service employees working in support of National Defence, full-time Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services employees, indeterminate employees of other government of Canada departments, and National Defence contractors on contracts over 6 months.

* If you are a Reserve Force member, you must be employed full-time (37.5 hours per week) and on at least a 6-month contract.

13.5. What is the average cost of a housing unit?

The cost of housing varies from location to location. You can find housing costs for specific locations across Canada here:

http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/caf-community-support-services-housing/locations-styles.page

13.6. There are no housing units available where I’m posted. If I move into housing in the local market, what will happen to my application for Department of National Defence housing?

If you move into the local housing market, you can still be considered for DND housing but you will need to reapply and your priority status will change.

For an explanation of CFHA’s priority categories, please see: How does the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) decide who has priority for housing?

13.7. I told my Housing Services Centre about an issue with my home and I’m still waiting for it to be settled. How does the Canadian Forces Housing Agency manage issues with their housing units?

Housing Services Centres schedule work based on the following repair and maintenance priorities:

  • Emergency – A problem in your home is considered an emergency if it affects your health and safety or if leaving it unattended would cause significant damage to your personal property or the unit. You can expect immediate action, day or night, in these circumstances. CFHA will make the situation safe and begin work to reduce the risk of injury or damage to your property or the environment. More work may be necessary in the following days. 
  • Same Day Service – This category applies to situations that could have an impact on your health or safety or cause damage to the unit, but is not as urgent as above. This may include blocked drains, leaking pipes, no hot water, etc.
  • Routine Maintenance – CFHA aims to fix these problems within 14 days. Your customer service representative will tell you how long it will take and will let you know if it will take longer than expected. These problems would include repairs such as countertop replacements, flooring repairs, etc.

For more information, please contact your local Housing Services Centre or CFHA Customer Service. You can reach the CFHA Head Office Customer Service team by email at CFHA-ALFC.HOPSCS-GLSC@forces.gc.ca  or by phone at 1-888-459-2342.

13.8. How are decisions made for the repair and maintenance of our home?

The Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) looks at the health and safety of its families and communities first when scheduling maintenance and repairs; including if the repair is critical to your family’s health and safety and whether it is needed to prevent further deterioration of your home.

In other situations, CFHA will decide when to do the work. For example, in an effort to reduce disruptions to families, CFHA may consider waiting until there is a change of occupancy.

Other considerations factored into the decision-making include: Can the work be done now, or can it wait? Is the work required to meet current codes or standards? Will the work benefit both current and future households? Can the work be done using the home’s current structure? What can be done while the home is occupied?

For more information, please contact your local Housing Services Centre or CFHA’s Customer Service. You can reach the CFHA Head Office Customer Service team by email at CFHA-ALFC.HOPSCS-GLSC@forces.gc.ca  or by phone at 1-888-459-2342.

You may also be interested in: I told my Housing Services Centre about an issue with my home and I’m still waiting for it to be settled. How does the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) manage concerns with their housing units?

13.9. I am having a problem with my neighbour. What can I do?

If the matter is personal or community-related (i.e. pets, noise, etc.), the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) encourages you to discuss the situation with your neighbour first.

If the issue or concern is affecting your home and cannot be settled between yourselves, CFHA recommends taking the following steps:

Step 1

Bring your concern to the attention of your local Housing Services Centre (HSC) staff by email, telephone or in person. HSC staff will discuss the situation with those involved to try and find a fair and timely solution that is acceptable to all.

If you are not satisfied with the results, you may contact your local HSC manager who will investigate and let you know what is being done to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

Step 2

If you have completed Step 1 and are not happy with the final outcome, you can forward your complaint to Customer Service at CFHA Head Office for review and decision.

CFHA’s Customer Service section will work together with you, the HSC and any involved occupants to settle the issue.

Once your concern has been thoroughly investigated, you will receive the results in writing. If the investigation is expected to take more than 10 working days, CFHA will contact you and let you know when to expect a response.

If you have compelling reasons why you feel the Ombudsman’s Office should intervene, you can contact the Ombudsman’s Office by phone and/or submit your concerns in writing for review.

13.10 How does the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) decide where and how it spends money on its homes? For example, why is my neighbour getting a new furnace and I am not getting my new garage?

Government departments and agencies are assigned specific budgets, and each budget is reserved for specific types of activities. At CFHA, there is a budget for planned activities, such as additions or renovations to meet current codes and standards (like building a new garage), and a budget for repairs, maintenance and emergency work such as replacing a furnace.

CFHA looks at how much money it has spent in the past and where to determine how much of its current budget is set aside for planned projects and how much goes to repairs, maintenance and emergency work.

Since the demand for work and improvements to housing units is greater than the amount provided for in the budget, CFHA looks at the health and safety of its families and communities first when setting priorities for projects and work orders.

In other words, there is more funding to fix a door or replace a window which is critical to the comfort and healthy living conditions of a unit, than there is for a complete kitchen renovation. However, CFHA does attempt to invest in lower priority housing improvements depending on the funds available.

For more information about projects taking place in your area or to discuss a concern about your home, please contact your local Housing Services Centre or CFHA Customer Service. You can reach the CFHA Head Office Customer Service team by email at CFHA-ALFC.HOPSCS-GLSC@forces.gc.ca or by phone at 1-888-459-2342.

You may also be interested in: How are decisions made for the repair and maintenance of our home?

13.11 I live in military housing (a Residential Housing Unit [RHU]), and I’m going to be away for an extended period. Am I still responsible for my home during my absence?

Yes, you are responsible. When your house is unoccupied for a period longer than 48 hours, you must ensure that your residence is checked on a daily basis so that emergencies can be dealt with promptly. You should let your local Housing Services Centre (HSC) know the name and telephone number of someone who will be able to provide access to your home while you are away. Without this information, you will be held responsible for all costs of gaining access to your house in an emergency situation as well as all damages to the residence.

While you are away your lawn, sidewalks, steps, and driveway still need to be maintained.

For more information on your rights and responsibilities as a RHU tenant, please read the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) - Occupant Handbook.

13.12 I live in military housing (a Residential Housing Unit [RHU]), and I’m going to be away for an extended period for service reasons. Can I get any financial assistance to cover care and maintenance of my home?

Yes. Depending on your specific circumstance, there are entitlements which may apply such as:

  • Custodial Expense (CE): While on deployment outside Canada, eligible custodial expenses may include contracting snow removal, lawn maintenance, security, minor maintenance, and additional insurance costs. For more information, review article 10.28.01 of the Military Foreign Service Instructions.
  • Incidental Expense Allowance: In the case of Temporary Duty (TD) or an attached-posting in Canada or the Continental USA, you could be entitled to the incidental expense allowance. Under articles 5.16 and 7.16 of the Canadian Forces Temporary Duty Travel Instructions and as defined in the National Joint Council Travel Directive, the incidental expense allowance is intended to cover the costs of items that can be attributed to a period in travel, but for which no other reimbursement or allowance is provided under these directives. These costs include but is not limited to such items as grass cutting, snow removal, home security checks, and plant watering.

For more information on entitlements and limitations of benefits specific to your case, contact your base or wing orderly room staff.

13.13 I live in military housing (a Residential Housing Unit [RHU]), and I’m going to be away for an extended period. What should I do before leaving my home?

Before leaving you should at a minimum:

  • visit your local Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA);
  • arrange to have someone check the residence daily and be available to deal with emergencies 24/7;
  • close water shutoff;
  • drain pipes,
  • reduce your home’s temperature to no less than 15 degrees Celsius;
  • unplug small appliances;
  • ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly;
  • arrange for someone to maintain your lawn, sidewalks, steps, and driveway; andspeak with your property insurance company to determine if additional insurance is recommended during your absence.
14. Promotions

14.1. I was denied a promotion. What can I do?

You have the right to submit a redress of grievance in accordance with Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders. You also have the right to request an assisting officer to help you in the preparation of your grievance. For members who are being by-passed for promotion for medical reasons, please refer to CANFORGEN 012/17 (DE-LINKING OF MEDICAL CONDITION FROM PROMOTION CRITERIA) for additional guidance.

15. Leave

15.1. I would like to request compassionate leave for personal reasons. What can I do?

You should address your concerns with your padre or social worker, who will then provide their recommendations in writing as to whether or not they agree you have compelling reasons that warrant your request. If they agree, you should submit a formal request through your chain of command for review. Your request should include the recommendations from your padre or social worker.

CFAO 16-1 and Chapter 16 of the QR&Os give more information on the entitlements, conditions and limitations governing the granting of leave.

If your request is denied, you can submit a redress of grievance regarding your leave in accordance with Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders.

If you have compelling reasons why you feel the Ombudsman’s Office should intervene, you can contact the Ombudsman’s Office by phone and/or submit your concerns in writing to the Office for review.

16. Personnel Evaluation Report (PER)

16.1. I am unsatisfied with my PER. What can I do?

You have the right to submit a redress of grievance in accordance with Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders. You also have the right to request an assisting officer to help you in the preparation of your grievance.

17. Assault / Sexual Assault

17.1. I am or have been a victim of assault / sexual assault. What resources are available?

You have the right to access assistance from a person in a position of responsibility. This includes a specialist officer, such as a medical doctor, social worker, padre, etc.

The following agencies may also be able to help you:

  • Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program (CFMAP) 1-800-268-7708
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 1-800-268-7708

You can file a complaint with the Military Police, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) and/or the civilian police. We can try to help you determine which are the appropriate authorities to contact.

The Military Police has a Victim Assistance Program to make sure victims receive fair treatment during the course of an investigation. They should provide referrals to support agencies, immediate information and continuous contact with the victim throughout the investigation. Please note that the Ombudsman cannot investigate allegations of criminal activity (see section 15 of the Ombudsman’s mandate).

18. Military Pensions

18.1. I have questions about my pension benefits and entitlements. What can I do?

18.2. I have concerns about matters that fall under the Pension Benefits Division Act and benefits that are payable under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act, such as pension indexing and Survivor Benefits. Can your office intervene to change these Acts?

18.3. A Canadian Forces Superannuation Act pension is reduced when someone starts getting a Canada/Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit or when they reach age 65. Why?

18.4 How can I determine what the monthly value of my pension will be once I  retire?

18.1. I have questions about my pension benefits and entitlements. What can I do?

Canadian Armed Forces pensions are administered by the Government of Canada Pension Centre at the Public Services and Procurement Canada (Pension Centre). Current and former members should call the Government of Canada pension centre – Canadian Armed Forces pensions  toll-free at 1-800-267-0325 for answers about their pension. It is important to contact the Pension Centre well in advance of your release date, so that you understand your entitlements and the process you must follow.

18.2. I have concerns about matters that fall under the Pension Benefits Division Act and benefits that are payable under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act, such as pension indexing and Survivor Benefits. Can your office intervene to change these Acts?

The Ombudsman’s Office does not have authority to make legislative changes to the Pension Benefits Division Act or the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act. As these are federal laws, the jurisdiction to make amendments lies with Parliament.

If you wish to see changes incorporated into federal legislation, you can submit your concerns to your Member of Parliament.

18.3. A Canadian Forces Superannuation Act pension is reduced when someone starts getting a Canada/Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit or when they reach age 65. Why?

The Canadian Forces Superannuation Act provides a temporary pension benefit and a lifetime pension benefit for eligible members. The temporary benefit is called the bridge benefit. It “bridges” retirement income until members turn 65 and become eligible for a Canada/Quebec Pension Plan retirement benefit, or when they start receiving a Canada/Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit.

For more information on the bridge benefit see Bridge Benefit - Canadian Armed Forces pensions.

If you have questions about your pension, visit Government of Canada pension centre – Canadian Armed Forces pensions for more information.

18.4 How can I determine what the monthly value of my pension will be once I  retire?

A pension estimate calculator is available online for serving Canadian Armed Forces members to use when calculating approximate pension amounts upon retirement. This interactive tool allows serving members to make various adjustments to their information to determine an estimated take-home pay for their pension. Some adjustment options include:

  • selecting alternative retirement dates;
  • adjusting monthly salary at retirement (i.e. planning for a future raise or promotion);
  • indicating intended province of residence at retirement (so as to incorporate current provincial and federal tax deductions in determining net pay); and
  • including post-release medical and/or dental coverage fees, based on desired level of care.

Once you have accessed the above link, click the Your Pension Portal to login. Once the Pension Applications page has loaded, select the Personalize Pension Tools link, followed by the Pension Benefits Calculator link. The pension estimate calculator can only be accessed via the Defence Wide Area Network (DWAN) using a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Smart Card.

Note: When a Reserve Force member uses the calculator, the resulting pension estimate will not include future earnings and service, as the calculator cannot project future Reserve service.

19. Medical Pension

19.1. I applied for a disability pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs for an injury attributable to my military service. My claim was denied. Can I appeal the decision?

Concerns regarding Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) pensions should be made directly to your local VAC office by calling 1-800-563-3470. The telephone number is also in the blue pages of your local directory. (See section 16 of the Ombudsman’s mandate.)

If your claim is not approved and you do not agree with the decision, you can request a departmental review or a review hearing before the Veteran Review and Appeal Board.

The Bureau of Pension Advocates provides free legal assistance to any person who wants to appeal a decision before a review or appeal panel. You can also request the assistance of the Legion.

Director Casualty Support Management can also assist members experiencing difficulties obtaining VAC medical pensions due to problems with medical records, or for any other reason. They can be reached by calling 1-800-883-6094.

20. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

20.1. I feel that I have a health problem that may have been a result of my deployment. I am not sure what is wrong. What can I do?

If you are a serving member, you can request a referral to one of the Post-Deployment Clinics by contacting your local medical facilities.

If you are a retired service member, you can request a referral to a Post-Deployment Clinic through a Pension Officer of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) with the recommendation of a District VAC Medical Officer.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Post-Deployment Clinics, please feel free to contact Director Casualty Support Management (DCSM). DCSM is qualified to assist with these types of concerns. You can reach DCSM by calling their toll-free number: 1-800-883-6094.

Serving and retired service members and their families who have concerns that affect their personal well-being and/or work performance can also contact the Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program (CFMAP) at 1-800-268-7708.

21. Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP)

21.1. Can I appeal the decision of the insurer?

If your SISIP claim is not approved and you do not agree with the decision, there are two levels of appeal available:

Level one: You can request that Manulife Financial review your appeal. You should write to:

Manulife Financial
ATT: SISIP Services
2701 Dutch Village Road
Halifax NS
B3L 4G2

Level two: If you wish to proceed to the second level in the appeal process, you can request that the President SISIP review your claim. You should write to:

President SISIP
National Defence Headquarters
Major General Pearkes Building
Ottawa ON
K1A 0K2

22. Health Insurance Plan

22.1. What can I do if I disagree with a claims decision made by the Administrator?

If you do not agree with a decision of the Administrator and wish a review of your case, a submission may be made to the Administration Authority. The Administration Authority has the discretion to reach a decision that embodies due consideration for individual circumstances and Plan provisions. You should endeavour to exhaust all avenues of review with the Administrator before submitting an appeal to the Administration Authority. The Administration Authority reserves the right to refuse to reconsider their decision on an appeal. The appeal process is the final review level under the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP). An appeal must be submitted within one year of the Administrator's mailing of an Explanation of benefits regarding the claim.

Send written submission to:

Federal PSHCP Administration Authority
Box 2245 Station "D"
Ottawa ON
K1P 5W4

23. Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP)

23.1. How does the Ombudsman collect and safeguard information?

23.2. Can I get a copy of my file?

23.3. How do I make a formal request for information?

23.4. Can I make a request on-line?

23.5. For what information is the Ombudsman Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) office responsible?

23.6. Will my request for information be acknowledged?

23.7. What does my information request involve?

23.8. How long will my information request take?

23.9. Will I get all of the information I requested?

23.10. What can I do if I am dissatisfied with the handling of my information request?

 

23.1. How does the Ombudsman collect and safeguard information?

The Ombudsman is subject to the Privacy Act and Access to Information Act

The Privacy Act guides the collection, retention, and release of personal information by the Government of Canada. It also gives Canadians the right of access to information about them which is under the control of a federal government institution. This right is subject to specific exemptions.

The Access to Information Act gives Canadians the right of access to information under the control of a government institution, subject to specific exemptions.  

23.2. Can I get a copy of my file?

If you make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman, most of the information on your file will be your personal information.

Where possible, we try to release information informally. This means you may not need to make a formal request for information. Start by asking your contact person at our office for the documents you want. Then we can verify if they can be released informally.

Sometimes, the documents you want cannot be released informally. This may be because they require consultations with another department. Another reason may be that the documents contain information covered by specific exemptions which prevent their release to you. If that is the case, we will process your request formally under the Privacy Act.

23.3. How do I make a formal request for information?

To make a formal request for information, you must complete the following two forms:

Once you have completed your request form, send it by mail to:

Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator,
Office of the Ombudsman for DND/CF
100 Metcalfe, 12th floor
Ottawa ON K1P 5M1

You can also submit your request by e-mail to Ombudsman-ATIP-AIPRP-DNDCF@forces.gc.ca.  

For more information, call our office toll-free at 1-888-828-3626.

23.4. Can I make a request online?

No, you cannot currently make a request online.

23.5. For what information is the Ombudsman Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) office responsible?

The Ombudsman’s ATIP coordinator is responsible only for information under control of the Office of the Ombudsman. 

If you are requesting information held by the Department of National Defence, contact ATIP - Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.  

If you wish to obtain military personnel or medical records, refer to the information about how to request those documents as provided by Library and Archives Canada.

23.6. Will my request for information be acknowledged?

If you submit a formal request for information to the Ombudsman ATIP Office, the coordinator will contact you within three business days. If you have provided an e-mail address, this will be how we contact you. Otherwise, we will acknowledge receipt of your request by regular business mail. Business mail will take several days to reach you. If you do not hear from us within a reasonable time, contact us.  

The acknowledgement will include the date your request was received, the file number assigned to your request, and our deadline for responding to your request. If we have any questions about your request, we will contact you. 

23.7. What does my information request involve?

First, we must make sure we understand what you want. In some cases, we also ensure you are entitled to make the request. Then we determine if our office is the right federal government organization to deal with your request. 

Next, we gather all of the records under our control that relate to your request. At this stage, we review these records to determine if they can be released. If needed, we will consult other federal government departments about whether they have an interest in these records. If information must be withheld, we will remove it, and explain why we cannot release this information to you. 

Finally, we prepare the documents for delivery to you. We will do our best to provide information in a format that is convenient for you. But there are limits to our technical solutions and delivery methods. Inform us about your preferences in terms of information format or delivery (i.e. mail or e-mail).

23.8. How long will my information request take?

We try to respond to information requests within a 30-day statutory deadline. If we cannot meet this deadline, we will let you know within 30 days of receiving your request.

If you need the information urgently, let us know when you make the request. We may be able to assist you in meeting your deadlines.

23.9. Will I get all of the information I requested?

You may not get all of the information you requested. This may be because the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act define exemptions and exceptions to your right of access. It is also possible that we do not have the information you are requesting. 

Whatever the case, we will inform you about your request results by letter. We will do this within 30 days of receiving your request, or by the end of any extension period.

23.10. What can I do if I am dissatisfied with the handling of my information request?

You can contact us to discuss your concerns. You can also make a formal complaint about the handling of your request to:

24. Parking

24.1. Does the Department of National Defence (DND) or the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have a policy about parking availability and fees on military installations in Canada?

24.2. I work at a military installation in Canada, why do I have to pay for parking and who made the decision?

24.3. How are the parking charges established?

24.1. Does the Department of National Defence (DND) or the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have a policy about parking availability and fees on military installations in Canada?

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces have a policy. It is derived from various government acts, regulations and central agency policies. It is based, for example, on the Public Works and Government Services Canada’s (PWGSC) “Custodial Parking Procedures” and the Treasury Board of Canada’s “Policy on Management of Real Property” and the “Accessibility Standard of Real Property”.

For more information about parking policy, contact PWGSC.

Internally, the Defence Administrative Orders and Directives (DOAD) 1004 series provides information on the requirements, management and responsibilities regarding parking at custodial facilities (Crown-owned real property or immovable over which the DND/CAF have full custodianship and administration) and non-custodial facilities (real property or immovable where the DND/CAF are tenants, either crown-owned under custodianship of another department or leased real property).

24.2.  I work at a military installation in Canada, why do I have to pay for parking and who made the decision?

Generally, under the Income Tax Act, the cost associated with the daily commute and parking to work is a personal responsibility and considered a personal expense.

Responsibility for parking within the federal government was delegated by the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) in December 1996 to the deputy heads of departments. The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) parking policies and instructions must comply with applicable laws and reflect the values promoted by the federal government in the management of program funds, as well as in regard to the proper use of resources and the sound stewardship of real property.

The pay for parking system on military installations in Canada is a result of direction from the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in 2009 who implemented DAOD 1004-0 and 1004-1 which aligns the CAF with Government of Canada policy. At the local level, the system is being developed under the direction of the Base Commander.

24.3. How are the parking charges established?

Parking charges are set based on fair market value and in accordance with market practices.

Market value is determined by building asset or by vicinity through an assessment of local market conditions, including the cost and availability of commercial and municipal parking, and the practices of other landlords in the immediate vicinity.  In non-central or remote locations, the market value will be deemed to be $0 where there are no commercial or municipal facilities in the vicinity of the building.

Most bases in Canada are located in remote locations where fair market value for parking has been or will most likely be assessed at $0. For Department of National Defence’s (DND) establishments located in commercially developed centres, it should be expected that appropriate charges will be established. 

25. Food Allergies or Sensitivities

25.1 I am having difficulties with accommodation for a food allergy or sensitivity. What can I do?

At this time, Food Services do make an effort to accommodate some dietary restrictions and limitations, such as for vegetarianism or for religious/spiritual reasons, but this does not extend to all requests. There are currently no provisions within the Food Services Manual (available through your chain of command) which support accommodating food allergies or intolerances.

If you are having difficulties with accommodation for a food allergy or sensitivity, we recommend that you first speak with your medical officer. It is possible that your allergy or intolerance is a medical issue that will require a Medical Employment Limitation.

If you have a question or issue, you can contact the Ombudsman’s Office.  

26. The New Veterans Charter

26.1 I have a question about the New Veterans Charter

For all questions related to the New Veterans Charter and the Pension Act , you can contact Veterans Affairs Canada. You can also refer to this helpful infographic on the Veterans Affairs Canada website.

27. Post Living Differential (PLD)

27.1. What is Post Living Differential?

27.2. Who is eligible for PLD?

27.3. Where can I find PLD rates?

27.4. Why have the rates been frozen since 2009?

27.5. I would like to request to live outside the boundaries of my new place of duty.  Will this affect my eligibility for the PLD allowance?

27.6. My request for PLD benefits was denied. Can I appeal the decision?

28.7. My PLD benefit has been ceased and a period of payment has been recovered. What can I do to reinstate my benefits? Can I appeal the decision?

27.1. What is Post Living Differential?

The Post Living Differential (PLD) is a monetary benefit paid to eligible Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members who live within established Post Living Differential Areas (PLDA’s). PLDA refers to “a location in Canada within the boundaries of a place of duty where the cost of living exceeds that of the Standard City cost of living.”[1] PLD serves to reduce the adverse financial impact on CAF members and their families when they are posted to a region with a cost of living above the national average.[2]

For more information regarding PLD, review CBI 205.45 and the PLDA maps (INTRANET).

27.2. Who is eligible for PLD?

A Regular Force member whose principal residence is located within a PLDA is entitled to PLD at the rate established in that area.

A Reserve Force member who is authorized to move their household goods and effects at public expense to their place of duty for a period of Class “B”[3] or Class “C” Reserve Service, may be eligible for PLD. The PLD entitlement applies to the Reserve Force member’s period of Reserve Service as long as:

  • The place of duty is within a PLDA;
  • The Reserve Force member’s principal residence is located with that PLDA; and
  • The move was not authorized as a return move upon completion of a period of Class “B” or “C” Reserve Service.

A CAF member is only entitled to receive 75% of their PLD if they jointly occupy a principal residence with another member who is also entitled to PLD. For Service couples that are both entitled to entitled to PLD for the same Post Living Differential Area and jointly occupy a principal residence, each member is only entitled to receive 75% of the PLD rate.[4]

Both Regular Force and Reserve Force members should refer to the eligibility exceptions outlined in CBI 205.45 (7) to (19). They should also review the PLDA maps (INTRANET).

27.3. Where can I find PLD rates?

The current rates (March 2008) for various PLDA’s across the country can be found in CBI 205.45.

27.4. Why have the rates been frozen since 2009?

Due to the notable cost of living discrepancies between military locations across the country, in June 2000 implementation of the “Post Living Differential” was approved.[5] PLD allowance is scheduled to be set annually based on a Treasury Board (TB) approved methodology.[6]

In April 2010, a freeze was implemented locking the PLD rates at their 2009/2010 level. This freeze was to allow the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) to review and update the PLD methodology with Treasury Board. The review is ongoing since.

27.5. I would like to request to live outside the boundaries of my new place of duty.  Will this affect my eligibility for the PLD allowance?

You can request to live outside boundaries for your new place of duty by submitting a memo to the commanding officer (CO) of the gaining unit. Your CO has the authority to approve or deny these requests, along with subsequent approval from Director Compensation and Benefits Administration (DCBA) to relocate your household goods and effects.[7] However, if your request is approved, your eligibility to PLD benefits may be affected.

Post Living Differential Areas (PLDAs) are determined by Treasury Board. As a result, if you choose to live outside the established PLDAs, your PLD entitlements may be ceased. In any case, you should consult your orderly room to get clarification from DCBA before making any commitments.

For more information, you should refer to CBI 205.45 and the PLDA maps (INTRANET).

27.6. My request for PLD benefits was denied. Can I appeal the decision?

If your request for PLD benefits has been denied, it is recommended that you review CBI 205.45 to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. You can also request reasons for the denial through your chain of command.

If you are not satisfied with the decision, you have the right to submit a redress of grievance in accordance with Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders.

27.7. My PLD benefit has been ceased and a period of payment has been recovered. What can I do to reinstate my benefits? Can I appeal the decision?

If your PLD benefits has ceased and a period of the payment is being recovered, it is recommended that you review CBI 205.45 to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. You can also request reasons for the decision and discuss a possible payment plan through your chain of command.

If you are not satisfied with the decision, you have the right to submit a redress of grievance in accordance with Chapter 7 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders


[1] CBI (Compensation and Benefits Instructions) 205.45(1) - Definitions

[2] CBI (Compensation and Benefits Instructions) 205.45(1) CBI 205.45(3) - Policy

[3] http://www.ombudsman.forces.gc.ca/en/ombudsman-questions-complaints-helpful-information/information-index.page

[4] CBI (Compensation and Benefits Instructions) 205.45(10) and (11) – Joint occupation and Service couple

[5] http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=post-living-differential/hnocfnj5

[6] CBI (Compensation and Benefits Instructions) 205.45 (3) - Policy

[7] Relocation Directive - APS 2012/2013 - Chapter 2.6.02

28. Civilian Classification

28.1. What is a civilian employee?

28.2. What is a job description?

28.3. What is classification?

28.4. How are classification requests processed?

28.5. What is the Three-year Cyclical Plan and how are classification requests being processed throughout the review?

28.6. What are standardized job descriptions and how do they affect job description reviews?

28.7. I am not satisfied with my job description. How can I have it changed?

28.8. I am not satisfied with my classification. How can I have it changed?

28.9. I am not satisfied with a decision rendered on a classification request. How can I get it reviewed?

28.10. I occupied a position that has recently been reclassified. Am I entitled to a retroactive salary adjustment?

28.1. What is a civilian employee?

Civilian employees at the Department of National Defence (DND) are public servants who are governed by the Public Service Employment Act. Employees of the staff of the Non-Public Funds, which is a separate agency listed under Schedule V of the Financial Administration Act, are not defined as civilian employees of DND.

28.2. What is a job description?

A job description is a document approved by the responsible manager which describes the work requirements of a position or a job. A job description contains all the information needed to evaluate the work using the appropriate job evaluation standard. A job evaluation standard is an instrument that describes the factors, elements, and other criteria used to establish the relative value of work for an occupational group.

For more information on job descriptions, review the Directive on Classification and Job Descriptions (accessible only on the Human Resources-Civilian (HR-Civ) Intranet). If you are unable to access the Intranet, contact your manager or our office for assistance.

28.3. What is classification?

All positions in the public service are classified in a way that is intended to reflect their relative value accurately and consistently. Positions that have similar characteristics form occupational groups, and levels of compensation within those groups depend on factors such as intellectual or physical effort, sustained attention, essential knowledge, responsibility for money or other assets, or working conditions including possible health risks.

Classification is not based on an individual’s performance. Rather, it results from detailed analysis of what it takes to do a job properly, and how this compares with the characteristics of other public service positions. In this way, the classification system can contribute to achieving fairness in compensation for people who do work of similar overall value.

For more information on classification, such as who can classify a position, when does a classification change and how are positions classified, review our Helpful Information.

28.4. How are classification requests processed?

The Director Civilian Classification and Organization (DCCO) has service standards (accessible only on the Human Resources-Civilian (HR-Civ) Intranet) to ensure that classification activities are processed within a reasonable timeframe. These service standards are determined by the type of request and the complexity of the review that is required by the DCCO. Each type of classification service has a distinct service standard:

  1.       Administrative change: five days
    1. For example: change to the linguistic profile, security level, create/change to student/casual position.
  2.       Position management: 20 days
    1. For example: create/apply standardized job description, change a reporting relationship, abolish a position, review/update positions using an existing job description.
  3.       Job evaluation: 60 days
    1. For example: create a new position using a unique or modified job description, applying an existing job description or standardized job description which results in reclassification.

Note: There are no service standards for bulk classification requests.

When new classification requests are submitted by a manager, they are received by the DCCO’s E-Class team. If the request relates to an administrative change, it will be processed by E-Class. If the request relates to position management or job evaluation actions, E-Class will relay these cases to the Fast Track team or the Centre of Expertise, respectively.

In cases where information is missing from a request, the file is returned to the manager for action and the request is put on hold until the required information is provided. The calculation of service standards does not include this period.

Once a classification action has been completed, DCCO will advise the manager. The manager is then responsible for notifying the employees occupying the position of the classification decision.

Note: If you are unable to access the Intranet, contact your manager or our office for assistance.

28.5. What is the Three-year Cyclical Plan and how are classification requests being processed throughout the review?

The Directorate Civilian Classification and Organization (DCCO) launched a Three-year Cyclical Plan (accessible only on the Human Resources-Civilian (HR-Civ) Intranet) in July 2017. The Plan commits DCCO to engage with all departmental organizations within the Department of National Defence in order to review their organizational structures on a recurring and holistic basis. The first three-year cycle is scheduled to take place over the course of 2017-2020.

During the implementation of the Three-year Cyclical Plan, DCCO has identified that there is no capacity to process non-urgent/non-priority actions. As a result, these routine cases are generally placed on hold by DCCO or remain pending until the departmental organization becomes due for its review.

Exceptions exist where requests can be processed if there is a need to act on urgent classification requests that fall outside of the Three-year Cyclical Plan’s schedule. Prioritization is given to cases where there is a need for immediate staffing, pending retirement, or a classification request resulting from a labour relations grievance. However, this prioritization can only occur if the classification officer is made aware of the circumstances by either a manager or labour relations officer.

Note: If you are unable to access the Intranet, contact your manager or our office for assistance.

28.6. What are standardized job descriptions and how do they affect job description reviews?

Standardized job descriptions are similar to other job descriptions. However, they are designed to encompass a large number of positions where employees carry out the same work in the same organizational context, but in different parts of a department.

The Directorate of Civilian Classification and Organization within the Department of National Defence evaluates the use and appropriateness of standardized job descriptions as well as ensures that job descriptions remain current. However, managers are still required to regularly review standardized job descriptions linked to positions under their purview to ensure they match the work performed by their employees.

For more information on standardized job descriptions review our office’s Helpful Information and the Directive on Classification.

28.7. I am not satisfied with my job description. How can I have it changed?

If you believe that your job description does not reflect accurately the duties you are assigned, you should engage with your manager to discuss your concerns. If your manager agrees, they will review your duties and submit a request to Director Civilian Classification and Organization (DCCO) to have either a new and unique job description or a standardized job description applied to your position.

If you remain unsatisfied with the decision rendered on your job description, you can submit a labour relations grievance. The time limit to submit a labour relations grievance is determined by the employee’s collective agreement. The outcome of a labour relations grievance may result in a job description being sent to DCCO for review.

For more information about labour relations grievances, review the Defence Administrative Orders and Directives 5026-0 – Civilian Grievances.

28.8. I am not satisfied with my classification. How can I have it changed?

A position’s classification can only change when there has been a significant and permanent change in its main functions. If the work being done is significantly different from what is described in the last evaluated job description, the job description needs to be reviewed and amended.

Step 1: If you believe that your job description does not reflect accurately the duties you are assigned, you should contact your manager to discuss your concerns. If your manager agrees, they will prepare a written job description. This description must identify the main purpose of the work performed by the position and list the key activities involved in doing that work. Where possible, managers are encouraged to select an existing standardized job description rather create a unique one. For more information on standardized job descriptions, review our office’s Helpful Information and the Directive on Classification.

Step 2: In order to prepare a written job description, your manager must consider the value of the position within its organizational context. This involves looking at where the position fits within the reporting structure of its section, directorate, division, or even within the Department of National Defence as a whole.

Step 3: Once a job description has been written or selected and the organizational importance of a position has been determined, the results are submitted to the Directorate Civilian Classification and Organization (DCCO) for evaluation. This process requires the DCCO to assess the work performed in a position against classification standards for the position’s occupational group. A classification committee may be required to review the decision, including in situations where a reclassification is proposed or when the job description applies to multiple positions. Once the evaluation is complete, DCCO will classify the position and the manager will ensure that employees occupying the position are notified about the classification decision. DCCO’s review may result in the reclassification of a position.

For more information on the classification review, visit the Helpful information section of our office’s website or review Classification De-Classified (accessible only on the Human Resources-Civilian (HR-Civ) Intranet). If you are unable to access the Intranet, contact your manager or our office for assistance.

28.9. I am not satisfied with a decision rendered on a classification request. How can I get it reviewed?

Directorate Civilian Classification and Organization (DCCO) is responsible for the administration of classification for the Department of National Defence. Following a classification decision being rendered on your position, DCCO will advise the manager of the outcome. Then the manager will ensure that you are notified of the classification decision.

Step 1: If you are not satisfied with the decision, as a first step you should ask your manager for clarification. If necessary, your manager can follow up with DCCO for additional information.

Step 2: Should you remain unsatisfied with the decision rendered on a classification request for your position, you can file a classification grievance. A classification grievance is a formal written complaint filed by a civilian employee in objection to a classification decision made on the position the employee holds. Employees have 35 days from the date of the classification decision (or when they are made aware of it) to present their grievance. The grievances are presented either through the employee’s union representative or directly to their manager.

Step 3: Classification grievance decisions are final and binding. As such, if an employee is dissatisfied with the decision, their only recourse is to apply for judicial review at the Federal Court.

For more information on classification grievances, review our office’s Helpful Information and Directive on Classification Grievances.

28.10. I occupied a position that has recently been reclassified. Am I entitled to a retroactive salary adjustment?

In accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Directive on Terms and Conditions of Employment, when a position is reclassified, only employees currently occupying a position are entitled to retroactive salary adjustments for upward reclassifications. However, managerial discretion to award acting pay retroactively to a former employee, including retirees, is permitted on a case-by-case basis. In these cases, managers would have to proactively contact former employees to notify them of the change in the classification of the position they once occupied in order to process the acting pay. If you were previously in a position that has been reclassified, you should contact the current manager of that position to inquire about the effective date of the reclassification and whether you are eligible for acting pay.

Where a classification grievance results in an upward reclassification, an employee is entitled to retroactive salary if they occupied the position the day the classification grievance was filed.

Note:  As government pensions are tied to employee salaries, retroactive acting pay can also have an impact on pension calculations for employees who have left the public service.

29. Military Families

29.1 Where can I find employment resources for military spouses/partners?

There are many resources available to spouses/partners of military members for finding meaningful employment.

Military Family Services has resources available to support your search for employment in a new community.

The Military Spouse Casual Inventory has various casual positions (90 working days per calendar year) in the federal public service available for relocating/relocated military spouses/partners. This includes positions in: Administrative Services, Clerical Services, Cleaners, Language Teachers, Storespersons, Food Services and Labour/Tradehelpers.

The Military Spousal Employment Network is a resource to help military spouses of currently serving members find meaningful employment. The network is a self-directed resource with direct access to explore available employment opportunities, an online job board, and participate in virtual and in-person career fairs.

For more information, visit our Military Spousal/Partner Employment webpage.

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