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Wasteful or Inefficient Oversight

If civilian oversight is not undertaken properly, it can be unproductive, even counterproductive. I say this with respect to those working with the Military Police Complaints Commission or the CF Grievance Board or the grievance process generally. These institutions have come to epitomize how ineffective and overly bureaucratic complaints mechanisms can become.

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The Military Police Complaints Commission

The Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) was created because of concern that as military members, military police officers were subject to a chain of command that could exert influence over investigations and policing activities. The hope was that the creation of an independent MPCC would discourage interference with military police investigations and improve transparency, accessibility and fairness in the handling of military police complaints. 17 This is a laudable and important objective. Experience has shown, however, that it is a task that does not require a separate institution like the MPCC. Everything the Commission does could be handled more efficiently, and for tremendously less cost, by an ombudsman’s office.

Created in December 1998, and established by statute, 18 the MPCC has two primary functions. The first relates to “conduct complaints” about the performance of the military police. In fact, conduct complaints typically go directly to the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal, who inquires into and disposes of them. For the overwhelming bulk of conduct complaints, the MPCC does not investigate or evaluate but simply monitors the Provost Marshal’s handling of the complaints. The MPCC will only go beyond the role of monitor if it is asked to review a decision made by the Provost Marshal about a complaint, or if the Chair of the MPCC considers it in the public interest to take over a complaint from the Provost Marshal. The second function of the MPCC is its exclusive authority to deal with complaints that someone in authority has interfered with or obstructed a military police investigation ( “interference complaints”). 19

These functions produce a minimal caseload for the MPCC. In the words of the Right Honourable Antonio Lamer, the former Chief Justice of Canada who conducted the five-year review of Bill C-25, the MPCC has had “very few” complaints. Specifically, in the three years from 2000 to 2002, it was involved in a total of 212 complaints, 20 184 of which were “conduct complaints,”  in which the sole role of the MPCC was to monitor the Provost Marshal’s response. Only 21 times in those three years was the MPCC called upon to review a decision by the Provost Marshal, and there were only three occasions where the MPCC took over a conduct complaint on its own in the public interest. Only two public reports were released.

The low use of the MPCC is not the result of its relative newness. Its work has lessened over time. There were only 34 complaints in 2003 compared to 65 in 2002. Between April 1, 2003, and March 31, 2004, the MPCC monitored 36 complaints, received five review requests, and one interference complaint. 21 In its report on plans and priorities for 2004–2005, the MPCC acknowledges that  “the number of complaints received by the Complaints Commission is generally somewhat smaller than that received by other agencies providing civilian oversight of law enforcement in Canada.22  I do not point this out to suggest that the number of complaints is indicative of problems with competence; I point it out to show that there is not a significant enough demand for this kind of oversight to warrant a separate agency.

In 2000–2001, the MPCC’s budget was $3.66 million. In 2001–2002, it was $4.1 million. In 2002–2003, it was $4.34 million. The Minister’s Advisory Committee on Administrative Efficiency found that in 2002, the average annual cost per file opened was $38,000. Once files that were no more than general requests or matters falling outside the jurisdiction of the MPCC were removed, the annual cost per file was a staggering $56,000. The Advisory Committee on Administrative Efficiency concluded that  “[c]onsidering that the CF Deputy Provost Marshal initially investigates all cases referred to the Commission, and that only a small percentage of these require actual investigation by the Complaints Commission, the Committee assesses the costs as excessively high.” 23 By comparison to the MPCC, the RCMP Public Complaints Commission handled 1176 complaints in 2002 on a budget that was only $400,000 more. 24 That translates to 10 times the caseload with only 10% more money. The Toronto Police Service Professional Standards Unit, has an operating budget of approximately $4 million, and handles approximately 1,000 complaints and internal affairs investigations per year. 25

Not surprisingly, during the Five Year Review, Chief Justice Lamer called for “an exhaustive internal audit” to confirm his impression that there was a “need to reconsider the financial and personnel resources earmarked for the MPCC considering its caseload over the past four years.” 26 The Minister’s Advisory Committee, for its part, recommended a budget cut of up to 30%. 27 The then-Minister of National Defence accepted the recommendation, but the reductions for the 2003–2004 fiscal year were far less than that. The budget was still $3.56 million. Then an organizational review was conducted by Consulting and Audit Canada. That review led to a significant reorganization. In February 2004, 10 full-time equivalent positions and four vacant positions were eliminated. 28 In spite of this, the business plan for 2004–2005 calls for a budget of $4.2 million, although it does note that a 30% budget cut is expected over the next three years. 29 Even if actualized, the budget would remain at more than $3 million for a body that can be expected to deal with a few dozen complaints.

Even with the downsizing and its lower than expected workload, the MPCC continues to be inefficient. When the Public Service Commission of Canada conducted an audit in 2004 as a result of complaints and issues raised in the 2002–2003 Departmental Staff Accountability Report, 30 it found that there were  “serious deficiencies in the implementation of the management framework for the Military Police Complaints Commission's (MPCC) staffing and recruitment activities.31 Management was found to have “failed to resolve a number of problems, including those related to communication, fear of reprisal and alleged harassment.32

In spite of the financial dressing down that has occurred, the MPCC, in its own projections, continues to estimate that the cost of an extensive public interest investigation can exceed $200,000. 33 These kinds of investigations are exceedingly rare for the MPCC, the bulk of whose work is relatively straightforward. Summaries of the review cases posted on the MPCC website show that the cases are important to those involved, but do not tend to require protracted or complex investigation. Few witnesses are involved in many of the cases, and, given the nature of the complaints, one would expect little documentation to be involved. Allegations of MP members disobeying traffic laws, improperly demanding documents, rudeness, officers failing to identify themselves or show a badge when serving documents – these are important, but do not need massive resources, particularly considering that by the time the MPCC gets the case, the Provost Marshal has already investigated.

There are also problems with the nature of the MPCC’s mandate. One of the more serious interference complaints, an allegation that the chain of command impeded Military Police Officers who were attempting to interview unit members who had been involved in an accident, had to be declined because the complainant had  “neither conducted nor directly supervised the investigation.34 Moreover, while it does its best to address systemic issues, 35 the MPCC is not well equipped to do so. It deals only with “complaints” and does not possess the kind of authority a classical ombudsman has to conduct own-motion or systemic investigations. Its primary focus is necessarily on adjudicating whether a complaint has merit.

Moreover, neither the Provost Marshal, the first level of review for conduct complaints, nor the MPCC, has produced its results quickly. Because of delay, Chief Justice Lamer had to recommend a one-year closure system for conduct complaints by the Provost Marshal. He found an average MPCC review took 15 months. 36

It is evident, therefore, that while oversight of the military police is essential, the MPCC has been a white elephant. Its pending financial diet will take it from being morbidly obese to simply obese.

Solution: Integrate the MPCC into the Ombudsman’s Office

The efficiency review went so far as to recommend that the MPCC be disbanded, and folded into the independent and external RCMP Public Complaints Commission. However, recommendations that place military matters outside the control of the chain of command tend not to be embraced. So it was not surprising to see a proposal to export military issues to a non-military body was rejected. The result has been tinkering with a budget, when the problem is an infrastructure and bureaucracy disproportionate to the number of cases it is called on to investigate. I can offer a sensible alternative. The jurisdiction of the MPCC should be folded into the Office of the Ombudsman. This can be done without reinventing the wheel. It keeps military matters in an institution that deals with military matters. Moreover, it is both fiscally responsible and entirely feasible, given that it is compatible with the mandate of the Office. Neither self-interested objection nor any instinctive impulse to hamper civilian oversight should prevent this from happening. Let the Ombudsman for the Canadian Forces take care of the important function of oversight of the military police.

17. The Right Hon. Antonio Lamer, The First Independent Review of the Provisions and Operation of Bill C 25, September 3, 2003, p. 77.

18. An Act to Amend the National Defence Act, S.C. 1998, c.35, ss.250.1–250.53.

19. Although the jurisdiction is exclusive, the Chair has authority to refer interference complaints to the Provost Marshal (ss.250.34(2)).

20. This does not include three cases where the action reported by the MPCC was in receiving requests to withdraw complaints. These statistics ended in 2002. In its 2003 annual report, the MPCC disclosed that there had been a total of 218 conduct complaints, only 19 reviews, and six as opposed to three public interest complaints.

21. Departmental Performance Report 2004,

22. MPCC 2004–2005 Estimates: Report on Plans and Priorities, Section 3.2.1.

23. Advisory Committee on Administrative Efficiency, Achieving Administrative Efficiency, August 21, 2003, p. 76.

24. Ibid.

25. Telephone conversation with Staff Superintendent Rick Gauthier, January 19, 2005.

26. The Right Hon. Antonio Lamer, The First Independent Review of the Provisions and Operation of Bill C 25, September 3, 2003, p. 79.

27. Public Service Commission Audit of the Military Police Complaints Commission, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2004, p. 4.

28. Ibid., p. 5.

29. Report on Priorities MPCC 2004–2005 Estimates, section 1 (Chairman’s Message). The caveat is expressed that these are estimates alone, left uncertain because of reorganization that is being undertaken.

30. Public Service Commission Audit of the Military Police Complaints Commission, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2004, p. 1.

31. Ibid., p. 42.

32. Ibid., p. 3.

33. Report on Priorities MPCC 2004–2005 Estimates, section 3.2.1.

34. MPCC summary of MPCC-003-Interference, online at

35. The MPCC, 2004–2005 Estimates: A Report on Plans and Priorities, notes in section 3.1 that the Chairperson’s recommendations have led to improvement in policies and procedures for surveillance operations conducted by the military police and to enhanced training for members of the military police in [diverse] areas.”

36. The Right Hon. Antonio Lamer, The First Independent Review of the Provisions and Operation of Bill C 25, September 3, 2003, pp. 83, 78.

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Canadian Forces Grievance System

The military grievance process is complex. A member who has a grievance must make the complaint to an  “initial authority.”  This will be an officer superior in authority to the grievor who has the power to grant the redress sought. 37 If the grievor is not satisfied with the result arrived at by the initial authority, or if the grievance is not resolved within 60 days, the grievor can take it to the second and final level of authority, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). At this level, the grievance will take either one of two roads. If the grievance is not of a specified kind, it is referred to the CDS’ delegate, the Director General Canadian Forces Grievance Administration who will administer the grievance and exercise the role of the CDS. If the grievance is of a specified kind, the CDS is obliged to refer it to the Canadian Forces Grievance Board (Grievance Board). 38 The Grievance Board will then review the file and make recommendations to the CDS. The CDS customarily accepts those recommendations, but has the authority to reject the recommendations after providing reasons for doing so.

Like the MPCC, the grievance process has been deeply troubled. Chief Justice Lamer found during the conduct of his Five Year Review that  “it became increasingly clear ... that the Canadian Forces grievance process is not working properly.39


One of the primary concerns was delay. My Office has reported in successive annual reports on systemic delays through all levels of the grievance system. Chief Justice Lamer identified problems of delay at the CDS, the Grievance Board, and the CF Grievance Administration levels. As the former Chief Justice noted, cases have been known to languish in the grievance process for more than a decade, and two or more years was the norm for grievances arriving at the CDS level. The delay in resolving grievances produced a backlog that former Chief Justice Lamer described as growing exponentially even under the revised grievance system. His report did not catch anyone off guard. Delay in the resolution of grievances was widely known in the Canadian Forces. We have fielded many complaints about delay in the grievance process. While there was a modest reduction in complaints in 2002, an average of 70 redress of grievance complaints, mainly related to delay, continue to arrive at our door each year.

This is a serious matter. Delay in processing grievances will invariably be distressing for grievors and even respondents. Grievors, in particular, have identified what they perceive to be a problem serious enough to invoke formal processes. To leave the matter dormant because that process cannot handle it only creates suspicions that complaints are being buried or not taken seriously. As the former Chief Justice noted, the morale problems this can create are exacerbated because the grievor cannot turn to the Ombudsman’s Office to deal with the substance of the complaint while the grievance is within the grievance process. 40 All that the grievor can do is complain to our Office about the delay, and as I will describe below, there are limits on what we can do.


Former Chief Justice Lamer was highly critical of the bureaucracy of the grievance process. He noted that grievances that proceed to the Grievance Board and the CDS have been estimated to cost taxpayers as much as $100,000. 41 Not surprisingly, he lamented the fact that more grievances were not settled earlier in the process by the initial authority.

Conflicts of Interest

Not only is the grievance process complex, it has been plagued by conflicts of interest and a lack of independence that would not be tolerated in any other context. There are three such deficiencies worth noting. The first is that the CDS is empowered to be the final decision-maker on grievances involving his own decisions. This is lamentable but defensible given that the CDS must have ultimate authority.

The second kind of deficiency is far less defensible. When the position of Director General of the CF Grievance Administration was established, it was set up to function under the authority of the Judge Advocate General (JAG). It is the JAG, of course, who provides legal advice to the chain of command on matters that may end up being grieved. It is also the JAG who provides advice to the initial grievance authority on how to respond to grievances. In effect, the very body that assists in making decisions that may be grieved, or the grievance decisions under appeal, was given command over the body that would ultimately and finally be deciding the grievances that remain unsettled. This was a spectacular and obvious conflict. The simple fact that this system was adopted reveals a deficit in understanding about the importance and nature of independent oversight. Indeed, it smacks of the kind of “trust us” attitude that is resistant to oversight. It was only because of the intercession of Chief Justice Lamer, who pointed out the conflict, that this system was changed. The CF Grievance Administration now falls under the command of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.

Still, this deficiency has not been remedied effectively. As its website reveals, the JAG continues to provide legal advice to the CF Grievance Administration. Indeed a former JAG lawyer continues to hold the Director General Grievance Administration position. The same body that may have advised the chain of command on matters leading to grievances, or have advised the initial authority on how to respond, advises the CF Grievance Administration and ultimately the CDS on what to do about it. Unfortunately, the  “correction” that took place after the Five Year Review was half-hearted and superficial. It is evident that the CF Grievance Administration needs independence from JAG influence and access to independent legal advice in deciding grievances.

The third deficiency in the grievance process is less notorious, but equally concerning. When a grievance goes to the second level authority, the decision-maker will often consult  “subject-matter experts.” This occurs both when the Director CF Grievance Administration decides a grievance as the CDS’ delegate and after a grievance has been the subject of study and recommendation by the CF Grievance Board. In the latter case, the grievance file and the Board’s findings and recommendations are separately analysed and reviewed by subject matter experts before the CDS can make a decision. As the name implies, “subject-matter experts” are persons who have special experience above and beyond that of the decision-maker who they are called upon to assist. We have observed a number of cases where the  “subject-matter expert” that gets consulted by the second level authority is the initial authority that decided the grievance in the first place. Remarkably, the initial authority whose decision was unsatisfactory to the grievor, thereby prompting a second level grievance, not only participates in the second level process but also is invited to do so with the cachet and stature of an  “expert.”  This happens in many of the career-related grievances for which the Director, Military Careers and Resource Management acts in both capacities. There is simply no excuse for this. It again signals a failure within pockets of the military culture to appreciate the importance of effective, integral and independent review of complaints.

Solution: Let the Ombudsman Complement the Grievance Process

Former Chief Justice Lamer offered solutions for the problems that beset the grievance process. As indicated, he recommended removing the authority of the JAG over the CFGA, an obvious step. He also recommended that the delay be tackled by putting more resources into the grievance process and by establishing a schedule for processing claims. Finally, he recommended access to Federal Court after one year of delay.

With respect, while these recommendations are understandable, they are incomplete and the last of them is ill fitting. Sending grievors off to Federal Court is far from the optimal way to reduce delay, expense and formality. Court applications will do as much to exacerbate as solve these problems. A sensible and effective way to address the full range of problems—delay, expense and formality—is to allow the Office of the Ombudsman to complement and contribute to the improvement of the grievance process. 42

Give the Ombudsman’s Office Parallel Authority to Address Complaints

A grievance process fills an important need. It provides for the formal resolution of entrenched conflict when matters cannot be settled without adjudication. When a grievance process is well designed and operated efficiently, it is cheaper and faster than rushing off to court. Still, as necessary as grievance processes are, it is beyond reasonable to contest that it is desirable to limit even this kind of litigation. It is far better to have as many complaints as possible settled without grievance adjudication. First, there is the impact that filing a grievance has on morale and the esprit de corps within the military. After all, a grievance is inherently adversarial in nature. It sets the grievor and the respondents, typically members of the chain of command, in opposition to each other in a formalized complaints process. Appropriately, Chief Justice Lamer recognized that it would be preferable to use cooperative problem solving techniques, but, given his limited mandate, he could do no more than implore those who are involved in the grievance process to approach grievances in a cooperative manner. This is fine advice, but with the adversarial, bureaucratic and formalized nature of the process, there are inherent limits on how cooperative things can be.

One way to reduce that adversarial posture is to reduce the number of cases that go to grievance. Before grievances occur there should be an attempt to resolve a problem using informal, flexible, less confrontational methods. This can be done by accessing internal alternative dispute resolution mechanisms or by appealing for help to an ombudsman. A Conflict Management Programme exists for the DND/CF community, and is being employed in an increasing number of cases. This type of resource works well with interpersonal issues, when the parties can agree to work through their problems. However, there are some kinds of issues that do not lend themselves to this approach. In addition, some members have expressed reluctance to use internal dispute resolution resources, believing that they are controlled by management or the chain of command. In some instances, where the potential grievor or complainant already mistrusts the system, there is a need for an independent body with robust fact-finding powers and the ability to make recommendations to the appropriate level of authority. These are the kinds of cases that could benefit from the tools and methods available to an ombudsman.

Altogether apart from preventing unnecessary grievances, diverting possible cases to resolution – according to the issues involved and who is best placed to address them –is an intelligent way to reduce backlog. Problems of delay in the grievance process are linked not only to the system itself, but also to the volume within the system. That volume can be reduced by hiving off as many complaints as possible for alternative dispute settlement outside of the grievance process, leaving the formal grievance process better able to deal with those matters that fit the grievance model.

Chief Justice Lamer, again given his limited mandate, tried to achieve informal resolutions by recommending that initial authorities be trained in alternative dispute settlement techniques. This is fine, but that body of expertise already exists within the Canadian Forces in the Office of the Ombudsman. Moreover, those who are initial authorities are part of the chain of command. They cannot bring the kind of distance and unique perspective to the problem that civilians can. Nor can they avoid the perception that they are under the influence of the chain of command in the way that civilian overseers do. The fact is that as internal decision-makers, the ability of the initial authority to participate in mediation is seriously constrained by institutional realities.

As I say, the solution is simple. The Ombudsman should be permitted to receive and attempt to resolve complaints on their merits before a grievance has been filed. Indeed, the Ombudsman should be permitted to attempt to use informal problem solving techniques and even proactive investigation at the request of either party to a grievance even where a grievance is already in the system. Every case that is settled is one less for the grievance process to have to adjudicate. Every case settled is one more that is resolved by compromise and agreement rather than by imposing outcomes that may prove to be divisive and dispiriting. Every case settled is money saved, delay avoided, and trust restored.

Currently there are significant restrictions on the ability of the Office of the Ombudsman to play the kind of role described here. The Ministerial Directives provide that except in compelling circumstances, 43 this Office is not to deal with a complaint unless the complainant has first used  “one or more of the...existing mechanisms [including] the CF redress of grievance process.” 44 This of course prevents the Office of the Ombudsman, in most cases, from taking a complaint before it has been grieved or from dealing with the merits of a complaint once a grievance is underway.

Preventing the Ombudsman from accepting complaints on matters that can be grieved before they have been grieved cannot be based on sensible policy. It is manifestly a recipe for inefficiency. It can only be explained as the result of a turf-war in which the Grievance Board has sought to protect its territory, and in which pockets within the Canadian Forces have sought to limit civilian oversight. The impact of this limitation is to force cases into a formalized, overtaxed, delayed labyrinth of proscribed procedure and complexity when many of those cases could be mediated, negotiated, investigated proactively and settled. The fact that we have achieved success in dealing with cases where “compelling circumstances” exist shows that this can be done without undermining anyone’s authority.

In contrast to the prohibition on dealing with matters until they have been forced into the grievance system, the prohibition against the Ombudsman dealing with matters that are at the time under grievance is at least based on rational concerns – fear of duplication of services, and concern that the Ombudsman’s work and position could conflict with and thereby disrupt grievance work or discredit grievance decisions. Reflection shows, however, that each of these objections is insufficient to override the gains that could be made by letting an ombudsman in.

First, consider the duplication argument. If an ombudsman can resolve a problem that is stagnating in the grievance process, there is no inefficiency through duplication. Instead there is increased efficiency though brokered solutions. The intercession of an official from an ombudsman’s office in a pending grievance would be no different than the widespread civil litigation practice of encouraging litigating parties to use the services of mediators or pre-trial judges to try to avoid trial. This kind of intercession can take place right up until judgment is rendered because the legal system has come to recognize that it is a more efficient way to resolve disputes, and tends to produce outcomes that the parties can accept. In the military, where most often the grievor and the respondents must continue to live and work together after the dispute is settled, the value in reaching a settlement by consensus rather than decision cannot be over-estimated.

Recently, attention has been focussed on significant problems of retention in the military. Common sense dictates that we find ways to limit lingering animosity to reduce discharges that are motivated by the acrimony that remains after decisions are imposed. The Ombudsman should be allowed to support the dispute resolution process, either before matters are referred to grievance or after it happens.

As for the concerns that the involvement of the Ombudsman would somehow clash with work being done by grievance officials, or discredit the grievance process, there is little to them. There is no reason why information gathered by either settlement mechanism cannot be shared cooperatively. This would enrich any grievance decisions that may have to be made by increasing the field of information. As for discrediting grievance decisions, where the Ombudsman achieves settlement using intercession, there will be no grievance decision to discredit. In those worst-case scenarios where agreements cannot be brokered, an Ombudsman’s investigation may indeed produce a recommendation that could differ from the ultimate grievance outcome. Even if this happens, there is no reason to worry about jurisdiction or even credibility. The key is that no one is bound by the Ombudsman’s recommendations. If there are credible reasons for refusing those recommendations, no one can fairly be criticized for doing so. Just as the authority of the CDS to reject Grievance Board recommendations does not undermine the integrity of either that CDS or the Board, the risk that those within the grievance process may disagree with an ombudsman is no basis for rejecting the assistance an ombudsman can offer.

At the end of the day, the question is a simple one. Other than protecting turf, why would anyone require a matter to slouch its way through the kind of processes that grievances require without first seeing whether it can be whisked through an informal settlement model, or resolved with the benefit of an outside perspective?

Give the Ombudsman’s Office Indisputable Authority Over Process Matters

The current mandate of the Ombudsman provides, “[I]f a complaint is made to the Ombudsman about the handling of a complaint or complaints by or under an existing mechanism referred to in subsection 13(1), the Ombudsman may review the process only, to ensure that the individual or individuals are treated in a fair and equitable manner.45 This jurisdiction enables the Ombudsman to make recommendations about, for example, instances where grievances lay inert in a backlogged system, or where grievors are not being kept informed of progress. The right of the Ombudsman to perform process reviews was hard-fought even though, prototypically, reviewing procedural matters like this is what an ombudsman does. Despite the compromise in the Ministerial Directives, stiff resistance to process review continues. There are those who still believe that the Office of the Ombudsman, not being a creature of statute, cannot purport to exercise oversight over a statutorily created body, and this reduces the cooperation we receive when we deal with grievance-related matters.

The Grievance Board, for its part, has objected to this Office having any role in monitoring their processes or trying to offer its assistance or recommendations because the Ombudsman is a delegate of the Minister of National Defence and the Grievance Board does not consider itself part of the Canadian Forces. Former Minister of Defence Art Eggleton rejected these objections unequivocally, but the concept that the Ombudsman should be shut out of the grievance process continues to be strongly advocated by those within the system.

Clearly, the Office of the Ombudsman should face no lingering attitudes about the legitimacy of this important work. The authority to conduct process reviews at every stage of the grievance process must be re-affirmed and entrenched in legislation.

37. This will be the grievor’s commanding officer provided the commanding officer has the authority to grant the redress sought. Failing that, the initial authority is either the commanding officer’s next superior officer or an officer holding the post of Director General or above at National Defence Headquarters.

38. Matters that must be referred to the Grievance Board include grievances relating to pay or financial benefits like medical and dental care; matters of demotion or release; the application of CF policies bearing upon free speech, political activities, civil employment, conflict of interest, “post-employment compliance measures,” and harassment or racist conduct. Additionally, if a complaint involves a decision by the CDS it must be referred to the Grievance Board.

39. The Right Hon. Antonio Lamer, The First Independent Review of the Provisions and Operation of Bill C 25, September 3, 2003, p. 86.

40. Ibid., p. 86.

41. Ibid., p. 104.

42. I am not intending any criticism of the former Chief Justice for not having arrived at what is an obvious solution. He was directed specifically that the Office of the Ombudsman for DND/CF should not to be considered as part of the Five Year Review, a decision that is deeply troubling and which I will address below. The point, though, is that he would have been hard pressed to turn to this Office as part of the solution given that he was advised it was outside of his mandate.

43. Compelling circumstances are defined to include cases where access to the grievance process would cause undue hardship to a complainant, or the complaint raises systemic issues, or the complainant and the competent authority agree to refer the matter to the Ombudsman: Ministerial Directives, s.13(2).

44. Ministerial Directives, 13(1)(a).

45. Ministerial Directives, 2(3).

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Continue to Part Five

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