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What is the Ombudsman's Office?

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How do I make a complaint?

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What types of cases do you handle?

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Our current National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman website will remain available until the move to is complete.

The ABCs of Military Postings

Ombudsman Messages

Recent Reports

Annual Report 2018-2019

Positions over People

Understanding Retirement and Disability Benefits

Canadian Rangers

Support to Bereaved Military Families

The Case For a Permanent and Independent Ombudsman Office

Information: New on our website

The Progress Report on Recommendations explains what the department has done in response to our reports. It will be updated regularly to keep the Defence Community and Canadians informed on these important matters.

Helpful Information

NEW Canadian Rangers Tasks and Operations

info icon This information is also available in the following languages: Denesuline, Montagnais, Ojicree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut.

Check out our Helpful Information page for information on the following subjects:

  • Boards of Inquiry
  • Cadets
  • Civilian Employees
  • Mental Health
  • Military Families (NEW)
  • Military Moves and Postings
  • Rangers
  • Reservists
  • Transition to Civilian Life

Video Gallery

What if I am unhappy with a complaint I made through another mechanism?


At the Ombudsman’s Office, we’re here to help. We can do this in a variety of ways – by giving you information, by pointing you in the right direction or by investigating your complaint.

There are many options available to you if you feel that you have been treated unfairly – such as informal resolution, alternate dispute resolution and mediation. There are also more formal options available to you, such as the Canadian Forces Grievance Process, or the Public Service grievance and complaint processes.

It is important to note that there are timelines associated with the submission of a formal complaint.

If you call our Office before seeking help from one of these mechanisms, our intake officer will listen to your complaint and explain the options available to you, as well as relevant timelines.

So what happens if you’ve decided to go the more formal route and you’re unhappy with how that resource is handling your complaint? Say there are delays or you are not being kept in the loop?

We may be able to help.

An Ombudsman investigator can review your file to make sure that the process and policies were understood and applied fairly and may assist in ensuring the process is back on track.

If you contact us after a formal decision is complete, we do not have the power to change a decision or to act as the final authority – but we can make recommendations if we believe that you were treated unfairly within the process.

Remember, the best thing that you can do if you’re unsure about the treatment you received is to ask. Our intake officers, analysts and investigators have a wide range of knowledge about Defence and Canadian Forces issues and they are well equipped to point you in the right direction. We’re here, ready to help.

Please visit our Video Gallery for more information on subjects such as:

  • Are you being medically released from the Canadian Armed Forces?
  • Making the Transition to Civilian Life
  • How did we help the Defence Community in 2014-2015?
  • What is a Board of Inquiry?
  • What Are Compelling Circumstances?
  • What Happens When You Contact the Ombudsman's Office?
  • Who Are We?

info icon Our videos are also available in American Sign Language.

Recent Media

Official Languages

Some or all of the following material originates with an organization not subject to the Official Languages Act, and is available on this site in the language in which it was written.

Ottawa Citizen

October 30, 2018

Canadian Forces Ombudsman speaks out about poor treatment of Canadian Rangers

quote left icon Canadian Forces Ombudsman Gary Walbourne recently outlined to Parliamentarians, while the value the Canadian Rangers provide to this country is exceptional, their treatment is not...  quote right icon

Ottawa Citizen

October 24, 2018

Military complaints program cozy with leadership, lacking safeguards for confidential information, warns Ombudsman

Ottawa Citizen

October 23, 2018

“Personalities" block new policies to help troops, says Canadian Forces Ombudsman

quote left icon ... the final appearance before Parliament of Canadian Forces Ombudsman Gary Walbourne. Walbourne, who retires Oct. 31, appeared on Oct. 16. I could find no media coverage of his appearance.quote right icon

CBC Radio,

August 8, 2018

My interview with @CBCStephenQuinn on The Early Edition about whether the Canadian Armed Forces and the Government are doing enough to support veterans suffering with PTSD.

The Hill Times,

June 18, 2018

Is independence real or perceived?

quote left icon The AG compels responses from the government prior to his reports being tabled in Parliament. Yet the responses from the government seem to be more benign and dismissive than ever before. In speaking with my fellow ombudsmen counterparts at the federal level, this seems to be a recurring theme.quote right icon

The Hill Times

February 12, 2018

Studies on transition from military to civilian life hurting, not helping current, former members of Armed Forces

 *This publication is available in French only.

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