Heyder Beattie Final Settlement Agreement



Why are National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces failing to protect women in the military and having to pay $900M to Defence Team members affected by sexual misconduct?

  • We fully acknowledge the harmful impact that sexual misconduct and discrimination has on members of the Defence Team.
  • This is why we reached an agreement to compensate individuals affected by sexual misconduct in connection with their service or employment.
  • A total of up to $900 million is available to affected individuals.
  • This settlement provides financial compensation, and several measures aimed at culture change and addressing sexual misconduct within our ranks.
  • It also includes a voluntary Restorative Engagement program, to create a safe space for members to be heard, acknowledged and validated.
  • Our hope is to bring closure, healing, and acknowledgement to those affected by sexual misconduct or discrimination.
  • We will continue to foster a work environment where each member feels safe, supported, and heard.

Quick Facts

Timeline of Settlements process:

  • 2016-2017: Seven former military members filed class action lawsuits against the Canadian Armed Forces for sexual assault, sexual harassment, and discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.
  • February 23, 2018: Litigation suspended to begin discussions to negotiate settlement agreement.
  • November 25, 2019: Federal Court approved Final Settlement Agreement. The implementation of the settlement has begun.
  • Those (groups below) that have experienced sexual misconduct may be able to receive compensation under the settlement:
    • Current and former Canadian Armed Forces Members;
    • Current and former civilian employees of National Defence; and,
    • Current and former employees of non-public funds organisation of the Canadian Armed Forces Members.

Final settlement agreement:

  • A total of up to $900M is available to certain Class Members who experienced sexual misconduct in connection with their military service and/or employment for the Department of National Defence or Staff of Non-Public Funds.
  • The settlement provides:
    • financial compensation,
    • the option to participate in a Restorative Engagement program; and
    • several other measures aimed at culture change and addressing sexual misconduct in the CAF.
  • Impacted individuals will be able to submit a claim from May 25, 2020, to November 24, 2021.
  • Epiq Class Action Services Canada was appointed by the court to act as an independent administrator and manage the claims process.
  • Individual compensations range from $5,000 and $55,000, depending on the nature of the incident and the severity of the harm suffered, and on how many Class Members submit claims. Class Members who experienced exceptional harm and have been denied Veterans Affairs Canada benefits may be eligible for amounts up to $155,000.
  • The Restorative Engagement program is voluntary and will allow class members to share their experience with senior military or departmental representatives in a safe and respectful environment:
    • allow Class Members to be heard and acknowledged,
    • to contribute to culture change by increasing awareness and understanding of the experiences of Class Members;
    • and to begin the process of restoring relationships between Class Members and the Defence Team.

Delays due to COVID-19

  • Due to COVID-19, the deadline to submit claims was extended by 60 days, from September 25, 2021, to November 24, 2021.
  • This was done to ensure all claims administration services are in place to enable proper support to class members throughout the process, and to allow all parties more time to prepare, submit, and process claims.

Responsible Principals: National Defence/Canadian Forces Legal Advisor, Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs)

April 15, 2021

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