Defence Minister Bill Blair announces launch of new online database to make Defence conduct and culture research and policies more open and accessible
October 5, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, today announced the launch of an online Conduct and Culture Research and Policy Database. The database makes research and policies related to sexual harassment and misconduct, gender, sexual orientation, race, diversity and inclusion, and culture change more readily accessible to the public, as well as to members of the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
The database was created in response to Recommendation #45 in the Report of the Independent External Comprehensive Review (IECR), led by former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour. The recommendation stipulates that Defence “should host a public online database for all internal Defence Team research and policies relating to sexual harassment and misconduct, gender, sexual orientation, race, diversity and inclusion, and culture change.”
The database lists approximately 70 research papers and provides links to 80 policies and directives. Topics currently covered in the database include sexual harassment and misconduct, diversity and inclusion, military-to-civilian transition, mental and physical health, 2SLGBTQIA+, Indigenous Peoples, gender, recruitment, women in the military, early training environments, and organizational culture.
Research products listed in the database include scientific reports, contract reports and reference documents used to support science and technology projects and programs. We will be updating the database regularly to ensure it offers the most recent and relevant information.
DND/CAF is committed to achieving meaningful and enduring culture change in the Defence Team, including by working with external experts. In her final report, Madame Arbour emphasized that scientists and culture experts working inside the organization should increase their collaboration with external experts. She also recommended that internal research should be made available online for the public to enhance transparency and accountability. In response, this database provides a simple and easy way for individuals and organizations to browse the wide range of policies and research documents related to conduct and culture, and to access this information to support their own initiatives.
Making internal research and policies more readily available will bolster DND/CAF efforts by enabling stakeholders and academics to collaborate with DND/CAF on culture change and identify areas where data or information is limited or unavailable, as well as gaps and weaknesses.
DND/CAF will continue to pursue comprehensive institutional reform in response to Madame Arbour’s report, and in line with the direction provided by the Minister of National Defence’s December 2022 Report to Parliament, which outlines the steps that the Government will take to address the IECR recommendations.
“Fostering a safe and respectful workplace for all Canadian Armed Forces members and National Defence employees is my top priority. As we work to build enduring culture change, we must be accountable and willing to work with experts from across Canadian society. By creating this new database, we are increasing our transparency – and we are ensuring better access to information for Canadians, stakeholders, and experts.”
- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence
“We are undertaking unprecedented efforts to ensure a safe and respectful work environment and a more diverse and inclusive Defence Team. The integration of new perspectives and mindsets is critical to achieving the sustainable evolution of our culture and workplace we need to enhance our operational effectiveness. We know that meaningful collaboration with external partners and experts will strengthen and drive our approach, and we are committed to continuous learning and improvement.”
- General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff
“Culture evolution is a challenging endeavour for any organization, and we know we cannot succeed in isolation. In addition to consulting our own people, we regularly engage with independent experts and academics who can offer different perspectives. The database will ensure that everyone has access to this wealth of information and data, enabling better partnerships in our efforts to develop evidence-based strategies and policies that support our people and strengthen our institution.”
- Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan, Chief, Professional Conduct and Culture
The Independent External Comprehensive Review (IECR), led by former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour, was launched in April 2021 to examine the causes of harassment and sexual misconduct in the CAF through a review of policies, procedures, programs, practices, and culture within DND/CAF.
IECR Recommendation #45 directed DND/CAF to host a public online database for all internal Defence Team research and policies relating to sexual harassment and misconduct, gender, sexual orientation, race, diversity and inclusion, and culture change.
In December 2022, former Defence Minister Anita Anand presented a Report to Parliament outlining the steps that the Government of Canada would take to respond to all 48 recommendations included in the IECR’s final Report. DND/CAF continue to work on meaningful reform and culture change in response to the recommendations.
While many of the research reports on this webpage cannot be posted in full, the database provides information about each report and users can request any listed report by simply sending an e-mail.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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