CDS Initiating Directive – Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Prevention and Response in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)
- Aim. This Initiating Directive provides strategic direction for the prevention of and response to sexual misconduct and harassment. It directs the creation of a Strategic Response Team to serve as the focal point for the development and implementation of a comprehensive Strategy and associated Action Plan to address the recommendations of the External Review in order to modify and improve behavior throughout the CAF, and solidify a culture of dignity and respect for all CAF members that reflects the highest professional standards.
- General. Sexual misconduct and harassment constitute abhorrent behaviours that have no place in the CAF. Such behaviors degrade the readiness of the CAF creating a corrosive environment that traumatizes victims, undermines teamwork, creates a climate of distrust and, ultimately, erodes the ethos of our military profession. Sexual misconduct and harassment affect our capacity to conduct our assigned missions, and attract and recruit Canadians to the CAF. With the delivery of Reference A, it is clear that the CAF is not doing enough to combat sexual misconduct and harassment in our ranks. We must acknowledge that the CAF is not immune to the kind of behavior that is affecting other institutions in Canadian society, and we must take concrete steps to prevent and respond to incidents of sexual misconduct and harassment. Simply stated, we must strive to eradicate such behaviours from the CAF with the same rigour and professionalism that we would apply to the conduct of military operations. The consequence of failure will be the degradation of the operational and tactical excellence of the CAF – the very foundation of our institution.
- Problem Definition. While the Final Report from the External Review Authority will follow, Reference A is sufficient confirmation that there are problem areas that must be addressed to improve the prevention of, and response to, sexual misconduct and harassment in the CAF. These include: attitudes, behavior and culture; leadership responsibility and accountability; clear policies; adequate training; accurate and timely reporting; victim support; and data tracking and management. Moreover, the separation of sexual misconduct and harassment as distinct issues has impeded a comprehensive approach to prevention and resulted in significant gaps in our programs. The CAF currently lacks an overarching Strategy and related Action Plan for the prevention of sexual misconduct and harassment, and current staff resources are inadequate to develop and implement the requirements identified at Reference A.
- Assumptions The following assumptions provide a basis for the requirement and intent of this Initiating Directive:
- the current sexual misconduct investigation and justice system authorities will remain unchanged;
- the definition of harassment as developed by Treasury Board and reflected in the revised draft DAOD 5012-0 will remain in effect; and
- the External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the CAF Final Report will be delivered to the CAF no later than 31 March 2015, by which time a dedicated CAF Strategic Response team (CSRT) will be established and resourced to respond
- the CAF Strategy and Action Plan will focus on prevention and response to sexual misconduct and harassment primarily in the CAF, but will be closely coordinated with civilian authorities to ensure a comprehensive and consistent approach to these issues in the DND;
- the CAF Strategy and Action Plan will encompass sexual misconduct and all forms of harassment including personal harassment, abuse of authority, hazing and sexual harassment;
- policy, programs and procedures in sexual misconduct and harassment prevention and response will be closely coordinated with JAG and CFPM to ensure compliance with GoC legislation, the military justice system and police professional practices and standards;
- resource requirements identified by the CSRT will be coordinated through the applicable L1 business planning and capability development processes in the DND; and
- internal and external communications will be coordinated through ADM (PA).
- CAF will develop and implement a sexual misconduct and harassment prevention and response strategy and action plan in order to modify and improve behavior throughout the CAF and ensure a culture of dignity and respect for all.
- CDS Intent. My intent is to eliminate incidents of sexual misconduct and harassment within the CAF to the greatest extent possible. This intent will be achieved by establishing and empowering a Canadian Armed Forces Strategic Response Team – Sexual Misconduct (CSRT-SM) to serve as the CAF focal point for the response to the recommendations of the External Review, the development of the CAF Strategy and Action Plan, and the creation of programs and best practices to guide the institution. The CSRT-SM will be stood up immediately and I am appointing Major-General Chris Whitecross as the CSRT-SM Leader, and Chief Warrant Officer Helen Wheeler as the CSRT-SM Chief Warrant Officer. Through Armed Forces Council, I will provide oversight on issues, requirements and progress pertaining to sexual misconduct and harassment prevention and response. The CSRT-SM will operate openly and transparently and report regularly to the CAF leadership, as well as communicating regularly to our members and external stakeholders. I will make it a priority to support victims of sexual misconduct and harassment and will hold the leadership accountable for their conduct and that of our members. Sexual misconduct and harassment of any kind is corrosive to the very principles on which our military culture stands. Through our collective efforts, we will hold our leadership and members accountable for living-up to our military ethos and adhering to the highest standard of behaviour our profession demands.
- CAF Strategic Objectives. The strategic objectives for this Initiating Directive are:
- Understand the Situation. Establish and maintain a clear understanding of the situation in the CAF through regular surveys, reporting and the creation of a database to support policy and program development;
- Prevention. Reduce incidents through the development and implementation of effective policies, training and education and leadership engagement and accountability;
- Response. Create additional procedures, programs and mechanisms through which victim reporting is enhanced, interventions occur, and timely and appropriate responses are provided to incidents; and
- Support. Develop and establish support mechanisms for victims and others affected by incidents, while providing the necessary education and authority leaders and other stakeholders to deal with incidents.
- Communication Strategy. The communication strategy is a strategic enabler that supports the CAF strategic objectives. Clear and active communications must be established with CAF members, external stakeholders, and the Canadian public, in order to:
- Take proactive ownership of the problem;
- Increase awareness and understanding of the actions that the CAF will undertake to eliminate incidents of sexual misconduct and harassment to the greatest extent possible, and to support victims of sexual misconduct;
- Reinforce awareness and build trust in the support mechanisms and resources that are available to victims of sexual misconduct;
- Maintain transparency, reinforcing awareness of our resolute commitment to strengthening our institution against this corrosive behaviour; and
- Empower leadership throughout the chain of command (from L1s to immediate supervisors), with the tools needed to speak to our members, and to reinforce adherence to the high standards demanded by our military ethos.
- Coordinate the establishment of the CSRT-SM as a staff authority in NDHQ reporting to the CDS;
- Support the resource requirements of the CSRT-SM including structure (Reg F and Res F PYs and FTEs);
- On order, be prepared to assume administrative oversight of the CSRT-SM as a CAF authority in the VCDS Group, and
- Assign a dedicated MP staff officer to the CSRT-SM.
- Create and fill CFTPO positions for the CSRT-SM NLT 31 Mar 15.
- Provide research and analysis support as required by the CSRT-SM to support the development of the Strategy and related Action Plan, and
- Fill assigned CFTPO positions.
- Provide a dedicated legal officer to the CSRT-SM.
- Provide a dedicated Public Affairs Officer or civilian communications advisor to the CSRT-SM for initial start-up, in accordance with the CFTPO;
- Assist VCDS with sourcing PA support for the CSRT-SM staff;
- Provide media monitoring and analysis;
- Provide specialized Public Affairs support such as graphic design, exhibits and displays, web, social media and internal communications support; and
- Support media and stakeholder outreach.
- Provide support to the CSRT-SM for the management of documents to support the CDS Response to the External Review Draft and Final Reports.
- Stand-up the CSRT-SM using available staff and financial resources;
- Identify structure requirements to the SJS to create CFTPO Task List NLT 28 Feb 15 and to the VCDS to support the creation of the CSRT-SM establishment;
- Prepare the Communications Plan for the release of the External Review Final Report NLT 25 Mar 15;
- Prepare the CDS response to the External Review Draft Report NLT 27 Feb 15;
- Prepare the CDS Response to the External Review Final Report on receipt from the External Review Authority;
- Be prepared to backbrief the CDS on mission analysis, proposals for governance Council and requirements NLT 10 Apr 15;
- Complete the CAF Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Prevention and Response Strategy NLT 15 Jun 15;
- Complete the CAF Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Prevention and Response Action Plan NLT 04 Sep 15; and
- On order, transition to a permanent establishment in NDHQ administered by the VCDS and reporting to the CDS.
- Tasks Common to All.
- Fill CFTPO Tasks to support the immediate stand up of the CSRT-SM; and
- Provide technical and matrix staff support as required by the CSRT-SM to support the development and implementation of the CAF Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Prevention and Response Strategy and related Action Plan.
- Coordinating Instructions.
- External Review Final Report The External Review will be delivered to the CDS from the External Review Authority and will be translated into both Official Languages. The External Review Authority will be afforded the opportunity to review the translated version for accuracy prior to release to the general public, including the media. The release of the Final Report will be accompanied by a Response from the CDS.
- The CSRT-SM will ensure that appropriate liaison is maintained with ADM HR (Civ), the Defence Womens’ Advisory Group and other internal networks to ensure that the Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Strategy and Action Plan have the greatest possible input and application across the DND; and
- The CSRT-SM will ensure appropriate liaison is maintained with Other Government Departments and Agencies, allied military offices, and civilian organizations nationally and internationally in order to exchange knowledge and leverage best practices.
- Public Affairs.
- PA Posture: Active;
- PA Lead: CSRT-SM; and
- PA Approval/ Review Process: CSRT-SM Public Affairs will coordinate and staff PA products for approval through CMP, ADM (PA) and CDS.
- CSRT-SM Headquarters is established under CMP on receipt of this Directive;
- External Review Final Report is delivered to CDS 31 Mar 15;
- CFTPO tasks filled for the CSRT-SM NLT 31 Mar 15;
- CAF Communications Plan is finalized 31 Mar 15;
- Backbrief to the CDS NLT 10 Apr 15;
- Release of the External Review Final Report to the public will occur in no later than July 2015 following translation and review by the External Review Authority. The release of the Final Report will be accompanied by the CDS Response;
- CAF Strategy completed NLT 15 June 15; and
- CAF Action Plan completed NLT 04 Sep 15.
- Supported Commander. CDS is the supported commander.
- Supporting Commanders. All other L1s and Group Principles.
- Points of Contact:
- CSRT-SM – Col G.M.H. Fontaine, Deputy Leader, 996-2365
- VCDS - BGen M.P. Jorgensen, COS VCDS, 992-6091
- SJS – Col W.J. McLean, SJS DG Coord, 996-9809
- CMP – Mr C.R. King, DGMP, 995-0014
- CRS – Ms Heather Walsh, CRS, 943-5921
Senior Assoc DM
External Review Authority
- Date modified: