Chief of the Defence Staff Visits the Military Grievances External Review Committee

July 9, 2018

Photograph of Jonathan Vance

On July 5, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), General Jonathan Vance, visited the Military Grievances External Review Committee (MGERC) offices in Ottawa where he met with the Committee’s Chairperson, Ms. Christine Guérette, and spoke to staff about his vision for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) grievance process.

“I want you all to know that I take your work very, very seriously,” said General Vance to the Committee’s employees. “I learn more about the CAF reading your Findings and Recommendations (F&Rs) than from any other single source,” he added.

The CDS said that the CAF institution is undertaking a “massive work of change” to adapt to changes in warfare, technology, threats, and a diverse Canadian population, with the intent to “build our people first.” He explained that the Committee’s role was in line with this vision, mainly because it contributes to identifying inconsistent or outdated policies that can affect CAF members.

Answering a question about the CAF efforts to address sexual misconduct in the military, the CDS said that Operation Honour, the CAF response to “harmful or inappropriate sexual behavior” launched in 2016, “will never end.” It’s a way of thinking, a campaign to alter behaviour and to generate cultural change,” he added. “While there’s no magic way to fix things overnight, the CAF is leading the way in tackling sexual misconduct and in building support systems for victims… Everybody is looking at us, in Canada and in the world, for guidance and inspiration in their own efforts to find solutions,” he said.

He concluded by saying to the grievance analysts, legal counsel and Committee members present at the meeting: “Your analysis (of grievances) and what you write (in your F&Rs) is extremely valuable and extremely beneficial. I read your F&Rs at least twice, in French and in English."

The Chairperson responded to the CDS’s remarks by thanking him for his trust. She said: “your leadership is inspiring, and I share with you the vision of modern, agile and smart organizations,” the CAF and the Committee, working to achieve the same ultimate goal - resolving issues that affect CAF members who provide invaluable service to Canada and Canadians.

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