CDS' Authority to Award Financial Compensation

Topic

CDS' Authority to Award Financial Compensation

Case numbers

Description

The authority to settle claims against the Crown or to give ex gratia payments to members of the CF has been delegated from the Legal Advisor to the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces to the Director Claims and Civil Litigation (DCCL). Accordingly, in cases where the Board has recommended that grievors receive financial compensation as one of the remedies to the resolution of their grievances, the CDS has been limited to referring the cases to the DCCL for review and determination of the merits of such compensation.

In his National Defence Act Review and Recommendations dated 3 September 2003, Chief Justice Lamer recommended that the CDS be given the authority to settle claims and to award ex gratia payments when he determines through the grievance process that the circumstances warrant such payments. However, some six years later, this recommendation has not been implemented.

It is most regrettable that the CDS lacks authority to provide financial redress in compelling cases. Efforts should be made to provide the CDS with this important tool.

Recommendation

In the meantime, given the frequency of cases where financial compensation is warranted, the CDS should establish a mechanism with officials who have the necessary financial authority in the Departments of National Defence and Justice to indicate his support for compensation where the circumstances cry out for relief.

Final Authority Decision

The CDS stated that a working group, chaired by the DGCFGA is currently in place and is working with the assistance of DCCL to find a way  regarding this issue.

In  2009-024 and 2009-050, the CDS wrote that he will not address the Board's systemic recommendation further since it is currently under review at the highest levels of the department and the CF.

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