- 2009-050 (F&R Date: 2009–12–31)
The grievor contacted a Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre (CFRC) and was offered a recruiting allowance (RA) of $10,000 on enrolment. A Statement of Understanding and Undertaking was signed by the grievor and a member of the CFRC recruiting staff to this effect.
After being posted to his first unit, the grievor was advised that he was not eligible for the RA because it had not been on the Chief of the Defence Staff's (CDS) understrength occupation list at any time during the grievor's recruiting process, indeed it had not been available for the grievor's occupation for four years prior to his enrolment. However, the grievor had already borrowed the equivalent of the RA to augment other funds in order to get married and was faced with repaying a larger loan than anticipated over three years instead of one year.
The Board noted that, in the past year, it had received an increasing number of grievances dealing with incorrect and misleading information provided by Recruiting Centres upon enrolment of individuals. In October 2008, the Board reported to the senior leadership of the Canadian Forces (CF):
The Board has consistently found that new recruits are entitled to expect accurate and complete information from CF Recruiting Centres. After reviewing a number of such complaints, the Board has concluded that, in simple fairness, the CF has a moral obligation to provide relief to individuals who have been prejudiced by their reliance upon erroneous information they received.
Accuracy of Information by Recruiters: Recruiters have unique and exclusive knowledge of terms of enrolment, and should be abreast of the criteria for RA entitlements. They hold knowledge that cannot be expected to be held by an applicant. Further, they are the only point of contact for applicants, who must rely upon the accuracy of information provided by them in making life-altering decisions.
The Board recommended that, in recognition of the apparent frequency of cases involving commitments made erroneously and negligently to potential CF recruits, CF recruiting authorities be directed to review their internal processes and operations with a view to putting in place adequate safeguards to eliminate further such cases.
Final Authority Decision
The CDS agreed with the Board's recommendation. He directed CFRG Headquarters to follow up on their recent changes and to review the Board's comments to ensure that they implement whatever measures are possible to avoid future occurrences.
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