Ombudsman's Advisory Committee
The Ombudsman's Advisory Committee consists of eight volunteers with specialized expertise in the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence. Their input directly impacts this office with strategic advice related to the mandate, professional principles and organizational structure.
The council also provides important input on some of the broader issues facing the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces, including: operational stress injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder, the treatment of military members who are injured in the course of their service, and the challenges facing military families.
Under its mandate, the Ombudsman’s Advisory Committee:
- Advises the Ombudsman on matters relating to the well-being and fair treatment of members of the Defence community;
- Makes observations and comments on systemic problems within the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces and recommends to the Ombudsman ways to deal with these issues; and
- Serves as a sounding board for initiatives or recommendations being considered by the Ombudsman’s office.
The Ombudsman’s Advisory Committee consists of the following individuals:
- Colonel J.L.G. Bélisle joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1986 as an infantry officer with the Royal 22e Régiment. He changed trades after 12 years to Canadian Forces Chaplain. With many overseas deployments and missions under his belt, he was given the position of Army Command Chaplain at Army Headquarters. In June 2018, he was promoted to Colonel and is now the Director of the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service.
- Colonel (Ret’d) John Conrad is a published author, lecturer and a Reserve Brigade Commander in 3 Canadian Division in Western Canada. He has 32 years of experience in the Canadian Armed Forces regular and reserve components. In 2006, he served as Commanding Officer of the Canadian Logistics Battalion, the unit responsible for sustaining the Canadian Task Force in Southern Afghanistan.
- Commander Deborah-Lynn Gates joined the Air Reserves in 1988 as a non-commissioned member and transferred into Regular Force in 1996. She accepted her commission in 1999 as a Naval Logistician and has served on both coasts. She is currently responsible for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Personnel Policy, Honours and Recognition, History and Heritage all while enjoying Ottawa with her family.
- Chief Warrant Officer (Ret’d) Sharon Gosling served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 27 years before retiring at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer. Since 2008, Ms. Gosling has provided administration and support to ill and injured soldiers first as the Officer in Charge of the Service Personnel Holding List followed by Services Manager/Coordinator at the Integrated Personnel Support Centres in Cold Lake, Alberta and Comox, British Columbia.
- Captain (Navy) (Ret’d) Kimberly Kubeck joined HMCS DONNACONA in 1980 and received her commission in 1989. Throughout her career, she served in a variety of positions including a secondment to Maritime Staff following the events of 11 September 2001. In June 2011, she was appointed as Director Reserves at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa and Naval Reserve Regional Advisor for Eastern Region. After more than 32 years of service, Capt(N) Kubeck retired in January 2013.
- Captain Mike Scarcella enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Weapons Technician Air in 1981, Captain Scarcella served most of his career as a non-commissioned member attaining the rank of Chief Warrant Officer in December 2006. Having served at bases both in Canada and around the world, including a posting to Baden, Germany in 1987, he has held numerous leadership team positions and appointments to include; 407 Squadron CWO, Theatre Support Element CWO at Camp Mirage, 17 Wing CWO and finally 1 Canadian Air Division/CANAR Divisional CWO. He took his commission in 2017 and now serves as the Officer Commanding the Readiness Training Flight at 12 Wing Shearwater.
- Lieutenant-General (Ret'd) Walter Semianiw spent 32 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. As he rose through the ranks, he notably served with the Privy Council Office, as the Commandant of the Canadian Forces College, as the Canadian Contingent Commander in Afghanistan, as the Chief Military Personnel and as the Commander of Canada Command. He was also an Assistant Deputy Minister at Veterans Affairs Canada for Policy, Communications and Commemoration. His extensive knowledge of military operations as well as the management of military personnel will undoubtedly be of tremendous insight to me and Council members.
- Lisa Vaters began her career as a Science Instructor in undergraduate studies for various universities and colleges across the country. For the past ten years, she has worked for Military Family Services and is the Family Coordinator providing support to military families. She has experience in the areas of education, employment, family separation and reunion, health care, child care, Out of Canada services, second language training, bereavement and the Veteran Family Program. Lisa has been a spouse of a veteran for six years and has been the parent of a military member for three years when her son joined the military.
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