Ombudsman slams military’s treatment of injured reservists, rangers


Canadian Armed Forces ombudsman Gregory Lick is criticizing the military’s treatment of in poor health and injured reservists and Canadian Rangers, saying the group is failing to deal with long-standing gaps for Canada’s part-time troopers.

The gaps had been first recognized by the ombudsman’s workplace throughout 4 separate investigations between 2015 and 2017, at which period the navy promised to take motion by implementing 9 watchdog suggestions.

But in a brand new report launched late Monday, the ombudsman’s workplace discovered that none of the 9 suggestions has been absolutely applied over the previous five-plus years.

“Certainly, I’m dissatisfied that they have not been in a position to motion or make progress on all of the suggestions,” Lick mentioned in an interview.

“There are 9 suggestions out of the 4 stories, and none have been absolutely applied.”

The report comes because the navy is fighting a personnel disaster, with about 10,000 vacancies throughout the Armed Forces — which represents about one place in 10. The scarcity is especially acute within the center ranks.

The state of affairs has develop into so dire that the chief of the defence employees, Gen. Wayne Eyre, issued a sweeping reconstitution order earlier this month making the recruitment and retention of personnel the military’s high precedence.

Straining the Forces

Addressing the issues recognized by his workplace would help with these efforts, Lick mentioned, notably within the retention of skilled reservists and rangers who could in any other case grasp up their uniforms as a result of of untreated sicknesses and accidents.

“If they want to make motion and make nice progress — which they should — on reconstituting the Forces, the reserve power being a big parts of that, they need to get the inspiration right,” Lick mentioned.

“Making progress on our suggestions, that may make a larger, higher basis for shifting forward on reconstitution.”

The ombudsman’s earlier research recognized gaps in reporting, treating and compensating sicknesses and accidents suffered by reservists and rangers, who function primarily within the North on a part-time foundation, consequently of their navy duties.

Those embody a scarcity of followup after reservists are deployed on navy duties, extreme crimson tape in asking for help and compensation, and points with the navy not speaking what assist is obtainable.

The replace comes as many reservists are being requested to step up on missions each at residence and overseas. That contains the latest deployment of about 700 part-time navy personnel to Atlantic Canada after post-tropical storm Fiona.

Senior commanders spoke to the House of Commons defence committee final week concerning the influence the present scarcity of full-time and part-time Armed Forces members is having on the navy writ giant.

“We’re making tough decisions about what we are able to do for operations,” mentioned Royal Canadian Air Force commander Lt.-Gen. Eric Kenny.

“We are consciously what capabilities we’re privileging over others to ensure that we’re not overstretching our members.”


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