Message from the DM, CDS regarding the CAF/DND Sexual Misconduct Class Actions
The Government of Canada has agreed to a settlement relating to several class action lawsuits regarding sexual misconduct that were brought on behalf of current and former Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members.
The proposed settlement would include current and former CAF members, Department of National Defence (DND) employees, and Staff of the Non-Public Funds (NPF), Canadian Forces employees, who experienced sexual misconduct – including sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation – in connection with their military service or civilian employment. To learn more about the Class Actions and how the proposed settlement may impact you, please visit the CAF/DND Sexual Misconduct Class Actions website caf-dnd-sexualmisconductclassaction.com or call 1-888-626-2611.
As your senior leaders, nothing is more important to us than creating a work environment where you feel safe, respected and included. Since Operation HONOUR began four years ago, we have begun the work of creating a lasting culture change – not only with a mandate, but with a movement. We are listening to and learning from those who have experienced various forms of sexual misconduct and are continuing to evolve our policies and programs. We are committed to putting effective prevention measures in place, and understanding why incidents of sexual misconduct occur. Responding to sexual misconduct appropriately with compassionate support is central to our efforts.
This culture change is not solely focused on the CAF, but across the Defence Team and our workplace. We are working towards a better future for everyone in the Defence Team, through victim centered support for CAF members through the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, as well as through wellness and assistance programs for DND and NPF employees. If you have experienced sexual misconduct, we encourage you to reach out to the resources listed at the close of this message, and to report incidents so we can ensure you are provided with support.
The success of the Defence Team and the mission of the CAF depend on the unwavering trust and teamwork of our people: military and civilian alike, regardless of gender or background. To all those who have had the courage to come forward as part of these class actions – and to those who will come forward – we offer our sincere regret that you experienced sexual misconduct in our workplace. The settlement offers financial compensation, as well as unique policy measures to advance the culture change initiatives already underway, and opportunities for individuals to share their experiences through restorative engagement and consultation. Please know that by sharing your experiences, you are leading the way and pushing for real and lasting change.
|General Jonathan Vance
Chief of the Defence Staff
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