CF Ombudsman and Reservists' Severance Pay
Part-time soldiers who leave the military sometimes have to wait a year or more for their severance pay because of a troubled system that will be investigated by the Canadian Forces ombudsman. Jamie Robertson, a spokesperson for the ombudsman, said the backlog is the result of staffing shortages within the department, which officials are trying to correct. This is the latest in a series of grievances for reserve soldiers, who often face not only discrimination within the ranks because of their part-time status, but on an institutional level when it comes to benefits and care. Canadian Forces ombudsman Pierre Daigle has written extensively about the treatment of reserve members, who hold civilian jobs but dedicate weekends and vacations to military training. Mr. Daigle's office has received numerous complaints about severance, and he pegs the waiting time between nine and 17 months. The ombudsman will conduct a systemic investigation this fall, Ms. Robertson added.
Capt Amber Bineau, a DND spokesperson, said full-time soldiers wait up to 18 weeks for their severance. Severance for both full- and part-time soldiers is based upon length of service determined by an audit of the individual's personnel file. She said the department has received at least 13 complaints in the last year about delays getting severance cheques out. The wait time has nothing to do with recent federal budget and strategic review cuts, Capt Bineau added (M. Brewster, CP: Ctz A2, VTC A7, MT&T D1, CH A12, RLP A9, EJ A7, RDA A4, WStar A6, TStar A8, HCH A12).