The Liz Hoffman Memorial Commendation for Complaint Resolution, which recognizes individuals or groups who go the extra mile and exceed expectations in helping their colleagues resolve difficult problems or in bringing about positive and lasting change to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces, has decorated its 2016 awardees last week.
“Liz Hoffman was an investigator with our Office who had a deeply rooted sense of fairness and was a tremendous force for positive change. This commendation allows us to recognize those in the Defence community who, like Liz, are dedicated to helping others and making a difference,” added Mr. Gary Walbourne, Ombudsman.
Civilian employee Yves Dubé, Master Corporal Sébastien Grimard, retired Sergeant Charles Gutta, and Assistant Program Manager and Referral Agent with Maritime Forces Atlantic, Trish Jacobs, were formally presented with their award during a Commendations ceremony held in Ottawa on October 27th and attended by a group of 50 VIPs, ombudsman staff, member of Parliament and Senators. All four recipients received a glass sculpture created by an Aboriginal artist and a framed citation.
Mr. Dubé was thanked for his efforts in the Return to Duty Program, where he worked in close relationship with ill and injured members, working alongside their chain of command and acting as a mediator to sort out misunderstandings. Mr. Dubé also set up committees to resolve conflicts, ensures disability benefits claims are complete, and his recommendations have contributed to thousands of dollars to be awarded to injured members.
Master Corporal Sébastien Grimard’s work as a Deputy Commandant with the Valcartier Deployment Support Group is what caught the attention of the selection committee in 2016. Over an 18 months period, he has answered over 100 calls for help from families of deployed members, intervening in various emergency situations ranging from violence to suicide, medical needs, and legal proceedings. Furthermore, Master Corporal Gimard kept his work exemplary and inspiring while facing his own health challenges.
Retired Sergeant Charles Gutta was recognized for his determination to help families of cadets victims of accidents get compensation in times of needs. It all started with the explosion of a grenade during a classroom training session in July 1974. Six young cadets lost their lives, and dozens of others were injured. Sergeant Gutta fought for their right to get compensation for this incident, even though the cadets were not considered serving members. By recognizing an injustice and making it his duty to attain fairness, he has been an inspiration to many others.
Mrs. Trish Jacobs was awarded for her inspiring work to advance the health and well-being of her colleagues. She established the base activities in support of Mental Health Awareness Week, making it an annual event and providing a forum for discussion between diverse groups of service providers. She always goes far and beyond to make herself available and accommodate clients in need.