On November 25th, the Federal Court of Canada approved a settlement for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Department of National Defence (DND) sexual misconduct class action.
The class action settlement is between the Federal Government of Canada and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), employees of the Federal Public Service (FPS) and Non Public Funds (NPF) who had been directly affected by the LGBT purge within the organizations.
The settlement affects those who have experienced sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination on the basis of gender, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation during service for the CAD or DND.
In a statement from the Chief of Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance and Deputy Minister Department of Defence Jody Thomas stated, “Approval of the settlement marks a significant milestone within the defence community. The settlement provides financial compensation for those harmed by sexual misconduct and highlights changes within the CAF and Veterans Affairs policies. The settlement also provides an opportunity for individuals to share their experiences with senior representatives within the CAF/DND, through a facilitated restorative engagement process.
“We would like to acknowledge the representative plaintiffs as well as the many people who filed participation forms or came forward during the settlement approval hearings. We recognize how incredibly difficult it is to share such painful and personal experiences. We assure you that these stories have made an important and lasting impact on us, and have further strengthened our dedication to change.
“We are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of those who come forward. It is our sincere hope that the implementation of this settlement will support people who have experienced sexual misconduct in their healing process.”
The CAF and DND are sharing information about the class action as part of their ongoing commitment to address sexual misconduct issues within the workplace, and approach them with accountability, compassion, and transparency.
More information about the approved settlement can be found here or by calling 1-888-626-2611. In order to make a claim, documents must be submitted between March 25, 2020, and September 25, 2021. Instructions regarding the process, claims, relevant forms, and supporting documentation are available on the website.
The Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) can be contacted to speak to a counsellor and learn about how to recognize inappropriate sexual behaviour. This service can be found here.
The Canadian Forces Health Services Centres (CFHSC) website can be used to locate CAF medical, dental, or physiotherapy centres anywhere in Canada and abroad.
The Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program (CFMAP) offers confidential, voluntary, short term counselling in order to provide assistance with resolving stresses at home and in the workplace. Visit their site for more information here.
The Family Information Line (FIL) is a confidential, bilingual, free service that offers information, support, referrals, and crisis management to the defence community. They help Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, and their families.
Chaplain Services offer a meeting with a Chaplain who can help meet spiritual needs through religious and counselling services. They aim to provide support by helping individuals through theological, moral, and ethical views. For more information, visit this website.
Employee Assistance Services (EAS) works to support federal workplace wellness initiatives, including providing an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Trauma, and post-incident support. Visit here for more information.
The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) are a confidential and voluntary support service that helps individuals find solutions to many different challenges. They offer access to Client Care Representatives, Clinical Counsellors, and professional service providers who adhere to strict privacy and confidentiality procedures.
*Correction: We incorrectly reported the RCMP were included in the settlement. However that class-action suit was settled before Nov. 25, 2019.