The Canadian Forces Grievance System

Any officer or non-commissioned member who has been aggrieved by any decision, act or omission in the administration of the affairs of the Canadian Forces for which no other process for redress is provided under the National Defence Act is entitled to submit a grievance. 


Conditions for the Exercise of Ex Gratia Authority under the Canadian Forces Grievance Process Ex Gratia Payments Order (Order in Council 2012-0861)

An ex gratia payment may only be authorized if:

(a) in the case of the Chief of the Defence Staff, the payment is in an amount that does not exceed $100,000;

(b) in the case of an officer who is acting under section 2 of the Canadian Forces Grievance Process Ex Gratia Payments Order, the payment is in an amount that does not exceed $2,000 or such lesser amount as may be specified by the Chief of the Defence Staff;

(c) a legal opinion is received that states that there is no legal liability on the part of the Crown;

(d) there is no other mechanism by which the grievance can be remedied, including under existing laws, regulations, instructions, policies or programs; and

(e) the payment is not used to fill perceived gaps or to compensate for the apparent limitations in any act, order, regulation, instruction, policy, agreement or other government instrument.


CANFORGEN 091/14 COS VCDS 016/14 020001z jun 14

Important changes to Canadian Forces Grievance System


refs: a. NDA sections 29 - 29.15 b. QR and O chapter 7 c. DAOD 2017 series d. Armed forces council decisions 14 oct 2010

1. Bill C-15, which received royal assent on 19 june 2013, introduced three key changes to the grievances section of the National Defence Act (NDA): the Canadian Forces Grievance Board (CFGB), an independent external body with the mandate to provide findings and recommendations to the cds, was renamed as the Military Grievances External Review Committee (MGERC) to better capture the nature of its relationship with the CAF 

  1. the NDA now includes grievance provisions specific to military judges
  2. the CDS possesses more discretion to delegate his powers, duties and functions as Final Authority (FA) in the CF grievance process

2. As directed at ref d, the Canadian Forces Grievance Authority (CFGA) has worked diligently to improve many aspects of the CF Grievance System (CFGS). These improvements include:

  1. new training for assisting members and grievance analysts
  2. the implementation of the Notice Of Intent to Grieve
  3. more visibility on the grievance portfolio through monthly reports on the DGCFGA DWAN site
  4. a staff manual for Initial Authorities (IA)
  5. the digitization of the grievance administration process

3. the main objective is to improve the fairness and responsiveness of the grievance system for CAF members. a related objective is to set the condition for the final authority to consider and determine the majority of grievances, when required, within 12 months of the date they were submitted to the grievor’s CO as a result of these various initiatives, QR and O chapter 7 has been amended to adjust time limits as well as to provide more detailed direction to the stakeholders in the grievance process. a new version of DAOD 2017-1 will be promulgated shortly

4. The following major changes to the cf grievance system took place on 1 June 2014:

  1. a grievance must be submitted within three months (vice six months) after the day on which the member knew or ought reasonably to have known of the decision, act or omission in respect of which the grievance is submitted. However, if this day is before 1 June 2014, the grievance shall be submitted within six months of the date of discovery
  2. a commanding officer (CO) who cannot act as the IA because he/she cannot grant the redress sought must forward the grievance within 10 days of receipt to the CFGA
  3. an IA shall consider and determine a grievance within four months of its receipt (vice 60 days). The time limit of 60 days remains for all grievances submitted before 1 June 2014
  4. upon receipt of an IA decision, a grievor who does not believe that the IA provided the redress that was warranted may submit to the IA, for forwarding to the FA, a request to consider and determine the grievance. the grievor must submit such a request in writing, within 30 days of the grievor’s receipt of the IA decision, and include in it the reason for the request. However, a grievor who receives an IA decision before 1 June 2014 may request that the grievance be referred to the FA within 90 days of receipt of that IA decision
  5. the CO of a member who submits a grievance or gives notice of an intent to grieve shall assign without delay an officer or a NCM of sergeant or above to assist the grievor. The grievor is not required to use this assistance. The grievor may request that a particular person be assigned. if it is practical and the person agrees to act in that capacity, they shall be assigned as assisting member. When the assisting member is unable or unwilling to continue to assist the member, a new assisting member shall be assigned as soon as possible

5. All commanding officers and supervisors are encouraged to review QR and O chapter 7. Questions regarding this CANFORGEN may be addressed to CFGA at toll free 1-866-474-3867, commercial 613-944-5549, CSN 944-5549 or by email to  


Bill C-15

An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts received Royal Assent on June 19, 2013.

Bill C-15 amends the National Defence Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. N-5). 


Newly added