Table of Contents
Background and Purpose
As stated in the Order in Council which establishes the role and mandate of the Veterans Ombudsman, "the Veterans Ombudsman may establish an Advisory Committee to provide advice on matters relating to the Ombudsman's mandate. The composition of the Committee shall be determined by the Ombudsman, taking into consideration the need for representation from Veterans and stakeholders groups."
The Veterans Ombudsman has determined it beneficial to establish an Advisory Committee to be known as the Veterans Ombudsman Advisory Council (the Council) with the mandate described below.
The Council shall:
- Provide advice on matters related to the mandate of the Veterans Ombudsman;
- Promote the well-being and fair treatment of all Veterans and their families; and
- Provide a forum to exchange and share ideas of importance to the Veterans' community.
The Council is responsible to:
- Attend and actively participate in at least one face-to-face Council meeting per year and any ad hoc teleconferences that may be required;
- Review all annual commendation nominations and, as a Council, recommend a shortlist of recipients;
- Provide advice on the OVO’s work and on issues facing Veterans;
- Proactively provide insight into issues they are hearing within the Veteran community; and
- Promote the products and work of the OVO within the Veteran community.
- Assist the Veterans Ombudsman in other related matters as deemed appropriate.
Membership and Tenure
The membership of the Council should ensure diverse representation of a broad range of backgrounds, views and experience, the Ombudsman has discretion over the number of members selected. Membership criteria are included in Annex A.
In the interest of encouraging continual renewal, an appointment to the Council will be for a duration in the discretion of the Veterans Ombudsman of between one and three years, with the possibility of extension if both parties are in agreement. However a member may withdraw from the Council at any time by giving written notice to the Veterans Ombudsman. Additionally, the Veterans Ombudsman may terminate membership of an individual on the Council for any reason, and at any time by providing written notice to the member.
Council members are not entitled to remuneration. However, they will be reimbursed for travel expenses for scheduled Council meetings, in accordance with the National Joint Council Travel Directive.
The Council shall meet at least once a year and the Veterans Ombudsman shall designate a member of his/her staff to act as facilitator. However the Veterans Ombudsman may request that additional meetings be held. The date and location of meetings shall be determined by the Veterans Ombudsman.
Members of the Council shall attend meetings. The Veterans Ombudsman may extend invitations to affiliate members to attend Council meetings if and when needed.
On the recommendation of the Council or at the request of the Veterans Ombudsman, subject-matter experts may be invited to make presentations to the Council, in writing or in person, or may be granted observer status for discussion of a particular agenda item or for an entire meeting.
The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman will provide secretariat support to the Council.
Code of Conduct
All members of the Council shall be governed by the Code of Conduct set out in Annex B, and shall indicate their acceptance and understanding of it by signing the acknowledgement form.
Annex A – Membership Criteria
Military and RCMP Veterans Representatives
Council members should have recent experience working with Veterans, or be currently involved within the Veterans' community. The Council membership should reflect the diversity of the Veteran community and include representation from a broad range of backgrounds, views and experiences, including experience with:
- CAF Regular Force service
- CAF Reserve Force service
- Military and Veteran families
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Veteran advocacy groups, not-for-profit and charity organizations
- Professional expertise in a field relevant to health and well-being of the Veteran community
Current members/ employees of the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman, Veterans Affairs Canada, Canadian Armed Forces, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are not eligible to serve on the council.
Council members should be able to communicate orally and in writing in either English or French. Knowledge of both official languages is an asset.
Council members should have knowledge of:
- Current issues affecting the Veteran community, and Veterans Affairs Canada programs and appeal mechanisms.
- Mandate and operations of the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman;
Annex B – Code of Conduct
In an effort to promote a culture of mutual trust, respect, professionalism, integrity and accountability amongst members of the Council, the Veterans Ombudsman requires members to adhere to the following:
- Council members shall attend and actively participate in all Council meetings.
- Council members shall not interfere with the operational decisions, responsibilities and day-to-day management of the OVO.
- Council members shall keep confidential any information identified as such that is disclosed or discussed at a meeting of the Council.
- Council members shall not use their position on the Council to advance their interests or the interests of any person or organization with whom or with which they are associated.
- If a council member becomes employed with the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman, Veterans Affairs Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, they shall immediately resign from the Council.
- If a Council member enters into a contract or fee-for-service arrangement with any of Veterans Affairs Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police the member shall disclose the nature and value of the contract confidentially to the Ombudsman who will determine if the contract excludes the member from continuing to serve on Council.
- No Council member shall enter into a contract or fee-for-service arrangement with the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman while serving as a member of the Council.
- Council members shall perform their Council duties in a manner that respects the dignity of individuals.
- Council members shall refrain from engaging in conduct that would discredit or compromise the integrity of the Council, the Veterans Ombudsman or the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman.
I acknowledge that I have read the Code of Conduct for members of the Council, and hereby confirm my commitment to fulfilling my duties as a member of the Council in accordance with them.
Printed Name: __________________________
Annex C – List of Members
View the complete list of council members.