The facade of the headquarters of the Department of National Defence is pictured in Ottawa, on April 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The facade of the headquarters of the Department of National Defence is pictured in Ottawa, on April 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Military ombudsman demands independence now, accuses top brass of fighting oversight

Ombudsman: defence officials have fought to protect their kingdoms from outside interference

Canada’s military ombudsman is demanding the federal Liberal government immediately grant his office true independence and oversight powers over the Canadian Armed Forces.

Ombudsman Greg Lick says numerous scandals and crises over the past 30-plus years have resulted in calls for external oversight of Canada’s military to protect troops and others.

That includes the current sexual misconduct scandal that is ripping through the senior ranks.

While governments and leaders within the Armed Forces and Defence Department have publicly agreed to such recommendations each time, Lick alleges such agreement has been a facade.

Lick says senior commanders and defence officials have in reality fought to protect their kingdoms from outside interference, while successive governments have looked away.

Lick, who is releasing a report today, says there have been enough studies and reviews and that if independent oversight isn’t established now, service members will continue to suffer.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Urgent reforms needed to military justice system to protect misconduct victims

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