Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

April 25, 2013 22:27 ET

Chief of the Defence Staff Statement on Hardship and Risk Allowances

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 25, 2013) -

"As the Chief of the Defence staff, I am grateful for the unwavering support that has been shown by Canadians and the Government of Canada for our sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen while they are deployed on operations at home and abroad. That support is heartening and it inspires Canadian Armed Forces members to represent their country with deep pride while carrying out the missions assigned to them.

"There has been considerable attention in recent weeks to the allowances paid to deployed Canadian Armed Forces members while on operations. These allowances seek to offset austere living conditions and inherent dangers in theatres of operation. I am writing to ensure that events associated with these allowances are well understood by all Canadians, Canadian Armed Forces personnel and their families.

"Canadians should understand that recent changes to allowance levels for our deployed men and women have originated from within the Canadian Armed Forces. Specifically, a committee - chaired by a Brigadier-General and comprised mainly of uniformed Canadian Armed Forces members - establishes levels based on input from each of the deployed task forces and advice from subject matter experts such as medical, operations and intelligence advisors. This body operates at arms-length from the Government of Canada and the senior leadership of the Department of National Defence, and is guided by principles of fairness and impartiality.

"The latest committee meeting that occurred in January determined that the hardship and risk levels for four international missions should decrease based on an analysis of changing conditions in designated theatres of operation. While our committee followed current regulations in formulating its recommendations, the Government of Canada and the Minister of National Defence intervened to ensure fairness to Canadian men and women deployed on operations by delaying the implementation of the amended allowances.

"More recently, an administrative error that has resulted in pay recovery action for a number of Canadian Armed Forces members who were inadvertently overpaid while deployed to Afghanistan has also generated considerable attention. Although frustrating to military members and leaders when these oversights do occur, corrective action is always taken to ensure the proper stewardship of public funds in accordance with predetermined compensation rates. Again, this is receiving careful attention to ensure that it is applied in a reasonable way.

"The Canadian Armed Forces are committed to frequently reviewing our processes to ensure fair, honest and timely rates of Hardship and Risk compensation are allocated to Canadian Armed Forces members deployed on operations. In summary, all changes to allowance levels in recent months have been generated within the Canadian Armed Forces, within established administrative protocols."

General Tom Lawson

Chief of the Defence Staff

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