Author Topic: Alleged Institutional Racism/solutions in CAF (merged)  (Read 128730 times)

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Offline recceguy

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #50 on: March 22, 2012, 19:06:11 »
Until they come up with something substantial from either side I'm going to have to say they system is likely correct. The people running the show aren't idiots (all the time), and given the sensitive nature of the situation I highly doubt that anybody in their right mind would actively block a legitimate investigation. I'm sure every one of us on here has dealt with missing paperwork from time to time, and I highly doubt our CoC is out to get all of us.

You're 'assuming' and you know what they say about that ;)
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Offline medicineman

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #51 on: March 22, 2012, 22:24:39 »
Coming from Victoria, I find some of this a little odd, well alot odd actually.  There is also the fact that we're only seeing a very sterilized one side of the story...there are some things said and unsaid that are raising some flags with me that I'll just leave at that for now.  I'll be interested to see how this pans out.

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Offline ModlrMike

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #52 on: March 22, 2012, 22:29:56 »
I too was struck by the comments about Victoria.
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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #53 on: March 23, 2012, 00:42:17 »
HALIFAX—Private Wally Fowler, an African-Nova Scotian

I've been imbibing, so I'll not even look at the link (oh crap, never mind I did).....

No one would be assigned for Tfc Tech training in Esquimalt.  The school is in Borden.

Quote
Sergeant Rubin Coward, a military administrative specialist

We have those?

Okay, I had to stop reading.  End post.

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Offline recceguy

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #54 on: March 23, 2012, 01:03:20 »
No speculation here. I've been to, stayed in and worked both coasts and locales.
The ethnic diversity, tolerance, acceptance, religious freedoms, racial equality and acceptance in Victoria, is light years ahead of anything that you will experience in or within 50 sq miles of Halifax's North End and Dartmouth. Especially in the late 60's early 70's with the closing and levelling of Africaville.

It also has, in the vast majority, SFA to do with the military.
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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #55 on: March 23, 2012, 23:09:49 »
Something is definitely fishy.  There are a few points in the article that just don't add up.
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.

Offline medicineman

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #56 on: March 23, 2012, 23:51:50 »
Something is definitely fishy. 

No pun intended  ;D?

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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #57 on: March 24, 2012, 00:00:48 »
While the public posturing of "what?  the CF do something wrong against its members??" is eloquent and loyal, we know that the fact is that there ARE CF members who are wronged in the CF.  Disagree??

- why we have the need for a Grievance System?
- why do we have the need for an Ombudsmen?

The NDA and QR & O provide direction that an IA SHALL consider and determine a grievance within 60 days.  How often does that get blown past?  Often.  So even the system we have to use to griev is flawed.  A retired judge recently reviewed the CFGS, although I have yet to see a report, and not sure it will be avail for "the masses".

Go to their sites (DGCFGA, CFGB, and the Ombudsmen) and show me where there are no decisions being made in the CF CofC that are wrong and reversed/overturned when they are looked at by IAs, the FA (CDS or DGCFGA on his behalf), CFGB.

My point?  Lets keep some reality going here.  Why does the TB, DND and the CF have documented policies on things like harassment? Because they happen.

Lets not jump on the "he must be lieing" bandwagon.   
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #58 on: March 24, 2012, 00:06:59 »

We have those?


If the article is correct, the guy helping him was the C Clk at 404 in 1993, so by trade likely an Admin Clerk, before Admin and Fin were married into RMS as we now know it.

Calling a Admin Clerk who is the Chief Clerk a "military administrative specialist" isn't a stretch IMO.
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Offline medicineman

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #59 on: March 24, 2012, 00:56:40 »
Without speculating of course, having lived about a quarter of my life in Victoria, I have to say something doesn't sound right.  Being a health care professional, some of the stuff I've heard mentioned in there has other bells ringing.  Lastly, having spent 23 odd years in the CF also has some bells ringing too - both from an institutional side and from having dealt with subordinates (and sometimes even myself) that didn't get what they wanted out of their careers.  There is a system, on paper it works, but we all know in reality it's only as good as the weakest link, so yeah, somebody/bodies may have crapped the bed.   

Fact is, there are three sides to every story, and maybe even four in this case - Mr Fowler's, the CF's, the reporter's, and  what actually transpired.  We've only got 2 and a very sanitized part of another.

Hence the reason we're waiting for the rest.

MM
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I may sound like a pessimist, but I am a realist.

Offline recceguy

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #60 on: March 24, 2012, 00:59:40 »
While the public posturing of "what?  the CF do something wrong against its members??" is eloquent and loyal, we know that the fact is that there ARE CF members who are wronged in the CF.  Disagree??

- why we have the need for a Grievance System?
- why do we have the need for an Ombudsmen?

The NDA and QR & O provide direction that an IA SHALL consider and determine a grievance within 60 days.  How often does that get blown past?  Often.  So even the system we have to use to griev is flawed.  A retired judge recently reviewed the CFGS, although I have yet to see a report, and not sure it will be avail for "the masses".

Go to their sites (DGCFGA, CFGB, and the Ombudsmen) and show me where there are no decisions being made in the CF CofC that are wrong and reversed/overturned when they are looked at by IAs, the FA (CDS or DGCFGA on his behalf), CFGB.

My point?  Lets keep some reality going here.  Why does the TB, DND and the CF have documented policies on things like harassment? Because they happen.

Lets not jump on the "he must be lieing" bandwagon.   

Exactly why we said people shouldn't assume or draw conclusions, let alone pick a side, untill all the facts are heard, from both sides. Then we can wait until the investigation is done, and finally, people can comment all they want on the final outcome.
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Offline ArmyVern

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #61 on: March 24, 2012, 03:39:03 »
A strange tale indeed.  I'm not sure on how much of it is accurate, how much speculation, how much innuendo.  I have no doubt that circumstance became a vicious circle after time. There seems to be some indication that "something" was happening.  Don't know how or if it could get ironed out after all this time.

Well, I have a whole bunch of comments after reading through it. The guy and his family were obviously discriminated against in Esquimault.

The flaws I see with regards to further statements that the CF failed to do anything about it though are:
1) School bus ... belongs to the School Board, District whatever of city of Esquimault and thus is not within CF jurisdiction to do anything "official" about except voice their complaint and make it known to those authorities (the CF investigated the incidents, confirmed, and acknowledged --- but certainly can't 'correct');
2) PMQs ... now (and then) fall under jurisdiction of the contractor; patrolled by civilian police; again, complaints acknowledged as having occurred, but jurisdiction of that location is outside of the CF. We can correct that. Get rid of CFHA and have DND once again take ownership of and jurisdiction of PMQ areas surrounding it's Bases.

Lots of other stuff too:
I knew both CWO Levesque and CWO Melancon. We knew in early-spring that CWO Melancon was coming back to Trenton and that CWO Levesque was moving to careers. Nothing nefarious there. CWO Levesque, going to careers would be normal seeing as how Trenton, 2 AMS was then and is now the largest, busiest Tfc Tech base out there, so it would be natural to see the next Snr Tech coming from that location.

Context:
Seeing CWO Melancon "downgrade" from careers to the Snr Tfc Tech at Trenton would certainly not have been viewed as a downgrade "when" it actually occurred - it actually would have been critical to have that expert knowledge get back to that location as we had just sent our Army off to war. We were putting the Army in Afghanistan. We were standing up Camp Mirage. Had a SAL, TAL and LRP Dets to support all simultaneously with ongoing Golan UN rotations, ongoing rotations of Balkan battlegroups, sending seacans full of stuff to Turkey to get roadmoved down to the troops in Afghanistan etc (the media forget this? They made a heyday out of how overwhelmed MAMS Trenton was at the time).

Remember that the flight line is essentially owned by the 2 AMS MAMs Tfc Techs. They move, they load, they clean, they unload, they park ... they do everything! The base was so busy, in fact, that a great many of us ended up on "garbage details" - even those of us who weren't Tfc Techs nor Ptes or Cpls were getting tasked to do so. You had to, we were that busy! It was the times and the circumstances that caused it. It was crazy times.

Seems to me, that given the circumstances of the mbrs family and himself, it should have been a Compassionate Posting to the East Coast from the get-go. remember, the author already pointed out that CCM and Compassionate are indeed different. It also notes that Esquimault notes that request was for a CCM vice a Comp. A CCM however, would infer that mbr is capable and willing to do all duties and tasks at the new location without any career restrictions. It doesn't seem to me though that that is actually what the member required.

A "compassionate posting" may indeed come with "career restrictions", but this article makes it seem likes that is something evil and bad. It is not; it is done in the members best interests, but can only occur IF the member requests it in writing. A Comp posting also means that careers can send you to a location even IF all the jobs/positions there are filled because it will compassionately be in your best interest. A Compassionate Posting also means that you have career restrictions such as, can not be tasked away from the home, can not be deployed, regular work hours, opportunity to attend counselling and appointments with your family whenever required etc.

A CCM would mean that you would be deployable, employable at whatever hour the CF wanted you and called you in - even if you had just worked all day for 7/8 days etc; you'd be expected to be avail 24/7, appointments scheduled around and outside of your work duties and timings else take leave. And, at that time period in the CF's history - Tfc Techs were constantly flying and moving on last minute notice - we were going to war and were still sitting in all those UN tours. A CCM would infer that you had "no career restrictions" and thus were able to perform those duties whenever the CF required you to do so. That does not seem to be what this young lad required at the time though. The CCM request seems to directly conflict with what the member and his family needed - which was time to heal, get counselling, and get stable.

Yes, a CCM means "no fault of the member" (this could be a CCM to location X because a child needs access to specialist hospital such as CHEO, but also infers that the member can, is able to and will perform all duties he is required to do whenever he is required to).

But a Compassionate doesn't therefore mean, "the member's fault". It means "compassionate circumstances" whereby the member and/or family needs "a break" from the military requirements as a unique situation has occurred that can be resolved and whereby the CF needs to afford them opportunity to resolve without being able to say, "too bad, we need Tfc techs on the next flight out tonight and you'll be gone for the next 3 weeks so get your butt in here."

I'm wondering if mbr refused to accept a compassionate status (I can't fathom CWO Melancon not explaining the difference). The article certainly makes it seem as if there was an insistence that the move be CCM based upon it "not being the mbr's fault". A compassionate certainly doesn't mean it was the members fault. The differences in CCM and Compassionate are indeed HUGE, but the difference is NOT in "who's fault it is" it is in exactly those "career restrictions". And, career restrictions seem to be exactly what this Pte required rather than "business as usual".

Now, any Colonel in Ottawa could write, "there are Tfc Tech positions available in Halifax, Greenwood, Shearwater, Sydney, Gagetown, Moncton, etc etc etc". That does NOT mean there are "positions open/unfilled". If there are no positions vacant, then to get him there careers (ie: CWO Melancon) would have had to have the mbr request a compassionate posting so that they could overfill the location based on those compassionate reasons. Did mbr refuse to request a compassionate (insist on a CCM instead) and thereby tie the hands of careers because, although there may indeed by Tfc techs in locations, no jobs were unfilled? Ie: the only places where there were vacant Tfc tech posns were Trenton and Winnipeg?

I don't know what to say, I just know that if I had been this lad's supervisor, I have explained the whole difference between CCM and Compassionate. It seems to me that someone was telling him, "you don't want a comp, your career stops!" while totally forgetting that CCM would not have allowed him to accomplish what he was requiring according to the social worker reports etc. The member certainly doesn't lose points for being compassionate status either. Sure, he couldn't be promoted (but he was a 3rd year Pte and not looking at promotion via merit boards anyway for at least 2 years [the max length of a compassionate status I'll point out).

I feel horrible for this guy and his family, but I think he got some bad advice on which posting status to request - I think someone concentrated too hard on the "not member's fault" and missed the big picture of the real differences between the two; a case of not being able to see the forest for the tree.

What an absolutely horrible situation.
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Offline PMedMoe

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #62 on: March 24, 2012, 10:15:35 »
Calling a Admin Clerk who is the Chief Clerk a "military administrative specialist" isn't a stretch IMO.

It is to me.  Sorry, just sounds stupid.  Why not just say Admin Clerk or RMS?  I think the reporter was trying to put an extra"spin" on it.
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #63 on: March 24, 2012, 10:29:32 »
Well, probably because its *flashy* sounding and something the general public would understand...but ya, you're probably right on the extra spin thing too.

I dunno, I guess if he had been a WFE Tech, they would probably call him a "environmental systems specialist" or something that people can relate too.

I think sometimes we in the CF forget how little the average Canadian knows about the CF, or how able they are to speaka-da-lingo.
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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #64 on: March 24, 2012, 12:41:07 »
- why we have the need for a Grievance System?
- why do we have the need for an Ombudsmen?

Because both sides of an arguement pertaining to how something is written is a required thing in any forward thinking workplace.................if one thinks that these mechanisms are there just because one is getting 'screwed over' then it bitters the whole process.

As a union steward I always tell my members to think of it as a " I think I'm right" and "they think they're right" and we'll let an indipendant tell us who is actually right....................a grievance should never be personal.
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Offline Runner

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #65 on: March 24, 2012, 20:49:14 »
Interesting, I will ask a question:

How many of you know what is going on with the family or person living beside you?

Most would answer that they know the person by name and by their daily or occasional interactions. I am sure most of us do not know the fine details that people are experiencing on a daily basis, or some of the stress that they may be experiencing due to a number of different reason's. We live our lives through context and you have to first understand that before making constructive conclusions.

Otherwise we would not have those major (holy &^%%$) how did we/I miss that? I am sure most of you can come up with a few immediate examples...

I prefer to read between the lines and see beyond a reporters lack of CF knowledge.





Offline ArmyVern

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #66 on: March 24, 2012, 21:20:31 »
...

I prefer to read between the lines and see beyond a reporters lack of CF knowledge.

Agreed; I wonder though - why, when the reporter had an administrative expert there, that expert did not explain the actual real differences between CCM and compassionate postings; why that expert did not correct the reporters mis-thoughts on the PMQs and school buses somehow being CF property and jurisdiction etc etc.

These are just the obvious inaccuracies in the article. Apparently, the administrative expert may have failed to properly or fully inform the reporter on things that he would, as a chief clerk, have known to have been inaccurate or slanted in favour of making the CF seem to have not acted properly.
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Offline ModlrMike

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #67 on: March 24, 2012, 21:29:52 »
I can not in good conscience claim the plaintiff is lying as I don't know the whole story. Just the same, the incongruities in the story raise the spectre of doubt.
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Offline recceguy

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #68 on: March 24, 2012, 22:00:16 »
I can not in good conscience claim the plaintiff is lying as I don't know the whole story. Just the same, the incongruities in the story raise the spectre of doubt.

That's right. Doubt on both sides. There is not one person here, unless intimately involved in a completed investigation, that can say, categorically, who's at fault, who's stretching the truth, who's covering up or who should be penalized. Not one. Everyone here that says he's right the system is wrong or vica versa, is blowing smoke and is basing their 'knowledge and expertise' on simply what they want to think and should not be speaking as any kind of authority.

Or listened to as such.
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Offline garb811

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #69 on: March 24, 2012, 22:55:25 »

2) PMQs ... now (and then) fall under jurisdiction of the contractor; patrolled by civilian police; again, complaints acknowledged as having occurred, but jurisdiction of that location is outside of the CF. We can correct that. Get rid of CFHA and have DND once again take ownership of and jurisdiction of PMQ areas surrounding it's Bases.


Agreed; I wonder though - why, when the reporter had an administrative expert there, that expert did not explain the actual real differences between CCM and compassionate postings; why that expert did not correct the reporters mis-thoughts on the PMQs and school buses somehow being CF property and jurisdiction etc etc.
RHUs remain the property and responsibility of DND, CFHA simply manages them on behalf of DND as a special operating agency within DND.  The only place (I'm aware of) that jurisdiction has been ceded is Gagetown, and again, as far as I know, that is for policing only; DND remains the property owner of the RHUs proper with all of the rights and responsibilities that entails. 

Offline 57Chevy

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #70 on: March 25, 2012, 08:40:35 »
I think Army Vern sums up the military aspect of this ordeal quite well.
I too feel sorely for Mr. Fowler and his family.
 
The journalist covering the story is no expert on the military and is reporting primarily on items
that were offerred for publication. (Don't shoot the messenger.)
 
Considering that Veterans Affairs will award him with a full medical pension means that
there was extensive study regarding the deterioration of his medical condition while serving.
One must keep in mind that VA considers the reasonable doubt and usually (or at times)
in favor of the applicant and therefore in itself, does not proove discrimination on the part of the CAF.

Was he subject to discrimination ?  He probably was.
 
Is there sufficient proof ?    Probably not, given the disappearance of vital documents
and the shredding of more by his own hand there remains a lack of substantiation.
Too much is left to speculation.
 
Should the process of reporting discrimination in the military (and anywhere else for that matter) be improved upon ?  Definitely. There is always room for improvement.
 
Should Mr. Fowler pursue his cause ?  IMO, I don't think so, but he alone must make that decision.

Why should he not pursue ?

I am no expert in the field but I would like to add my 2 cents worth.
Mr. Coward making mention of having the whole bakery over the loaf is protraying a pot of gold at the end of
a rainbow of speculation.
The process of such can be long and arduous.
I think Mr. Fowler must consider the fragility of his state of mind and
the hindrance of the healing process in so doing. 
 
I believe both Mr. Fowler and Mr. Coward will at some point read through this thread. And I hope they do.
 
Pertaining to discrimination,
You can't see the tree by reason of the forest.
 
On the medical side,
If the tree falls in the woods, who will hear it ?
In this case, Veterans Affairs did.

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #71 on: March 25, 2012, 09:14:20 »
Ahh, "disappearing documents"........the equivalent of the old question "So when did you stop beating your wife?"   No right answer....
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Offline ArmyVern

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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #72 on: March 25, 2012, 10:57:58 »
I can not in good conscience claim the plaintiff is lying as I don't know the whole story. Just the same, the incongruities in the story raise the spectre of doubt.

I actually don't doubt that he was discriminated against in Esquimault. I believe he was. Where he was discriminated against though (busses, Qs) are not CF jurisdiction therefore we can not deal with the offenders, nor can we enforce a change. But, the CF investigated, found it to be factual and recommended that he get posted away from there. It seems his local CoC made all attempts to do so.

But, when we get past that initial stage, there's claims of "a colonel said 6 spots on the east coast had tfc techs, but some CWO said they only had openings in Winnipeg and Trenton" - inferring that these two statements conflict and that the CWO therefore lied. To be clear, the CWO is the career manager, not the colonel, and although 6 bases may indeed have had tfc tech posns, that does not mean that they were empty.  IAW policy, (because different budget funds and rules cover CCMs than Compassionates) a posting to any base where all the positions were filled could only have occured as a compassionate.

The article certainly infers that mbr (or his CoC) was insistent on a "CCM because the situation wasn't his fault". I think that's where the problems began. If he refused to apply for the compassionate, then the career manager would have no choice but to offer him posting locations where tfc tech positions were vacant. And, once making his choice and being posted there, in this case - to Trenton, he would have been expected to perform all duties and tasks on a 24/7 basis exactly as all other tfc techs were doing as a CCM has "no career implications".

Picking up garbage. Sorting through it. I was a Sup Tech MCpl and I was doing that there too. So were my troops even though flights were a MAMs tfc techs responsibility. Ironing flags ... that were flown when visiting dignitaries etc came in. Flown during Repatriation Ceremonies. Parades set up - by MAMs. etc etc. Also a MAMs tfc tech area of responsibility. Those things WERE/ARE part of the normal job of being a tfc tech at that location. They certainly aren't discriminatory as this article seems to slant it out to be.

Did member refuse to fly? Refuse to work evenings etc? Insist that he could not fly, work 12-13 hour shifts etc because he had to help get his family settled, attend counselling etc? (Because that is what the social work reports in Esquimault certainly said needed to occur) If, "yes", he refused and could not perform his duties whenever/whatever required, then mbr should have been on a compassionate status NOT CCM.

If mbr had requested a compassionate, then he would have been in Halifax, and would have been afforded all opportunity to have restrictions placed upon his career (no taskings, no flying, no duties, must be afforded time for social worker appts with family etc) so that he could indeed have gotten his family settled, stable and healthy again.

In the end, I think it all comes down to, once again, someone not explaining the true difference between CCM and compassionate to this lad. Someoine concentrated on the "not your fault" bit and missed the actual important differences (not that compassionate means "your fault" either as the article certainly seems to spin it that way).
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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #73 on: March 25, 2012, 10:59:35 »
RHUs remain the property and responsibility of DND, CFHA simply manages them on behalf of DND as a special operating agency within DND.  The only place (I'm aware of) that jurisdiction has been ceded is Gagetown, and again, as far as I know, that is for policing only; DND remains the property owner of the RHUs proper with all of the rights and responsibilities that entails.

I understand we own them. Gagetown is policed by the RCMP, others are policed by civilian agencies now too. Got a problem with someone in the Qs, phone the local authorities.
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Re: The Case Of Wally Fowler
« Reply #74 on: March 25, 2012, 11:10:59 »
I understand we own them. Gagetown is policed by the RCMP, others are policed by civilian agencies now too. Got a problem with someone in the Qs, phone the local authorities.

Really? Other than Gagetown, which ones?  Honest questions which I'd like to know your answer to because, as I said, the only ones I'm aware of are Gagetown, never heard a comment from any of my peers that other PMQs have had jurisdiction formally ceded, and I highly doubt it has happened as the Branch has been strengthening the understanding of our jurisdiction with our civilian partners.  Having said that, I do know that in the recent past there have been problems related to 911 calls, in that the 911 operator will dispatch certain civilian police agencies vice routing the call to MP, but we have been working that issue in order to ensure DND civic addresses are clearly identified in the 911 system.

There are also MOUs in place in some locations, such as reserve Armouries where there is no 24/7 MP presence, to have civilian police do the initial response in emergency situations, but DND and the CF retain primary jurisdiction