moved for leave to introduce Bill C-362, An Act to establish the Office of the Ombud for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces, to make related amendments to the Contraventions Act and to make consequential amendments to certain Acts.
Madam Speaker, I rise today to introduce my private member's bill to give the Office of the Ombud for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces more independence.
I would like to thank the member for North Island—Powell River for seconding this bill. She does a tremendous job as NDP critic for veterans.
Over two decades, many Canadians have raised serious concerns about Canada's military culture, including cases of sexual misconduct. Despite the Deschamps and Arbour reports, hearings in Parliament and appeals from survivors, the Liberals have failed to address these systemic problems.
My bill would establish that the Office of the Ombud would report directly to Parliament and not the Minister of Defence. This independence is essential to ensuring that Canadian Forces personnel and DND employees can trust in the process and receive help. Importantly, Canada's current military ombudsman has asked this government to make his office completely independent.
The Liberals have refused to take action, but we have done enormous work to address the challenges within the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. This bill is an essential step.
I thank the advocates who have helped to get us to this point, and I encourage the government to support this bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)