OTTAWA---The Honourable Arthur Eggleton, Minister of National Defence, is pleased to announce receipt of the final report of the Minister's Monitoring Committee on Change in the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces.
"This report is most welcome," Mr. Eggleton said. "It confirms that the program of reform and change upon which we embarked in the mid-nineties has been effective. It also demonstrates that the Canadian Forces are capable of the kind of fundamental change at the institutional and cultural level that reflects evolving public values in this country."
"I commend the Committee for their hard work and dedication over the past two years," Mr. Eggleton said. "Their close scrutiny of the program and their constructive comments on processes and progress have greatly assisted in moving the program forward as well as providing the public with valuable insights into defence reform and change initiatives."
The Committee noted progress in virtually all areas targeted for reform and change. In all, the Department and the Canadian Forces have been involved in over 300 change initiatives ranging from creation of the Office of a Military Ombudsman to total revamping of the military justice system. Other examples cited in the Committee's final report include:
**Development of a concept of accountability stressing the need to identify both successes and failures to permit DND and the CF to learn from experiences and continuously improve;
**Appointment of a Military Police Complaints Commission;
**Implementation of a new public affairs policy to improve communications between members of the Canadian Forces, departmental employees and the media and the public;
**Implementation of harassment and racism training; and,
**Implementation of an array of Quality of Life initiatives to improve conditions for military personnel and their families.
"These are major reforms," Mr. Eggleton said. "And they have been undertaken at a time when the Canadian Forces' involvement in operations at home and overseas has been at its highest level in decades." Those few areas in which the Committee noted some deficiencies are being addressed as part of the Department's ongoing change program. One of these areas is the restructuring of the Canadian Forces Reserves.
"Realignment of the Reserves is a major undertaking," Mr. Eggleton said. "In June 1999 the Department released the publication Shaping the Future of Canadian Defence: A Strategy for 2020 more commonly referred to as "Strategy 2020."
"Consistent with the policies outlined in the 1994 White Paper on Defence, Strategy 2020 provides a current institutional strategy, a defence mission and a series of strategic goals designed to guide the defence establishment into the 21st Century," Mr. Eggleton said. "Reserve modernization is an integral part of this strategy and it is a critical part of the overall re-alignment of the defence team."
"In this regard, I am very pleased to confirm that Mr. John A. Fraser, Chair of the Minister's Monitoring Committee on Change in the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces, has agreed to continue in his capacity as Chair of a reconstituted Minister's Monitoring Committee on Change," Mr. Eggleton said. "The Committee, which will include Mr. D.B. Dewar and Mr. David Bercuson, in their new capacity will provide advice to the Minister on Land Force Reserve Restructuring. They will also continue to monitor the implementation of reforms in the areas of leadership and the Reserves."