Thursday, September 23, 2010

Will the next Veterans Ombudsman even be a veteran?

One is left wondering when one reads this Notice of Vacancy posted at Veterans Affairs Canada. (Emphasis mine)
The successful candidate must have a degree from a recognized university in a relevant discipline or a combination of equivalent education, job-related training and experience. A law degree would be an asset.
Interesting. Colonel Stogran has a degree in electrical engineering.
The selected candidate must have demonstrated experience in developing and fostering productive partnerships, as well as experience dealing with government, preferably with senior officials.
That all depends on what "dealing with government" means and what constitutes a "senior official". Are we talking about the bureaucracy or are we talking about the hillbillies in the Prime Minister's Office? Is a senior official a senior civil servant (a boffin) or a PMO message management merchant (bollard head)?
The favoured candidate must have knowledge of the principles of administrative law and natural justice ...
I'm betting the Command and Staff College level of legal training for senior officers is suddenly not going to be sufficient.
The selected candidate must have good knowledge of the operations of government.
Really? In relation to what? Does this mean some intimate knowledge beyond what a responsible and informed citizen would possess? Or, does this mean willing to take orders from the political animals in the PMO?
The chosen candidate must possess strong leadership and managerial skills and a proven aptitude for appropriate and effective liaison and interaction with stakeholders. The successful candidate must have superior interpersonal skills and will be an individual of integrity, discretion and strong professional ethics. The ability to apply analytical, interpretative and evaluative thinking to situations and the ability to anticipate the short and long-term consequences of his/her strategies are required. In addition, the preferred candidate will have superior communications skills, both written and oral, and the ability to act as spokesperson in dealing with the media, public institutions, governments and other organizations. The selected candidate will not only be objective, impartial and fair, but also flexible and resilient.
Colonel Stogran was all of those things, and more. I am betting, however, that "flexible and resilient" doesn't mean getting knocked down by the kids in the PMO and come back fighting.

It's starting to look like the PCO wants a senior civil servant lawyer with connections to the current government. Either Pat Stogran's appointment as the first Veterans Ombudsman was PMO orchestrated window dressing or they simply couldn't handle the type of fight offered by a real combat veteran. Maybe it was a bit of both.

In any case, nowhere in that Notice of Vacancy does it state that the candidate, successful, preferred, chosen or otherwise will possess experience with the Canadian Forces and have a strong understanding of the culture of Canada's service personnel.


Boris said...

The term "Political Commissar" comes to mind when envisioning what the PMO wants for that position.

Dana said...

He (or unimaginably with this lot, she) isn't going to be a vet I'm betting. Just like Elliott has no background in the queen's cowboys.