New veterans ombudsman appointed on Remembrance Day


OTTAWA — The federal government is tapping a former army officer as Canada’s new veterans ombudsman, six months after the last watchdog quit.

Retired colonel Nishika Jardine is the fourth person to serve as the veterans ombudsman, and the first woman to fill the post since it was created in 2007.

She succeeds Craig Dalton, who quit suddenly in May after only 18 months on the job, during which he expressed some frustration with the office’s lack of independence from the federal government.

A report commissioned by Veterans Affairs Canada and released earlier this year echoed those concerns and also flagged problems with the watchdog’s limited authority.

The government has said it plans to conduct its own assessment, but has not provided a timeline for when it will be complete.

Jardine’s appointment coincides with Remembrance Day, with ceremonies across the country scaled back or in some cases cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.