Canada’s High Navy Officer Steps Apart Amid Investigation

OTTAWA — Canada’s high army officer quickly stepped apart as chief of the protection employees after army police opened an investigation into unspecified allegations towards him.

The removing of Adm. Artwork McDonald got here within the midst of a separate investigation into the earlier chief of the protection employees, Jonathan Vance, a now retired military basic. Stories surfaced this month that he behaved inappropriately with two feminine subordinates.

“I take all allegations of misconduct significantly and proceed to take robust motion on any allegation of misconduct that’s introduced ahead,” Harjit Sajjan, the protection minister, mentioned in a statement released late Wednesday night time on Twitter. “Regardless of the rank, irrespective of the place.”

The Ottawa Citizen, citing unnamed sources, reported that a victim and several witnesses have charged that Admiral McDonald engaged in sexual misconduct.

Canada’s army has lengthy struggled with allegations of sexual misconduct and sexism.

In 2019, the federal government put aside $690 million to settle claims of sexual harassment and misconduct inside its army introduced in 5 class motion lawsuits. The settlement adopted an exterior assessment by a retired Supreme Courtroom justice who discovered that army had “an environment that is hostile to ladies and L.G.T.B.Q. members, and is conducive to extra severe incidents of sexual harassment and assault.”

Earlier this week, the Convention of Protection Associations Institute, a Canadian coverage group led largely by former army officers, issued an announcement elevating issues concerning the effect sexual misconduct allegations are having on the army.

“Allegations of this nature erode public belief within the Canadian Armed Forces, and finally negatively have an effect on morale and hurt efforts to recruit the longer term protectors of our nation,” the group mentioned.

Throughout his tenure, Mr. Vance, who served as protection chief from 2015 to till his retirement final month, launched a highly publicized program to “guarantee sexual misconduct is rarely minimized, ignored or excused.”

When Admiral McDonald was sworn as chief of the protection employees, he spoke about the necessity to change the tradition throughout the army and apologized to its members “who’ve skilled racism, discriminatory conduct and or hateful conduct.” He informed reporters that over his profession he had unintentionally perpetuated a number of the issues that he now deliberate to handle.

However lower than a month into his new job, Admiral McDonald confronted criticism after posting a tweet selling variety and cultural change containing {a photograph} of eight white senior army commanders round a desk with a single lady in civilian garments and a ninth man showing on a video display screen behind them.

Lt. Gen. Wayne D. Eyre, the commander of the army, will quickly act because the army’s high officer.

Citing the police investigation, Mr. Sajjan, a former lieutenant colonel within the military who served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, declined to supply any specifics. The Division of Nationwide Protection additionally didn’t provide any particulars.

Final week, Mr. Sajjan declined to inform the Home of Commons committee on nationwide protection when he first discovered concerning the allegations towards Mr. Vance, solely saying he was “shocked” when they were first aired publicly by International Information, a Canadian broadcaster, earlier this month.

Mr. Vance, who twice led the Canadian Forces based mostly in Kandahar, Afghanistan, was appointed by the earlier Conservative authorities.

On Sunday, International Information broadcast an interview with Kellie Brennan, a former military main, who mentioned that she had a sexual relationship with Mr. Vance over a number of years, together with intervals when she was below his command in Toronto and Ottawa.

When requested if it was consensual, Ms. Brennan mentioned: “On a private stage, ‘consensual’ that means was I taking part in it? Sure.”

However she added: “May I say no to him? No. The explanation why I say that’s as a result of if he rang me on the telephone or if he texted me, I used to be obliged to get again to him.”

She mentioned that her makes an attempt to boost the difficulty throughout the army went nowhere.

“It was a scorching potato that no person knew what to do with,” she mentioned.

Mr. Vance denied having intercourse with Ms. Brennan whereas she was below his command, however mentioned that they’d dated in 2001.

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