July 5, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Sexual misconduct in the military | The committee recommends freezing promotions for senior officers

Sexual misconduct in the military |  The committee recommends freezing promotions for senior officers

(Ottawa) A parliamentary committee in Ottawa has recommended that all promotions and pay rises for senior military officers be frozen, “until an independent investigation is carried out to ensure that their conduct and conduct is beyond reproach”.

Lee Bertiam
The Canadian Press

This is one of the many recommendations made by the Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women, which recently completed a month-long review on sexual misconduct in the military. The review was launched in the wake of allegations against several superiors.

“Just as a security test is required to obtain various security clearances, this type of investigation can exclude candidates who do not have the required profile to lead the Canadian Armed Forces,” we read in the committee’s final report. Thursday. Subordinate military personnel must have ideal leaders, otherwise any fight against sexual misconduct and harassment will fail. ”

The committee members recommended that the “Inspector General’s Office” of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defense create an independent structure, led by a fully independent and parliamentary agent. The committee recommended that “cases of sexual misconduct be referred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for investigation” and that the jurisdiction be withdrawn from the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Status of Women Committee is one of two parliamentary committees examining sexual misconduct in the Canadian military: the Standing Committee on Defense investigates more specifically how the government handles allegations. Former Chief of Jonathan Vance and his successor Admiral Art McDonald.

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General Vance, who left his post in January and retired in April, has denied any wrongdoing. Mr McDonald, who retired a month after taking office, did not comment.

“Toxic weather”

The Defense Committee will postpone its work for the summer before drafting its final report, with months of clashes between the opposition and Liberal MPs. In contrast, the Committee’s 21 recommendations on the status of women appear to have received widespread support from all parties; The New Democrats added six recommendations to the report.

“Expert witnesses, including survivors, told the committee that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) work environment was hierarchical, male-dominated, based on patriarchal gender norms and highly sexualized,” the report said.

“These factors create a toxic work environment where sexual misconduct incidents can occur with impunity. The CAF culture needs to change to create a safe, inclusive, and dignified work environment.”

Many of the committee’s recommendations, including the establishment of the “Inspector General’s Office”, have been urgently requested for months by experts and victims. Conservatives have already called for promotions and pay rises for senior executives.

The committee’s report is similar to an independent review initiated by former Supreme Court Justice Louis Arbor, who spends the year making recommendations with the same goal of ending sexual misconduct in the military.

Impeachment resolution against Sajjan

The report also came as Tory leader Erin O’Toole announced on Thursday that his party would ask the House of Commons to vote on a no-confidence motion to express frustration with Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan.

Mr Sajjan has come under fire since former military ombudsman Gary Wallbourne first reported to the minister in March 2018, accusing then-Chief of Jonathan Vance of sexual misconduct. The Liberal government claimed that Mr Sajjan had followed all proper procedures in the matter, but Mr O’Toole said the defense minister had always denied sexual abuse victims in the military.

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Mr O’Toole accused former military minister Sajjan of misleading Canadians about his weapons and the need to buy used fighter jets in Australia. He accused the minister of overseeing a failed prosecution of retired Vice Admiral Mark Norman.

For all these reasons, the Conservative leader explains that his party will use its last opposition day on Thursday before the summer break of parliamentary business.

Conservative Motion Symbolic: O’Toole agrees that it is up to voters in Vancouver’s Mr. Sajjan constituency to decide whether or not to continue sitting in Parliament.