Incoming commander of Canadian army faces sexual misconduct investigation

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The Department of National Defense said Wednesday that the man who was set to take charge of the Canadian military is being investigated by military police for sexual misconduct and his appointment as commander has been postponed.

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Lieutenant-General Trevor Cadeau is the latest senior officer to face sexual misconduct allegations that have rocked the leadership of the Canadian military this year. Since February, the former Chief of Defense Staff and his successor have been among the top military leaders to be investigated, and the forces’ ability to support the victims has come under intense scrutiny.

In a joint statement, the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Army said Acting Chief of Defense Staff General Wayne Eyre had been informed of the Canadian Army National Investigative Service’s investigation of “historic allegations” against the lieutenant general. Cadiyu on September 5 – two days before taking command of the army.

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General Ayre told Lt Gen. On the same day, Cadiu postponed the change of command function to allow the investigation to “run its course”, the statement said.

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The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service received a sexual misconduct charge against Lt Gen. Trevor Cadeau. As a military police investigation is ongoing, no further details will be provided,” the military police said in a brief statement on Wednesday. The investigation was first reported by The Ottawa Citizen.

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Lt Gen Cadiu denied the allegation in a statement provided by the Department of National Defense. Spokesman Daniel Le Boutillier said he has been on leave since being informed about the investigation on 5 September.

“The allegations are false, but they must be thoroughly investigated to expose the truth,” Lt Gen. Cadiu said. “I believe that all complaints should be professionally investigated, irrespective of the rank of the accused.” He said he asked General Eyre to “consider selecting another leader” for the army.

“I know that these false claims, as intended, will raise doubts about my ability to lead in this environment,” he said. “Canadian military soldiers deserve a leader who is free of charge and can lead at this critical time when culture change, addressing systemic misconduct and preparing tactical teams for operations should be priority efforts.”

Lt Gen Cadiu said he had “already volunteered”. Provided information to the military police and took unspecified other measures to prove his “truth and innocence”.

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan was informed about the investigation on 5 September in the middle of the federal election campaign. His spokesman Todd Lane said Wednesday that he would not comment further because of the open investigation.

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The Canadian military did not disclose whether the change in command ceremony was being postponed at the time of the decision. Mr Le Boutillier said on Wednesday that this is because the department “does not, under normal circumstances, consistently disclose the existence of an ongoing investigation because doing so could threaten the integrity of the investigation.”

Postponing the ceremony “is not an indictment of the lieutenant general. Caddieu,” said a joint statement by the Defense Department and the Canadian Forces. “However, in the light of the ongoing investigation, it was decided to allow the justice system to proceed with the matter in accordance with the rule of law.”

Lieutenant General Cadeau was promoted to his current position on 31 August, Mr Le Boutillier said. He was the Director of Staff, leading the Strategic Joint Staff Team within the forces.

The Conservatives and the NDP said the investigation was conducted by Lt Gen K. Cadeau reveals that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mr Sajjan have failed to address the widespread crisis of sexual assault in the forces.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said in a statement on Wednesday that they are “relentlessly failing women serving – and Canadians – by hiring and protecting men who are not equipped or interested in changing the status quo.” Huh.”

Conservative MP James Bejan said Mr. Sajjan had “abdicated his responsibility and provided no political leadership for our soldiers. He cannot be allowed to continue as defense minister.”

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General Eyre was appointed acting chief of the Defense Staff in February amid turmoil within Canadian forces over its handling of sexual misconduct cases and a growing number of commanders in chief set aside pending investigations into complaints against him.

In February, military police launched an investigation into former Chief of Defense Staff Jonathan Vance over allegations of sexual misconduct. The investigation ended with no charges related to the allegations. However, Mr Vance was charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the misconduct investigation.

Admiral Art McDonald, who had replaced Mr Vance as chief of the Defense Staff, withdrew when the military began investigating a charge against him. In August, Military Police said its investigation did not reveal evidence to support charging Adam McDonald under the Service Discipline Code or the Canadian Criminal Code. He is on administrative leave pending a separate government inquiry, and is campaigning to get his job back.

In August, Major-General Danny Fortin was formally charged with sexual assault. He was sacked in May from his job leading the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Canada pending an investigation and challenging his removal.

Major-General Peter Dawe was placed on leave in May after the CBC reported that he had written a positive character reference to an officer convicted of sexual assault. He was then quietly brought back and tasked with reviewing ways to eliminate sexual misconduct from the Canadian Armed Forces. He was fired last week amid public protests over that appointment.

In April, Mr Sajjan asked former Supreme Court Justice Lewis Arbor to work out a way to investigate sexual assault and misconduct in the military and how Canada’s armed forces could set up an independent reporting system. The move was widely criticized for falling short six years after another former Supreme Court justice, Marie Deschamps, recommended that an independent center of accountability for sexual harassment and harassment be established outside the force. .

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Find out what’s happening in the halls of power with the day’s top political headlines and commentary, handpicked by Granthshala editors (clients only). .

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