Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday hit out at military commanders, declaring they “don’t get it” after a 48-hour tornado involving a senior officer who provided a reference to a convicted sex offender Was.
Speaking at a news conference where he was announcing mandatory vaccine rules for federal public servants as well as train and plane passengers, Trudeau said he was “shocked and disappointed” by recent revelations about Major-Gen. Were. Peter Dave.
“It’s clear that despite the work we’ve done, the military still hasn’t got what the survivor needs to be at the center … all with regards to sexual misconduct and harassment.” Some military,” the prime minister said.
“And that shows they still don’t get it.”
Still, despite repeated calls by survivors and experts for greater monitoring and accountability of the military, Trudeau stuck to his decision by a retired Supreme Court judge to review military sexual misconduct and find ways to fix it. are.
“We have a lot of work to do, we know that,” he said. “That’s why we brought in people like Justice Louise Arbor to see how we completely change the culture of the military and the way our Canadian Armed Forces operate.”
Dave was fired as commander of the Canadian Special Forces in April after he provided a character reference four years earlier during the sentencing of a soldier who was convicted of sexually assaulting the wife of a comrade .
The then acting chief of defense, General Wayne Eyre, said Dau’s actions had caused “division and pain” and that he would take his time deciding the senior officer’s next posting.
While the Department of National Defense said as recently as July that the claim was in limbo, and that it would announce any decisions on his future, the Ottawa citizen revealed this week that he had been quietly assigned a new job. .
That new position included serving with the Army’s second command, the deputy chief of defense staff, lieutenant-general. Frances Allen, in coordinating the various efforts currently underway to change military culture, including sexual misconduct.
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After an outcry from survivors and experts over military sexual misconduct, and despite standing by Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan’s appointment, Allen announced in a statement late Tuesday that the claim was being removed from his new position.
“After an honest discussion with members of the Survivor community, I have decided that for now, Major-Gen. Dawes will do the important job of engaging with that community to better understand what other members have done. for how it can contribute to meaningful culture change,” she said.
Allen also apologized for the lack of transparency around the placement of the claim, but underlined the need for both accountability and allowance for people to learn from their mistakes and grow.
“Major-Gen. Claim’s willingness then and now to engage with stakeholders and affected individuals, to continue our individual and our institutional growth, is, I believe, an act of accountability and a commitment to change,” she said. said.
The sudden appearance of top commanders, along with the prime minister’s stern words, represent the latest chapter in a month long on sexual misconduct in the Canadian military.
The Liberal government has been accused of not doing enough to address sexual misconduct in the ranks, with much of the criticism centered around its handling of the charge against then-Defense Chief Jonathan Vance.
Global News first reported the existence of the allegation in February, and the fact that it was first flagged to Sajjan three years ago has seen the actions of other senior officials – as well as the government – under the microscope. comes under.
The government tapped Arbor in April to review the issue for the next year or so and provide recommendations on how to fix it, while the military created a new section devoted specifically to the issue of culture change.
However, survivors and experts have criticized the launch of another review and instead called on the government to act on recommendations already made by two other retired Supreme Court justices, Mary Deschamps and Morris Fish, including Including creating an external oversight body on the military.
Many called for Sajjan to be replaced as defense minister, saying he had lost all credibility on file.
Trudeau, who is yet to reveal his new cabinet, declined to say on Wednesday whether the gentleman would return to his post for the past six years.
“The reflection that goes into every single job in the cabinet is: Who is the right person to serve the Canadian people?” he said. “And I can assure you that every single role in the cabinet is being seriously considered.”