'A start': Canada's top soldier on progress combatting sexual misconduct

Canada's top soldier says the military is making progress in addressing sexual misconduct within its ranks.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen.

See Full Article

Jonathan Vance released the first progress report Monday, on the Canadian Armed Forces’ efforts to address “inappropriate sexual behaviour” after a former Supreme Court judge concluded last year that sexual misconduct was “endemic” in the military.

Vance said the military has adopted, or is working on, a number of recommendations outlined in Marie Deschamps’ damning report.

Since Deschamps’ report was released in March, 2015, the military has opened a sexual misconduct response centre, where members and others can file complaints. The centre operates “outside of the military chain of command,” but provides the armed forces with the information needed to implement new policies, according to the progress report.

The military is also planning to survey its personnel to better understand the scope of the problem, Vance said.

“This will take time, but we are determined,” he said. “The consequences of not succeeding are simply too dire.”

When Vance took command last summer, he vowed to change the military culture and end “harmful behaviour.”

“Last July, I lamented the fact that there were, within our ranks, members who bullied, degraded and even assaulted fellow brothers and sisters in arms, preying on those perceived as different or vulnerable,” he said Monday.

He said that type of behaviour cannot persist and called the first progress report “a start.”

“We have begun to alter some of the behaviours contributing to the problem through increased awareness, stronger understanding and enhanced diligence,” Vance said.

The progress report released Monday shows that 204 individuals, including 156 members of the Canadian Armed Forces, contacted the sexual misconduct response centre between Sept. 15, 2015 and the end of December. Of those, 53 reported an alleged sexual offence and 32 contacted the centre about sexual harassment.

The report says that 23 calls to the response centre were referred to a military police liaison officer, and six investigations have been opened as a result.

NDP defence critic Randall Garrison said Monday that the progress report is encouraging, but the military needs to focus on hiring more women.

Only about 15 per cent of military members are women, Garrison said. He blamed the previous Conservative government for reducing recruiting efforts across the country.

“We’re looking for a commitment from this new government.” Garrison told reporters.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trudeau, premiers meet in Ottawa to craft climate deal

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers will gather in Ottawa today to try and reach a national climate agreement, a document Ottawa hopes will help the country meet its greenhouse gas emission targets. The agreement will include a reference to pricing carbon, but will also stress flexibility to allow provincial and territorial governments to limit the impact carbon pricing will have on their economies. Source
  • Russia threatens retaliation over latest round of Canadian sanctions

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada has quietly imposed additional sanctions on Russian nationals over the annexation of Crimea and Moscow's ongoing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. The new measures, including asset-freezing and a prohibition on business dealings, were passed by the Liberal cabinet on Nov. Source
  • Collecting Starbucks or WestJet rewards? They may never expire thanks to Ontario bill

    Canada News CBC News
    Ontario's new law banning loyalty programs from slapping an expiry date on points will benefit many consumers, not just Air Miles collectors. Starbucks has already said its rewards program will no longer have an expiry policy in Ontario, and other loyalty programs offered by airlines like WestJet and Lufthansa, as well as clothing store Talbots, will also apparently have to end their expiry rules. Source
  • A truly feminist government would consider the plight of Indigenous men: Robyn Urback

    Canada News CBC News
    The government of so-called evidence-based decision making is ignoring a glut of evidence that would, in a non-image-obsessed scenario, compel it to expand its inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) to include missing and murdered Indigenous men. Source
  • Americans getting better deal than Canadians on rebate for Samsung washers

    Canada News CBC News
    Samsung, the giant South Korean conglomerate, is having one of those years. Most people have heard about its premium Note7 mobile phones catching on fire. But that's not the end of it. Samsung is also dealing with washers that can come apart, and is now facing questions about why Canadian customers are being offered different terms than Americans on rebates for those recalled washers. Source
  • Donald Trump's choice of generals for top posts 'extremely unusual'

    World News CBC News
    Hup, two, three … heck, maybe even four. The procession of former military officers nominated for top jobs in Donald Trump's administration is raising concerns over whether the appointments could defy an American constitutional tenet: civilian oversight of government. Source
  • Victims of Colombia's 50-year war work to start over with some help from Canada

    World News CBC News
    (Chris Corday/CBC) On the production line at the Fruandes fruit processing plant in southern Bogota, the sound of pineapples being stripped and cored on metal tables is so loud you need earplugs to visit. Source
  • Aleppo still getting shelled despite Russian claims to the contrary

    World News CBC News
    Syrian troops and allied forces shelled eastern Aleppo on Friday despite Russia's announcement that the Syrian army was suspending combat operations to allow for the evacuation of civilians from besieged rebel-held districts. Civilians continued to stream out of the ever-shrinking enclave, residents and opposition groups said, but efforts to evacuate hundreds of wounded people faltered despite pleas from medical officials earlier this week. Source
  • Syrian troops continue shelling rebel districts in Aleppo despite announcement

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT - Syrian troops and allied forces shelled eastern Aleppo on Friday despite Russia's announcement that the Syrian army was suspending combat operations to allow for the evacuation of civilians from besieged rebel-held districts. Civilians continued to stream out of the ever-shrinking enclave, residents and opposition groups said, but efforts to evacuate hundreds of wounded people faltered despite pleas from medical officials earlier this week. Source
  • Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong's top executive, won't serve another term

    World News CBC News
    Hong Kong's divisive Beijing-backed leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, said Friday he won't run again for the job after his current term ends next year, citing unspecified family reasons. In a surprise announcement, Leung, who was chosen by a panel of Beijing-friendly tycoons and other Hong Kong elites, said he would step aside after his five-year term ends next June. Source