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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

Haggis

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While I am equally cynical as you, Haggis, or perhaps even more, we do need to at least have some element of plural, non-partisan oversight. We've seen with "Government" trying to obfuscate and hide the details of firing the two Chinese nationals/Canadian Permanent Residents from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg a year and a bit ago, including to the degree of the Government attempting to sue Parliament to keep the facts hidden from the public, that the oversight must be at least as transparent as possible...
This "open and transparent" government also invoked S 39 of the Canada Evidence Act to prevent a Federal Court Judge from seeing the evidence it used to justify a billion dollar plus gun confiscation.

This PM also gave implied direction to the PPSC and the RCMP in the Norman fiasco.

And, this government had six years to act on the Deschamps report.

As long as this government holds a de-facto majority in Parliament (which they do right now with the continued backing of the NDP and Bloc), any report they don't like will get shelved with a promise to "do better".
 

McG

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I still think an independent investigative function that reports directly to Parliament figures somewhere in the solution.
If only a retired supreme court judge had recommended that we needed an external review process. We might have already been half-way (or more) to what you are suggesting.
 

Good2Golf

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If only a retired supreme court judge had recommended that we needed an external review process. We might have already been half-way (or more) to what you are suggesting.
Yeah, that would have been really, really, really helpful. Alas, what’s a Government to do…sing, and dance perhaps? That should work…
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Fishbone Jones

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So I was having a conversation with a few old buddies and this subject reared its head, regarding Vance. The gist got around to his decorations. Particularly, his Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Meritorious Service Cross and his CD. The question was, given his position as the top soldier, if found guilty, should these decorations be forfeit and removed from him? I'm unaware of the process and requirements, but I would say yes to at least the first two.
 

KevinB

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So I was having a conversation with a few old buddies and this subject reared its head, regarding Vance. The gist got around to his decorations. Particularly, his Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Meritorious Service Cross and his CD. The question was, given his position as the top soldier, if found guilty, should these decorations be forfeit and removed from him?
In a just world yes.
So he's probably on the next Order of Canada list...
 

FJAG

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"Culture eats strategy for breakfast" is an old adage. "Culture eats policy for breakfast" ought to be one too.

We're a society that generally believes in giving wrongdoers a chance to better themselves notwithstanding the high levels of recidivism that exists. In my days we always held up as paragons those of our best Snr NCOs who had spent time in detention barracks as young gunners. We still like to give folks the benefit of the doubt or a second chance.

The problem isn't that we don't take disciplinary or administrative action when warranted. We do. But in many cases we're not sure if its warranted when faced with a situation where one doesn't know what to believe and the consequences can be career or life shattering for someone.

Believe it or not, the culture in the Canadian military has changed for the better tremendously over the last half century. When I started out we were white as the driven snow and vastly heterosexual males with a very few females in administrative roles here and there and a few folks in deep closets. I recently compared photos of my Toronto reserve regiment from 60 years ago and one from recently and the steps that we've taken to become more inclusive are clearly there for all to see.

Cultural change never comes fast enough for some, especially for politicians out to win brownie points amongst certain constituents. While we still have a way to go, we're trying and shouldn't be beating ourselves senseless over our failings. Sexual misconduct is not a unique problem confined to the military; it permeates all corners of human society where a hierarchical structure can lead to abuse. We'll never be able to eradicate it as long as it continues to exist in general. All we can do is push policy through education/indoctrination at all levels until our culture reaches a point where a critical mass is prepared to take appropriate action whenever and wherever warranted.

Every attempt to influence a change in culture requires a sound business transformation plan which itself requires solid buy-in and a direct commitment and involvement by the leadership. Canada's military has a poor record at business transformation activities principally because leaders delegate implementation to lower levels that do not have the weight to carry them off ruthlessly and frequently are not allocated enough time or resources for success. This is a systemic failure inherent within a generally risk-averse bureaucracy such as the Canadian military. Once a delegate is appointed senior leaders tend to move on to a new item on the agenda considering the problem as solved. Culture change is not that simple.

Frankly, with the turmoil amongst the senior leadership at this time and the external pressure being exerted on them by a hypocritical political leadership I can't see a bright future for this problem. Obviously the MND should have been fired years ago. At this point I'm waiting to see how the new cabinet will look. Quite frankly I do not see the PM providing the depth of talent needed; I'm not even sure that such depth exists in his caucus.

🍻
 
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Colin Parkinson

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My reserve regiment was targeting Chinese (Cantonese speakers) to join even back in the 70's and quite few were in as NCO's and even officers when I was a plug.
 

Blackadder1916

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So, in other words . . . couldn't find enough evidence to prove what is reasonably suspected to be true.

McDonald sexual misconduct allegation was not deemed ‘unfounded,’ military confirms​


The allegation of sexual misconduct made against Adm. Art McDonald has not been deemed unfounded, according to military officials.

In response to questions from Global News, the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal offered what appears to be the most direct rebuttal yet of McDonald’s repeated public claims that he has been exonerated by virtue of no charge being laid against him.

“As stated in August 2021, the CFNIS investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct against Admiral McDonald resulted in no charges being laid based on insufficient evidence,” reads the statement.

“This does not mean that the allegation was unfounded, which is defined by Statistics Canada as ‘After a police investigation it is concluded that no violation of the law took place nor was attempted’.”

. . .
 

Happy Guy

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Ref : External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces

Madame Justice Deschamps, a former Supreme Court Judge, wrote a rather comprehensive report regarding sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in the CAF in 2015. General Vance, launched Op HONOUR, in response to this well written, but in my opinion poorly received (by many members of the CAF) report. Many male members in the CAF did not believe that sexual misconduct and sexual harassment was rampant in the CAF.

One of the key recommendations of the report :

The External Review Authority ( ERA ) heard repeatedly from participants that the only way to increase the frequency of reporting is to create a reporting mechanism outside of the chain of command. Indeed, a number of other military organizations—for example in the United States, Australia and France—have created independent offices to receive reports of sexual misconduct, as well as to provide victim support, conduct training, and track data. Most of these offices allow victims to decide whether or not they wish their complaint to trigger a formal complaint and investigation process. Regardless of which path they choose, however, victims are offered treatment and support.


While the CAF did create the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre to allow victims to report sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment incidents, this centre was not outside the chain of command. This, in my opinion, created a conflict of interest where the centre reported to a Senior Officer who in turn reported to the CDS. Our bosses, thought that the CAF would be professional enough to fairly handle sexual misconduct and sexual harassment cases, but this proved to be a mistake and the CAF community is now paying a steep price for this.

I reiterate, Sexual Misconduct Response Centre must be an independent organization outside the CAF Chain of Command. It must be given the trained manpower and resources to do its job. I sincerely hope that the MND will now firmly deal the problem.

I first became aware of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment when I was in Petawawa in the 1990s when the Canadian Airborne Regiment (CAR) was still in existence. Members of my female clerks, who were single and living in quarters, refused to walk near the CAR lines at night for fear of being attacked. Years later, one of my female Captains, who was a Sgt in Petawawa at the time, told me that she make it a rule that females were to be in groups of two/three when walking at night while on base at night. At that time it never occurred to me that females on base were in physical danger from its own people. This is a very real problem. I am sure that our leaders knew about this problems years ago but they dismissed it.

For serving members, please don't lose heart, keep the institution strong and please help protect the victims.
 

KevinB

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I first became aware of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment when I was in Petawawa in the 1990s when the Canadian Airborne Regiment (CAR) was still in existence. Members of my female clerks, who were single and living in quarters, refused to walk near the CAR lines at night for fear of being attacked. Years later, one of my female Captains, who was a Sgt in Petawawa at the time, told me that she make it a rule that females were to be in groups of two/three when walking at night while on base at night. At that time it never occurred to me that females on base were in physical danger from its own people. This is a very real problem. I am sure that our leaders knew about this problems years ago but they dismissed it. One sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment case is too many in the CAF.

One was in no greater danger from the CAR lines as the 2RCHA/2CER barracks for that, or in my experience any other CF Cbt Arms barracks across the country at that point in time.
*although the likelihood to be hit by a falling canoe with a drunk in it trying to 'surf' out a window was a more likely event than anywhere else
**admittedly I stayed away from the 1CDO barracks as by a whole, as did most of the English speakers - they took things to a different level a lot...

Nice looking females where much more likely to be invited in for beer etc - and after certain hours - any females would be invited in...

Now - I will agree there was harassment (and again that goes for all barracks across the country at that time) - I don't think anyone at the time believed it was harassment - so in that manner, we have all grown by leaps and bounds. I also would think its a good policy to go in groups of 2+ anywhere in the dark, however CF bases IMHE were much better than most civilian areas.
 

Happy Guy

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One was in no greater danger from the CAR lines as the 2RCHA/2CER barracks for that, or in my experience any other CF Cbt Arms barracks across the country at that point in time.
*although the likelihood to be hit by a falling canoe with a drunk in it trying to 'surf' out a window was a more likely event than anywhere else
**admittedly I stayed away from the 1CDO barracks as by a whole, as did most of the English speakers - they took things to a different level a lot...

Nice looking females where much more likely to be invited in for beer etc - and after certain hours - any females would be invited in...

Now - I will agree there was harassment (and again that goes for all barracks across the country at that time) - I don't think anyone at the time believed it was harassment - so in that manner, we have all grown by leaps and bounds. I also would think its a good policy to go in groups of 2+ anywhere in the dark, however CF bases IMHE were much better than most civilian areas.
The females that I talked felt endangered by walking near the CAR lines at night. This was collaborated years later by two different women. You, as a male, would not perceive it as dangerous but the women did feel fear, it was very real to them and that's what counts. I don't know if women were attacked on Base, but it wouldn't surprise me if the attacks were not reported.

I had friends who were in the CAR (2,3 and Svc Cdo, you're right about 1 Cdo) at the time. One of them had his jeep stolen and set on fire on the parade square when he, as the Duty Officer, shut down the Kyrenia Mess. Perhaps it was these incidents that gave the CAR its unsavoury reputation and made women fear them.

Please note I had a posting message to the CAR, before Somalia, but it was changed when the person I was to replace, stayed on for another year. I would have been proud to have been posted to the CAR - there is something about the Maroon Beret and white wings.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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One was in no greater danger from the CAR lines as the 2RCHA/2CER barracks for that, or in my experience any other CF Cbt Arms barracks across the country at that point in time.
*although the likelihood to be hit by a falling canoe with a drunk in it trying to 'surf' out a window was a more likely event than anywhere else
**admittedly I stayed away from the 1CDO barracks as by a whole, as did most of the English speakers - they took things to a different level a lot...

Nice looking females where much more likely to be invited in for beer etc - and after certain hours - any females would be invited in...

Now - I will agree there was harassment (and again that goes for all barracks across the country at that time) - I don't think anyone at the time believed it was harassment - so in that manner, we have all grown by leaps and bounds. I also would think its a good policy to go in groups of 2+ anywhere in the dark, however CF bases IMHE were much better than most civilian areas.

Well in the late 70's/ early 80's women came far and wide to come drink in the Grenade Club,.....couldn't have been that scary at that time.
 

CountDC

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in the not too distant past by my reckoning Halifax JRs had a woman's night every week that did very well. The local female population seemed to enjoy it.
 

KevinB

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Well in the late 70's/ early 80's women came far and wide to come drink in the Grenade Club,.....couldn't have been that scary at that time.
Let's be honest some of the women that came to drink there where downright scary...


The females that I talked felt endangered by walking near the CAR lines at night. This was collaborated years later by two different women. You, as a male, would not perceive it as dangerous but the women did feel fear, it was very real to them and that's what counts.
Good point - I often forget the lens one looks at things through is colored by experience - and in this case I can't put myself in their shoes do to the sex difference.
I don't know if women were attacked on Base, but it wouldn't surprise me if the attacks were not reported.
For the most part I would say someone violently attacking a woman around there was more likely to beaten within an inch of their life.
I may have been aware of some actions taken towards people who hit GF's or Wife's - and it didn't fair well for the attacker.
I knew a WO who was a big fan of solving things at the lowest level...

I had friends who were in the CAR (2,3 and Svc Cdo, you're right about 1 Cdo) at the time. One of them had his jeep stolen and set on fire on the parade square when he, as the Duty Officer, shut down the Kyrenia Mess. Perhaps it was these incidents that gave the CAR its unsavoury reputation and made women fear them.
There have been a number of discipline issues in the CF, and a lot of Regimental politics that hid a great deal of things that shouldn't have been hidden.

Please note I had a posting message to the CAR, before Somalia, but it was changed when the person I was to replace, stayed on for another year. I would have been proud to have been posted to the CAR - there is something about the Maroon Beret and white wings.
 

Happy Guy

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Well in the late 70's/ early 80's women came far and wide to come drink in the Grenade Club,.....couldn't have been that scary at that time.
When I was a really young Sapper, the Grenade Club was the place to go. I sort of remember being thrown over the tables because of some careless remark about Gunners and their poor aiming habits - it was over 35 years ago and I used to drink quite a bit back then. Ahh, ... to be young, single and fit again.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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I hardly drank, I went there for the women, now I drink more and women less......sigh....
 
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