Monday, November 29, 2021
ADVT 
National

Freeze promotions for top brass: Committee

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 17 Jun, 2021 10:13 AM
  • Freeze promotions for top brass: Committee

A parliamentary committee has called for a freeze on all promotions and salary increases for the military’s top brass until they can be screened for past incidents of inappropriate behaviour.

The request is one of several from the House of Commons committee on the status of women, which recently finished a months-long study of military sexual misconduct sparked by allegations against several senior commanders.

“Just as a security screening is needed to receive various security clearances, this type of investigation would screen out candidates who would be inappropriate to lead the Canadian Armed Forces,” the committee wrote in its final report, released Thursday.

“Subordinate personnel must have exemplary leaders, otherwise any efforts to stamp out sexual misconduct and harassment will be doomed to failure.”

Committee members also called for an independent office that would investigate and report on the military, and to have the RCMP investigate sexual misconduct allegations where there are concerns about possible interference from the chain of command.

The committee was one of two panels looking into military misconduct, with the defence committee probing the government’s handling of allegations involving former defence chief Jonathan Vance and his successor, Admiral Art McDonald.

Vance, who stepped down as chief of the defence staff in January and retired in April, has denied any wrongdoing. McDonald, who temporarily stepped aside as defence chief after a month in the job, has not commented.

The defence committee is in danger of rising for the summer without producing a final report due to months of bickering between opposition and Liberal members, the latter of which have been filibustering for weeks.

In contrast, the status of women committee’s 21 recommendations appear to have been largely endorsed by all parties, with the NDP attaching a supplementary opinion that adds six more.

“The committee was informed by expert witnesses, including by survivors, that the working environment in the CAF is hierarchical, male-dominated, based on patriarchal gender norms and highly sexualized,” the report reads.

“These factors create a toxic work environment where incidents of sexual misconduct can occur and go unchecked. Changing the culture in the CAF and creating a safe, inclusive, and respectful working environment is urgent.”

Several of the recommendations, including the call for an inspector general’s office with independent oversight and investigation powers concerning the military, had been urgently requested by experts and victims for months.

The call for a freeze on promotions and salary increases for senior officers, meanwhile, had been pressed by the Conservatives.

The committee’s report coincides with an independent review that has been launched by former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour, who will spend the next year drawing up recommendations toward the same goal: ending military sexual misconduct.

It also came as the Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said Thursday his party will force the House of Commons to vote on a motion targeting Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.

Sajjan has been under heavy criticism since former military ombudsman Gary Walbourne revealed that he first flagged an allegation of sexual misconduct involving then-defence chief Jonathan Vance to the minister in March 2018.

While Sajjan and the Liberal government say he followed all proper procedures, O'Toole said during a news conference that the minister has consistently failed victims of sexual misconduct in the military.

The Conservative leader also alleged Sajjan misled Canadians about his military service and the need to buy second-hand fighter jets from Australia, and oversaw the failed prosecution of retired vice-admiral Mark Norman.

O'Toole said that is why his party will use its last opposition day before Parliament rises for the summer to force members of Parliament to vote on a motion expressing their disappointment in the minister.

“Today, Parliament will censure this minister and condemn his failed and corrupt leadership,” O’Toole said.

The Conservative motion is symbolic, and O'Toole says it will ultimately be up to voters in Sajjan's Vancouver riding to decide whether he should continue to serve in Parliament.

 

MORE National ARTICLES

Green leader asks party execs, PM for 'space'

Green leader asks party execs, PM for 'space'

Green Leader Annamie Paul is asking party brass and the prime minister to give her "the space to unify" the party ahead of a general meeting that could serve as a referendum on her leadership.

Green leader asks party execs, PM for 'space'

BC unveils back to school plan for fall, says students K-12 will not be in cohorts

BC unveils back to school plan for fall, says students K-12 will not be in cohorts

Whiteside - “We can plan for a much more typical school year in the fall.” $18 million is going to learning impacts. No guidance on mask wearing in schools for September. Daily health checks will continue.

BC unveils back to school plan for fall, says students K-12 will not be in cohorts

How B.C. could manage COVID-19 in the future

How B.C. could manage COVID-19 in the future

Dr. Réka Gustafson said it's hard to speculate on the longevity of COVID-19 but public health officials are preparing for a shift to more typical communicable disease management based on the characteristics and behaviour of the virus.

How B.C. could manage COVID-19 in the future

Possible military shell found in North Vancouver

Possible military shell found in North Vancouver

RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries says they were called Wednesday when the purchaser realized they may be the new owner of a "historical ordnance."

Possible military shell found in North Vancouver

113 COVID19 cases for Wednesday

113 COVID19 cases for Wednesday

76.3% of all adults in B.C. and 74.6% of those 12 and older have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In total, 4,165,142 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 710,847 of which are second doses.

113 COVID19 cases for Wednesday

Couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules

Couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules

A husband and wife who flew to a remote Yukon community to receive early doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in January have pleaded guilty in a territorial court.

 

 

Couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules

PrevNext