Not ANOTHER review
The recent announcement by the Minister of National Defence (MND) to launch a new review on sexual misconduct problems in the CAF did not explain things well.
It is most unfortunate that the MND announcement left us with the impression that this is another study to study previous studies!
Of course we do not need another review to re-examine the review already done by Marie Deschamps, which culminated in 10 recommendations in her thorough report that was released in 2015.
External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces.
My interpretation of what the MND should have said, is that Mme Arbour is to determine, among other things, what the independent organization should look like, rather than doing another review. So, Mme Arbour should recommend to the government the details of how to implement the recommendations already made by Deschamps regarding an independent review organization.
It is one thing to recommend an independent review, and quite another to determine the details of what that mechanism should be.
As for the announcement by Acting Chief of the Defence Staff, LGen Wayne Eyre, and Deputy Minister Jody Thomas – to establish the position of the Chief of Professional Conduct and Culture, headed by LGen Jennie Carignan – this is an excellent initiative that will strengthen what has already been started under MGen Andrew Atherton.
In my view, this new position will entrench persistent efforts of end-to-end cultural change, provided that LGen Carignan will have the mandate and the resources to streamline the components of DND/CAF that have individual responsibility for sexual misconduct allegations and systemic allegations, so as to simplify and optimize the resources available to complainants/victims of harmful and unwanted allegations of sexual misconduct.
Tony Battista served 40 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, retiring at the rank of Colonel in 2014. His varied career included serving as senior Military Police Officer at NDHQ and as Air Force Provost Marshal.
DND Statement (DND/CAF, 29 April 2021)
Directive for Professional Conduct and Culture (CDS/DM, 30 April 2021)
Deschamps Report (2015)
Desperate Liberals hire judge to shield Trudeau from Vance sexual misconduct allegations (Matt Gurney, 29 April 2021)
Investigative Independence (Tony Battista, 7 April 2021)
Ethics through the Lens of Military Reform (Tony Battista, 1 March 2021)
Le #MeToo militaire qui hante Justin Trudeau