New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The date for the military’s official apology for sexual misconduct has been set for Dec. 13

Key takeaways:

  • Survivors and victims of sexual assault in the Canadian Forces will finally get the apology they’ve been waiting for for more than two years.

In a virtual event on Dec. 13, survivors and victims of sexual assault in the Canadian Forces will receive the apology promised to them more than two years ago.

On behalf of the federal government, Defence Minister Anita Anand will apologize. In contrast, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre will apologize on behalf of the military, and Deputy Minister Jody Thomas will apologize on behalf of the Department of National Defence.

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“We recognize that our collective inability to create an inclusive working atmosphere free of these abhorrent behaviors has harmed our colleagues,” the three declared in a joint press release issued Monday evening.

“As part of our efforts to repair relationships with individuals who have been damaged, we will issue a public apology to all current and past members of the defense team who have been affected by sexual assault and sexual misconduct, including harassment and discrimination,” the statement reads.

Last week, Anand’s office confirmed that the apology would be delivered before the end of the year, but she did not say whether she would participate and issue one on behalf of the government.

Military sexual misconduct apology date officially set for Dec. 13

Some have urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to be among those apologizing, citing the government’s failure to adopt major recommendations from the 2015 Deschamps report.

That groundbreaking research detailed the scope of the long-standing problem of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Forces, calling the problem “endemic” and the military’s culture “toxic.”

In 2019, the government agreed to a $900 million settlement with survivors and victims of military sexual assault in a class-action lawsuit. Over 18,000 survivors and victims have come forward to file claims so far.

Experts say the Canadian military is in the midst of an existential “crisis” due to sexual misbehavior among its ranks. This decades-old issue has resurfaced in the wake of the exclusive, ongoing investigation by Global News on allegations against senior officers.

Source: Global News

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