Oakville MP to apologize to soldiers who’ve been victims of sexual abuse
Published November 29, 2021 at 6:12 pm
Oakville MP Anita Anand in her position of Minister of Defence will be issuing an apology to anyone in the Canadian military who’s been affected by sexual abuse.
On December 13, she will be joined by General Wayne Eyre and Deputy Minister of Defence Jody Thomas to speak frankly about the ongoing sexual misconduct crisis within the Canada military.
With ranks dwindling, Eyre told one media outlet the military is facing a shortage of 7,500 troops due to both the pandemic and the ongoing sexual misconduct crisis that’s infiltrated the ranks.
Within the last few years, stories have been coming out about the systemic culture of abuse within the Canadian military ranks. At this point, the number of women coming forward have far outweighed men, but now more men telling their own tales of sexual harassment. But it’s likely the issue goes back decades.
Anand, for her part, is showing that she’s serious about cleaning up the situation when she announced earlier this month that she’s transferring the investigation and prosecution of sexual misconduct cases within the Canadian Forces into the civilian justice system.
The trio released a joint statement today that said, “There must be absolutely no place in our organization for sexual assault, sexual harassment or discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. We know that our collective failure to build an inclusive workplace culture free from these unacceptable behaviours has hurt our people.
“As part of our efforts to restore relationships with those harmed, we will offer a public apology to all current and former members of the Defence Team who have been affected by sexual assault and sexual misconduct, including harassment, and discrimination.”
Ananda will be offering an apology on behalf of the Canadian government, Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, will offer an apology on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces and Thomas will offer an apology on behalf of the Department of National Defence.
The apology will take place virtually at 1 p.m. EST on December 13 and will be livestreamed on the Canadian Armed Force Facebook page. A link to the video will be posted shortly before the event on the CAF and DND Facebook and Twitter pages. The event will also be recorded and available afterwards on YouTube for those who are unable to watch it live or prefer to view it at a later time.
“All Defence Team members should be treated fairly in a workplace that is safe and free of any kind of harassment and discrimination,” said the trio. “We know there is much more work to do to create lasting and positive culture change, and we will continue to listen to and learn from those affected to ensure we are taking the necessary action to make that change.”
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