ETA: Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced that Admiral Art McDonald has stepped aside voluntarily as Canada's chief of defence staff (CDS), without giving any expalanation of why or when he learned of the alleged problem that triggered this, only saying that the situation is under investigation. McDonald only became CDS two months ago after the previous CDS, Gen. Jonathan Vance, resigned over an alleged sex scandal. CBC News is reporting that "the investigation concerns McDonald's interactions with a female subordinate in the Arctic in 2010 when he held the rank of captain". Sajjan should now resign as he allegedly did nothing to deal with the sex allegations that were presented to him on March 1st 2018 by Military Ombudsman Gary Walbourne, and instead allowed the Defence Department to harass Walbourne until he retired. For more details on what happened with Walbourne see posts #3 and 4.
This raises further questions about the vetting processes and transparency issues facing the Trudeau government. Many feel that there was not sufficient vetting or else an ignoring of existing warning signs in the selection of 'star' candidates for Governor General, who had a long record of verbal and emotional abuse of employees in previous posts, before she became Governor General, and in the selection of the two most recent chiefs of defence staff.
The refusal of Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to provide one iota of information, not even when he learned of the problem which would obviously not obstruct any investigation of McDonald, raises questions of transparency that have been seen in scandal after scandal after scandal involving the Trudeau government: the resignation of Judy Wilson Raybould and Gerald Butts, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Trudeau, over the SNC Lavalin scandal; the failure of the government to provide documents regarding the We charity scandal to a parliamentary committee that related to payments to Trudeau family members and other issues; the lack of details provided about the resignation of CDS Jonathan Vance; the settlement of a lawsuit by Vice Admiral Mark Norman, who was accused by the government of leaking government documents over which company would get a shipbuilding contract, in order to avoid having information about why this happened become public; etc.
Last night, Harjit Sajjan disclosed that Admiral Art McDonald has voluntarily stepped aside as Canada's chief of defence staff. It came as the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service conducts a probe into his actions. Sajjan's statement did not reveal the nature of any allegation against McDonald.
CBC News, however, reported this morning that the investigation concerns McDonald's interactions with a female subordinate in the Arctic in 2010 when he held the rank of captain. ...
McDonald was sworn into his position in mid-January following the resignation of his predecessor, Gen. Jonathan Vance. Global News has reported that Vance is being investigated by military police in connection with allegations of inappropriate behaviour by two female members of the Canadian Armed Forces. One of them, Maj. Kellie Brennan, went public with her claim of a long-term sexual relationship with Vance during an interview with The West Block host Mercedes Stephenson. Vance has denied the allegations against him. ...
The controversy has raised questions when Sajjan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first heard allegations against Vance—and if so, what did they do in response. According to Global News, Sajjan said he always forwards allegations to "appropriate authorities".
As chief of the defence staff, Vance vigorously promoted "Operation HONOUR", which encourages victims of sexual misconduct to file reports and obtain health care and counselling services.