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Canada’s defence minister apologises for sexual misconduct in armed forces: What you need to know

Picture courtesy: Hindustan Times

Canada Defence minister Anita Anand, who was appointed to the post in October replacing Harjit Sajjan, rendered an official apology on Monday to those impacted by the institutional sexual misconduct crisis that has hit Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) this year.

“I apologise on behalf of the Government of Canada, and on behalf of those elected officials who throughout the history of the Canadian Armed Forces had the responsibility to protect you and who failed to do so,” she said.

The country’s chief of defence staff (CDS), General Wayne Eyre also issued an apology.

Sajjan faced severe criticism on this issue and had even been censured in the House of Commons before mounting pressure led to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau moving him to a different portfolio when the new Cabinet was announced in October, following the mid-term elections in September.

The crisis came to light in February this year, as the outlet Global News reported that General Jonathan Vance, who had been replaced as CDS just a month prior, was facing charges of sexual misconduct. Vance’s successor Admiral Art McDonald stepped aside from the post before the end of February as he faced allegations of impropriety.

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