Anand names external monitor to oversee military’s efforts to address sexual misconduct


Defence Minister Anita Anand has appointed an external monitor to oversee efforts to address sexual misconduct and harassment on the Department of National Defence.

Jocelyne Therrien will oversee implementation of the 48 suggestions in former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour’s Independent External Comprehensive Review (IECR) of harassment and sexual misconduct within the army.

“This is a important time for certainly one of Canada’s key establishments. I’m honoured to function the external monitor and can fulfil these duties brazenly and accountably,” Therrien mentioned in a media assertion.

Therrien previously labored with the Auditor General of Canada’s workplace, the place she led audits of packages run by the federal authorities. She additionally has expertise with investigating allegations of office harassment within the RCMP. 

Therrien’s governor in council appointment is for an preliminary time period of 1 yr. During that point, she’s anticipated to make common reviews on DND’s efforts to change the best way the army approaches sexual misconduct.

The army has been reeling in response to a sequence of sexual misconduct investigations. Since early February 2021, 13 present and former senior Canadian army leaders have been sidelined, investigated or pressured into retirement from a number of the strongest and prestigious posts within the defence institution.

Some senior army leaders are dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct and are beneath army police investigation. Two folks have been charged criminally in connection to the claims. Others have been positioned on go away over their very own dealing with of sexual misconduct recordsdata.

The external evaluation

Arbour kicked off an external evaluation of sexual harassment and misconduct within the Canadian army in April 2021, and delivered her report to the federal authorities earlier this yr. 

Among its 48 suggestions is a name for the appointment of an external monitor to oversee the implementation of the opposite suggestions.

“This appointment delivers on suggestion 48 of the report and can assist be certain that significant tradition change throughout the DND/CAF continues to happen,” Anand mentioned in a media assertion. 

Military sexual trauma complainants have been demanding for many years that civilians take over sexual misconduct instances. They argue that the Canadian Armed Forces has failed to correctly help victims and to totally examine and prosecute instances.

In certainly one of her first acts within the ministry, Defence Minister Anand — performing on an interim suggestion from Arbour final yr — moved to quickly hand over in-progress investigations of sexual misconduct claims to civilian police forces. Complainants retained the precise to have their instances dealt with by the army system.

The army was granted jurisdiction over its personal sexual assault instances in 1988.


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