The hotly-anticipated final report from former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour into how best to fix the military sexual misconduct crisis is expected to land with Defence Minister Anita Anand on Friday.
It comes as the Canadian Forces remains under heavy scrutiny for what experts have repeatedly described as endemic abuses of power, sexism, racism and sexual misconduct within its ranks.
The Arbour report, in particular, will focus on recommendations for how best to implement an independent reporting system for allegations of military sexual misconduct.
Once delivered to Anand, the report must be made public within 10 days, though officials have not yet said when they plan to release it.
A timeline of the Canadian Forces sexual misconduct crisis
Arbour was brought on to lead an external review by the Liberal government back in April 2021 following exclusive reporting by Global News into allegations of sexual misconduct against senior military leaders, including retired Gen. Jonathan Vance, the former top soldier.
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Vance has since pleaded guilty to one count of criminal obstruction of justice for his conduct during the resulting military police investigation, launched just two days after the original report on Feb. 2, 2021.
He received a conditional discharge.
Gen. Jonathan Vance pleads guilty to obstruction of justice, gets conditional discharge
His successor, Adm. Art McDonald, went on leave just weeks after taking over the role after a female subordinate alleged sexual misconduct against him.
Military police did not lay charges in that investigation, citing a lack of evidence. The Canadian Forces Provost Marshall later said that did not mean the allegation had been deemed unfounded.
In the 16 months since the first Global News report, both military and political leaders have been engulfed in what’s been called an existential crisis for the Canadian Forces. Former defence minister Harjit Sajjan faced months of calls for his removal over accusations of mishandling the matter, before being removed and shuffled to another portfolio in October 2021.
Anand has said fixing the culture of the Canadian Forces is her top priority.
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