January 29, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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The military should no longer investigate cases of sexual harassment

Ottawa | Former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arber says the military should allow civil justice to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct and shift “from bottom to top” to regain public confidence.

In a statement released Monday, Justice Arber described the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as a backward, introspective agency that urgently needs to look outside to renew itself. The first is the justice system.

The magistrate recommends that criminal code offenses of a sexual nature against the military fall under the “exclusive jurisdiction of the civil authorities.” “Cases of sexual harassment should be handled by the Canadian Human Rights Commission,” he said.

Defense Minister Anita Anand fully endorsed the report, pointing out that the transfer of sexual abuse cases to the civil judiciary was already underway. He said exchanges had also taken place between his office and the Quebec Police Service to ensure the transition of cases arising in the province.

  • Listen to Carl Marchand’s passage on Genevieve Peterson’s microphone on QUB Radio:

Victims are better protected

Colonel Michael Troupe, a retired soldier, is now a lawyer, and this is good news for victims, who, like other Canadian citizens, can call 911 and have their rights protected by the Bill.

“Victims will receive assurances that the police are independent of the military command chain, which will bring a measure of confidence,” he said, adding that he was less afraid of retaliation for what he had complained about.

However, out of the 49 recommendations in the Arbor Report, Mr. Tropio is skeptical that in his view they are not strong enough.

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The military, he warns, is “an ace in the art of avoiding recommendations and dragging its feet.” So he fears he will find a way back to what he recommended in the 2015 Teschamps report.

National Security

But according to Chief of Staff Wayne Ire, forces cannot ignore the Arbor report because fewer employees, including sexual abuse, threaten national security.

“Our country is facing increasing threats in all sectors. We owe it to our country to be a better company because our country needs more and more of us, ”he said.

Of the 49 recommendations, 17 have already been implemented or will be implemented immediately, Minister Anand said. Others are being studied.

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