Canada’s Defense Minister Denies Speaking The Truth About The Allegations Of Inappropriate Behavior



Image Credit – Global News


Canadian defense minister Harjit Sajjan refused to say that whether or not he told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or his cabinet of allegations of the inappropriate behavior leveled at the former chief of defense staff Gen. Jonathan Vance after he was alerted to the military chief’s alleged behavior in 2018.

During an interview with The West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson, Sajjan stated that he was unable to discuss what was being said between him and an ombudsman in 2018 for confidentiality reasons, and added that he didn’t want to undermine the trust of the women who had already come forward with allegations.

When being asked that whether or not he told the prime minister or the members of the federal cabinet then Sajjan said that he can assure all that anything that was being forwarded was immediately passed on to the appropriate authorities.

Allegations were revealed stating that Vance had engaged in inappropriate behavior with two female subordinates, of which one alleged that she was the one in a relationship with him while he significantly outranked her.

A senior government official confirmed on Friday that the prime minister did not know about the allegations until it was first made public on Tuesday. However, Trudeau did not say whether or not he considers it as a failure that he wasn’t informed of the allegations after Sajjan’s office passed on the concerns to the Privy Council Office.

When Trudeau was being questioned by a reporter at a press conference at Rideau Cottage that does he consider it as a failure when he was not being informed of these allegations given that they involved someone so senior, Trudeau replied with a positive answer. He said that they all take all of these allegations or ay allegations around misconduct or harassment extremely seriously, which is why they strengthened the processes in place in government, and every step of the way, to follow the processes to the letter.

The former military chief has however denied all the allegations of any such behavior against him and said that the relationship with the female subordinate was never sexual, and described himself as a supporter and a friend to her.

The other subordinate claimed that Vance had sent a 2012 email in which he appeared to suggest that the two go on a clothing-optional vacation.

Vance had offered to apologize and claimed that it was a joke and not a solicitation if he had ever sent it.

In an interview, Sajjan said that the federal government has launched a separate, independent investigation that shall seek to find out who was complicit throughout any of these allegations. He added that he can only imagine the shock and the confidence that has been broken with all the women who are serving in the armed forces.

Lastly, he concluded that it all sounds like buzzwords and assures that they are going to be doubling down and make changes to get to the bottom of this.


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