Ottawa — Two House of Commons committees continue to investigate the Liberal government’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct against senior officers. The main players involved in the scandal are:
General Jonathan Vance: Former Defense President who resigned on January 14th. Major Kelly Brennan, a subordinate at the center of allegations of sexual misconduct, told Parliamentary Commission Thursday that Vance had her and two children, but took them. There is no responsibility to them during the alleged relationship that began in 2001 and continued after Vance became Commander-in-Chief in 2015. Global News also reports that a 35-year-old retired veteran sent a lewd email to a much younger soldier in 2012. Vance has not responded to requests for comment from the Canadian press, but Global has reported that he has denied cheating.
Admiral Art McDonald: The successor to Vence, who resigned six weeks after taking the top job. Former Royal Canadian Navy commander McDonald voluntarily gave up his new position on February 24 when the Defense Minister announced that the gendarmerie was investigating the allegations. McDonald’s has not responded to requests for comment from the Canadian Press.
Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan: Sajjan was attacked by opposition lawmakers and a former Canadian ombudsman in handling allegations of illegal activity. Former Army lieutenant colonel and Vancouver Police detective Sajan argued that it was right to delegate responsibility for reporting illegal activity against Vance in March 2018 to the Privy Council Office, a bureaucracy that supports the Prime Minister’s residence. He told the Defense Commission last month that pulling elected civil servants into the investigation was “wrong and dangerous and would politicize any investigation.”
Gary Wolborn: Former military ombudsman who first filed an allegation of illegal activity from Vance to Sajan at a meeting on March 1, 2018. Wolborn complained that the Defense Minister had introduced him to the Privy Council, but the government began an investigation after senior civil servants refused to provide the ombudsman with further information. Global News reported that in 2012, three years before Vance became Secretary of Defense, the allegations raised by Wolborn were related to lewd emails sent to the female body.
Lieutenant General Haydn Edmundson: The highest-ranking officer who temporarily quit his job after receiving media coverage of allegations of sexual assault. The chief of Ottawa’s military resigned last month after facing a military police investigation. He denied the claim.