Following a disturbing report in L’actualité magazine regarding sexual assault in the Canadian Forces, New Democrats are calling the Conservative government to commit to release the results of any internal investigation by the Chief of the Defence Staff into how programs and policies may have led to such abuses.
“Once again, it takes a journalistic investigation for the Conservative government to speak out against a serious matter such as this,” said NDP National Defence critic Jack Harris (Saint John’s East). Every man and woman who serves our country deserves to work in a healthy and safe environment. But it’s not enough to call for an internal review - we want to hear from the Minister and senior officials about what immediate and substantive action will be taken to deal with these shocking revelations.”
The NDP is seeking to have the Minister of National Defence, the Chief of Staff and the Judge Advocate General to appear before the Standing Committee on National Defence to answer questions about the extent of the sexual assault and harassment problem in the Forces and what will be done about it.
“For a government that constantly claims to side with victims, it is highly contradictory to see them do nothing to help these hundreds of victims in the Canadian Forces,” said Deputy National Defence critic Élaine Michaud (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier). “We must fight this code of silence, so that victims are no longer afraid to come forward and report abuses. We need a clear message from above.”