OTTAWA -- The House of Commons defence committee’s study of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces and the allegations against former defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance and his successor Admiral Art McDonald will conclude on Friday as requested by the Liberals.
Liberal MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence Anita Vandenbeld drafted the motion, which states that that all members bring forward their report recommendations by Friday at 4 p.m.
“As we’ve heard from many survivors this past week, including It’s Just 700, that put out a statement on Twitter last Friday, the survivors, the people most impacted by military sexual trauma have been asking that we stop pointing fingers, that we stop dragging the study on, and that we make sure that their issues are heard,” said Vandenbeld.
Opposition MPs on the committee took issue with the motion, arguing more time is needed to hear from the remaining witnesses, including senior Liberal aides.
“We are dealing, I think, with one of the most important concepts that has ever been dealt with while I’ve been on the defence committee and that is the trust members have in the senior leadership of the military,” said NDP MP Randall Garrison.
“We must get to the bottom of these questions in order to restore that trust.”
Vandenbeld said she had conversations with the clerk of the committee, who advised her a fulsome report would not be possible before Parliament rises if witness testimony doesn’t conclude by the end of the week.
Members are hearing on Monday from Daniel Jean, the former national security adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2018, when the prime minister’s office was first made aware of an allegation of against Vance.
More to come…