Wednesday, May 27, 2015
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Canadian Forces can’t sweep sexual assaults under the carpet, again

The military brass cannot have been surprised. Or, if they were, they were negligent. Statistics must be reported up the chain. They must certainly have heard—or perhaps dealt with—cases that never faced a formal charge.

The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright
National Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, right, immediately ordered an investigation into sexual assaults in the Forces. It could be said the internal review ordered by General Tom Lawson, Chief of Defence Staff, left, is a step in the right direction. But from years of experience with whistleblowers, Canadians for Accountability knows it likely isn’t. Such reviews are a standard organizational response to accusations of serious misconduct. They are intended as a whitewash from the start.

Two weeks ago, L’actualité, and its sister magazine, Maclean’s, broke a major story on sexual assault in the Canadian Armed Forces. The numbers were stunning: it estimated an average of five assaults every day. What was worse, the victims reported being intimidated into not making or dropping complaints, being harassed if they persisted, and assailants getting off scot-free. National Defence Minister Rob Nicholson immediately ordered an investigation. Senior officers claimed to be shocked by the report.

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Canadian Forces can’t sweep sexual assaults under the carpet, again

The military brass cannot have been surprised. Or, if they were, they were negligent. Statistics must be reported up the chain. They must certainly have heard—or perhaps dealt with—cases that never faced a formal charge.

The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright
National Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, right, immediately ordered an investigation into sexual assaults in the Forces. It could be said the internal review ordered by General Tom Lawson, Chief of Defence Staff, left, is a step in the right direction. But from years of experience with whistleblowers, Canadians for Accountability knows it likely isn’t. Such reviews are a standard organizational response to accusations of serious misconduct. They are intended as a whitewash from the start.

Two weeks ago, L’actualité, and its sister magazine, Maclean’s, broke a major story on sexual assault in the Canadian Armed Forces. The numbers were stunning: it estimated an average of five assaults every day. What was worse, the victims reported being intimidated into not making or dropping complaints, being harassed if they persisted, and assailants getting off scot-free. National Defence Minister Rob Nicholson immediately ordered an investigation. Senior officers claimed to be shocked by the report.

  
Parliamentary Calendar
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
Canadian talent centre stage at SOCAN Hill reception May 19, 2015

The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
The crowd dancing and singing along to Alex Nevsky's performance, in the Aboriginal Peoples Committee room.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Liberal MP Stéphane Dion, SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, President of the SOCAN Board of Directors Stan Meissner, and SOCAN Chief Quebec Affairs Officer Geneviève Côté, pictured May 12 at the event.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Conservative MP Gord Brown, chair of the House Canadian Heritage Committee.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
NDP MPs Rathika Sitsabaiesan and Pierre Nantel take a selfie during the concert.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Canadian performing artist Sarah Slean.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
DFATD Director General Marcel Lebleu, Environics Communications' Louis-Charles Roy, Alex Nevsky, and ESDC's Philippe Bernier-Arcand.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Back Row: Stéphane Dion, Sarah Slean, Mr. Brown, Eric Baptiste, Pierre Nantel, Stan Meissner, James Cowan. Front Row: Marc Ouellette, Geneviève Côté, Alex Nevsky, Laurence Lafond-Beaulne, and Gabriel Gratton.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Gabriel Gratton, Laurence Lafond-Beaulne, and Alex Nevsky performing.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner, SOCAN's Geneviève Côté, and Liberal MP Mark Eyking.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Sarah Slean and NDP MP Tyrone Benskin.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Conservative MP Terrence Young, SOCAN's Stan Meissner, and Eric Baptiste.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Tom Mulcair's current, and former chiefs of staff Alain Gaul and Raoul Gébert, with SOCAN's Eric Baptiste.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Sen. Cowan, Sarah Slean, and Stan Meissner.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Environics Communications' Alex Bushell, with NDP MPs Carol Hughes and Djaouida Sellah.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Alex Nevsky and Environics Communications' Greg MacEachern.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE