Friday, March 6, 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
Friday, March 6, 2015
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
ITK hosts intimate preview of next week's Taste of the Arctic event March 2, 2015

The Hill Times photograph by John Major
ITK project coordinator Looee Okalik, using an 'ulu' or 'woman's knife' to cut off a portion of 'Nikku' or dried caribou.
The Hill Times photograph by John Major
NAC Le Café's executive chef John Morris explaining his take on traditional Inuit menu items.
The Hill Times photograph by John Major
First Air's Elisapee Sheutiapik, also former mayor of Iqaluit, with ITK health and social development assistant director Anna Fowler.
The Hill Times photograph by John Major
First Air's Ron Lowry, Ms. Sheutiapik, ITK's Looee Okalik, iPolitics' Elizabeth Gray-Smith, ITK's Anna Fowler, The Hill Times' Rachel Aiello, First Air's Bert van der Stege, and ITK's Kathleen Tagoona.
The Hill Times photograph by John Major
After the tasting, Chef John Morris joined the guests for the mini-feast of traditional Inuit foods.
The Hill Times photograph by John Major
Chef John Morris spoons some jus on Ottawa Citizen food editor Peter Hum's plate.
The Hill Times photograph by John Major
First Air's Ron Lowry and Bert van der Stege; and ITK President Terry Audla.
The Hill Times photograph by John Major
ITK president Terry Audla digging in to the frozen Arctic char or 'Iqaluk' meat from the Rankin Inlet.
The Hill Times photograph by John Major
First Air's Ron Lowry adding a bit of seal fur to his suit.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE