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Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces is reeling this morning with news chief of the defence staff Admiral Art McDonald is being investigated for misconduct.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan revealed late last night McDonald has voluntarily stepped aside while military police investigate.

The stunning development comes just over a month after McDonald took over as commander of the Canadian military from Gen. Jonathan Vance, who is also under investigation after allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Vance has denied any wrongdoing and McDonald has not commented.

Former naval reservist Marie-Claude Gagnon, who founded a group for survivors of military sexual misconduct, says the allegations against McDonald and Vance underscore the need for external oversight of the military.

Lawyer and retired colonel Michel Drapeau says the government should appoint an independent inspector general to oversee the military and, in the absence of that, convene a board of inquiry to investigate the allegations against Vance and McDonald.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press