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Second senior military member removed from Canada's vaccine rollout campaign

Nicole Bogart
Published Friday, June 4, 2021 3:18PM

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Brig.-Gen. Simon Bernard is seen in this undated image.

EDMONTON -- A second senior member of the Canadian Armed Forces was quietly removed from his role in Canada’s vaccine rollout campaign in May after a complaint was made regarding language he allegedly used.

The Canadian Armed Forces confirmed Brig.-Gen. Simon Bernard’s departure in a statement issued to CTV News Friday, but did not provide additional details about the allegations.

“Subsequent to a complaint made regarding language allegedly used by BGen Bernard, the CAF is working towards determining facts and next steps,” read the statement.

“In order to preserve the integrity of the effort and to ensure due process is afforded to all affected parties, we will not be disclosing the nature of the grievance.”

News of the departure comes just weeks after Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin left his role as the military general in charge of the logistics of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout over an allegation of sexual misconduct. Fortin, through his lawyer, has said he “completely denies” any wrongdoing.

Bernard was Fortin's second-in-command in vaccine and logistics planning, a post he was appointed to in November 2020.

According to the CAF, he has since been on annual leave since his departure and will later be assigned to a position “which remains to be determined.”

Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie, who was named as Fortin's successor on May 17, declined to comment on Bernard’s departure during a press conference Friday, noting she could not speak to the allegations.

“What I can indicate is that we are very focused on the team here at the Public Health Agency to ensure that we distribute vaccines as quickly as safely as efficiently as we can in a manner that's fair and equitable to all,” Brodie said.

 

mariomike

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Why should a senior officer in the military not be at least as accountable to the public as an accountant?
Not to suggest it is, or is not, a great idea for senior officers in the military. Except to wonder how they might feel about it?

This should be no different for other professions such as doctors, engineers, etc, etc.
Can't imagine chiefs ( or rank and file members, for that matter - Yes, it's been tried. :) ) in the emergency services being enthusiastic about the idea.
 

dangerboy

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MGen Fortin is fighting back

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin is challenging the federal government's decision to publicly terminate his secondment to lead Canada's vaccine logistics at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Last month, the Department of National Defence issued a terse three-line statement late on a Friday saying that Maj.-Gen. Fortin would be leaving his post and his future would be decided by the acting chief of the defence staff.

Sources later told CBC News that a sexual misconduct allegation against Fortin had been raised that predated the start of Operation Honour in 2015 — the military's now-defunct campaign to stamp out inappropriate behaviour in the ranks.

Today, Fortin's lawyer filed an application for a judicial review of his removal from the PHAC post. The application argues that "Fortin was denied procedural fairness in the lead-up to the decision, which the respondents knew or ought to have known would have grave consequences on his life, reputation and career. More in link

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/dany...49ywjF7Cql7EE2_HcMe0kJPSqWTa7x_nRSpg5FL1nIgwY
 

Haggis

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Yet a much-more-recent claim regarding a certain prime minister, including a named victim, has yet to see any meaningful reaction, consequences, or apology:

Courtesy of Internet Anagram Server: "Just A Rude Unit".
"The editorial in the Creston Valley Advance suggested that the day after the incident, Trudeau offered an apology of sorts: "I'm sorry," he is quoted as saying. "If I had known you were reporting for a national paper I never would have been so forward." So, he did apologize, but only for groping the reporter, not the woman.
 

Loachman

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"The editorial in the Creston Valley Advance suggested that the day after the incident, Trudeau offered an apology of sorts: "I'm sorry," he is quoted as saying. "If I had known you were reporting for a national paper I never would have been so forward." So, he did apologize, but only for groping the reporter, not the woman.

Almost.

He was sorry that he groped a reporter for a national paper, implying that he was concerned about the possible extent of the coverage but would not have cared were she only a reporter for a mere local paper.

Regardless, nobody else could have shrugged off such an assault so casually and been allowed to get away with it by media or enough voters.
 

daftandbarmy

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Think of a number between 1 and a million... add a couple of zeroes


Fortin's allegations may prove politics supersedes all in handling of military's misconduct crisis: expert​


Fortin claims that his firing was decided not by his military superior but by the defence minister, the health minister and the prime minister's office

The allegation of political interference in the dismissal of the general heading Canada’s vaccine rollout, if true, may prove that political calculations “rule” how the government manages the sexual misconduct crisis in the military, says one eminent military expert.

“Houston, we’ve got a problem,” thinks Michel Drapeau, a well-known military law expert who has represented dozens of CAF members in sexual misconduct cases.

He was reacting to a request by Maj.-Gen Dany Fortin for a judicial review by the Federal Court of the government’s decision to fire him from his position as vice-president for operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on May 14.

A few days later, military police revealed in a statement they had referred a sexual misconduct investigation to Quebec prosecutors. To date, no charges have been laid.

In his application for judicial review, Fortin claims that he was not afforded proper due process before his removal, and that his firing was decided not by his military superior but by the defence minister, the health minister and the prime minister’s office. He is asking that the government be ordered to reinstate him to his secondment at PHAC or an equivalent post for a Maj.-Gen.

None of his claims have been tested in court and the federal government has not yet filed a response to his application.

To justify his request, Fortin explains that he was informed by acting Chief of Defence Staff Lt.-Gen Wayne Eyre back in March that military police had launched an investigation into him regarding an alleged sexual misconduct that occurred over 30 years ago. At the time, he was told by Eyre and PHAC President Iain Stewart that it was “business as usual” and that he was presumed innocent.

 
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And so he should!
It may be good that he is fighting back, but it again demonstrates that there are different rules for Senior Officers then there are for all the other ranks.

First off, he is fighting back before there is a decision whether or not he is guilty of what he has been accused of.

Secondly, what about all the other military members who are not Senior Officers who have been accused of something (guilty or not) and had there lives/careers ruined? Did they have the means or the ability to "fight back"? In some cases the "fight back" over the ruined careers were against the Senior Officers who, it seems, are now considering things to be "unfair" now that it has happened to them (because their "Senior" persons are allegedly screwing them around).

I know of several individuals who have had their careers ruined over allegations that, in the end, turned out to be false or they were found "not guilty", but by that time the damage had already been done. Where is the justice for them? Oh yeah, it was denied by the Senior Officers in the CAF.

I hope he is able to get himself some justice if the allegations prove to be false/vexatious - no one deserves to be put through the wringer for BS.

Maybe one day others members will get to be able to get the same level of justice. And just maybe, the Senior Officers will take note of this and remember it when they have t deal with subordinates on similar matters in the future (somehow in my pessimistic mind, I doubt that will ever happen).

I do hold some hope though on the concept of "equal Justice For All".
 

Weinie

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It may be good that he is fighting back, but it again demonstrates that there are different rules for Senior Officers then there are for all the other ranks.

First off, he is fighting back before there is a decision whether or not he is guilty of what he has been accused of.

Secondly, what about all the other military members who are not Senior Officers who have been accused of something (guilty or not) and had there lives/careers ruined? Did they have the means or the ability to "fight back"? In some cases the "fight back" over the ruined careers were against the Senior Officers who, it seems, are now considering things to be "unfair" now that it has happened to them (because their "Senior" persons are allegedly screwing them around).

I know of several individuals who have had their careers ruined over allegations that, in the end, turned out to be false or they were found "not guilty", but by that time the damage had already been done. Where is the justice for them? Oh yeah, it was denied by the Senior Officers in the CAF.

I hope he is able to get himself some justice if the allegations prove to be false/vexatious - no one deserves to be put through the wringer for BS.

Maybe one day others members will get to be able to get the same level of justice. And just maybe, the Senior Officers will take note of this and remember it when they have t deal with subordinates on similar matters in the future (somehow in my pessimistic mind, I doubt that will ever happen).

I do hold some hope though on the concept of "equal Justice For All".
I am certainly not as aware of the circumstances that you describe as you seem to be portraying. Having said that, a MGen, especially one with a high-profile job, will always get more attention, media and otherwise, if things go pear-shaped.

I would postulate that most senior officers do not ascribe to the "guilty, even awaiting trial/even though proven innocent" approach to mil justice.
 
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