Addressing Hateful Conduct, Racism and Discrimination

  • Racism, hateful conduct, and discrimination are incompatible with Canadian values and our military ethos.
  • Once recruited, Canadian Armed Forces members are held to the highest ethical standards and hateful conduct is not tolerated.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces always acts decisively when any incident is reported and is taking a deliberate and proactive approach to addressing this issue, while following due process.
  • In July 2020, the Canadian Armed Forces published a forces-wide hateful conduct policy approach.
  • This policy defines hateful conduct, and establishes clear expectations and guidance on how to prevent, detect, and respond to it.
  • The Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, and Royal Canadian Air Force have also issued specific hateful conduct orders.
  • In addition, we have implemented a new tracking system that ensures the Canadian Armed Forces can identify incidents, promote accountability and improve decision analytics.
  • We remain committed to doing the work that is necessary to ensure hateful conduct does not exist within the Defence Team.

If pressed on 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group cases

  • Appropriate action, whether administrative or disciplinary, must be taken as swiftly as possible, while respecting procedural fairness and due process.
  • The Canadian Army has launched an investigation into these cases and the climate of the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group.
  • Appropriate action will be taken at the conclusion of this investigation as required.

If pressed on HMCS TECUMSEH and Sailor First Class Boris Mihajlovic

  • The Command-Level Review is complete, and Sailor First Class Mihajlovic was informed of his chain of command's recommendation to release him from the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • Due process affords him the opportunity to make representations that will be considered by the decision maker, Director Military Careers and Administration.
  • This will be a decision independent of the member's chain of command.
  • No further information will be released until the administrative review process is complete and a final determination has been made.

If pressed on the 2016 poster incident in Ottawa

  • The Canadian Armed Forces launched an administrative review into how this incident was addressed.
  • At the conclusion of that review, appropriate actions were taken.
  • Due to privacy considerations, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on this matter.

Key Facts

  • Hateful Conduct Policy:
    • The intent of the policy is to prevent, detect and appropriately respond to hateful conduct;
    • The policy includes a clear definition of hateful conduct;
    • The policy approach will be evergreen to include new research, evidence, and discussion with experts on prevention, detection, and response as appropriate
    • A key component of the hateful conduct policy is ensuring it is data-enabled. The Hateful Conduct Incident Tracking System. Each of the incidents entered into the system undergoes an assessment and/or investigation.


  • January 2020: The Minister of National Defence requested the Ombudsman begin an inquiry into racism in the Canadian Armed Forces. The Ombudsman's office is currently reviewing the matter.
  • July 6, 2020: Media reported on a 2016 complaint about a racist poster in a department of National Defence office building. 
  • July 10, 2020: The Canadian Armed Forces issued a hateful conduct policy, supported by a new tracking system that will allow for improved reporting and tracking of hate incidents.
    • The chain of command is to report legacy cases to identify trends and the efficacy of the measures established to prevent, detect and respond to hateful conduct.
  • June 19, 2020: The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are committed to creating safe spaces for all personnel.
  • September 14-18, 2020: Army week featured discussions on hateful conduct within the Army and Rangers. Comd of the CA, General Eyre spoke to this issue and ordered an Army-specific hateful conduct order to outline how the CA is expected to address CA members implicated in hateful conduct.   
  • October 16, 2020: The respective Comds. of the RCAF and RCN also issued orders against hateful conduct following a similar order issued by the Comd. of the CA in September.
  • From January 2013 and November 2018: 51 Canadian Armed Forces members were identified potentially engaging in hateful conduct, either unilaterally or in association with a hate group.
    • 3 members have been released in direct relation to hateful conduct
    • 18 members have voluntarily or medically released
    • 15 members received remedial measures, such as counselling, warnings, probations, and other disciplinary actions
    • 8 investigations found no wrongdoing
    • 7 investigations are ongoing

4th Canadian Rangers Patrol Group Cases

  • Corey Hurren: On July 2, 2020, Corey Hurren crashed the gates at Rideau Hall with a loaded firearm and issued threats against the Prime Minister.
  • Erik Myggland: On August 25, 2020, CBC reported that Erik Myggland was previously investigated for his involvement in far-right organizations but he was allowed to continue serving in the Canadian Armed Forces without interruption.
  • This investigation is expected to include recommendations and conclude by the end of fall 2020. 

No. 2 Construction Battalion

  • September 15, 2020: The Minister of National Defence posted on social media in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the disbandment of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, Canada's first and only Black Battalion.
    • In his social media post, he stated "I'm proud of the Canadian Armed Forces members and their long history of upholding Canada's values and demonstrating the best we have to offer as a nation, but we must acknowledge our mistakes," referencing the racism and hate they endured during their service.

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Operation HONOUR

  • Sexual misconduct has no place in the Canadian Armed Forces and will not be tolerated.
  • In 2015, the Chief of the Defence Staff launched Operation HONOUR to address sexual misconduct within the ranks and work towards cultural change.
  • Through Operation HONOUR, we have taken real action.
  • For example, in 2015, National Defence established the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, independent from the chain of command, to support victims.
  • This centre provides 24/7 important support and services to Canadian Armed Forces members who are affected by sexual misconduct.
  • We have also established six Sexual Offence Response Teams operated by the Military Police to support victims of sexual misconduct and ensure timely, professional investigations.
  • Since launching Operation HONOUR in 2015, National Defence has worked tirelessly to prevent and address sexual misconduct within the ranks.
  • We recognize that success, however, depends on achieving real change over the long term.
  • This is why I am pleased to announce we have recently developed The Path to Dignity and Respect: The CAF Sexual Misconduct Response Strategy.
  • This comprehensive and long-term plan focuses on the culture change required to prevent and address sexual misconduct within the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • We will continue these efforts until all Canadian Armed Forces members can perform their duties in an environment of teamwork, mutual trust, respect and dignity.

If pressed on sexual misconduct at Canadian Military Colleges:

  • I am deeply concerned with the results of this survey.
  • The Canadian Military Colleges have taken steps to better recognize, prevent, and respond to all sexual misconduct.
  • This includes working with the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre to deliver specialized training for staff and officer-cadets.
  • The survey will assist our current efforts to create a real culture change within the Canadian Armed Forces, including the Canadian Military Colleges.

If pressed on experiences of CAF members affected by sexual misconduct:

  • National Defence takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously.
  • The findings from the research report show that we have more work to do to make sure all feel respected and safe.
  • That is why we are taking definitive action through Op HONOUR, and centering our approach around the needs of those affected by sexual misconduct.
  • Our mission is nothing less than culture change.
  • We won't stop until all our members, regardless of gender or identity, are able to work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination.

Key Facts

  • 134 members have been released from the CAF for sexual misconduct (between April 2016 and September 2020).
  • Heyder Beattie Final Settlement Agreement: Impacted individuals can submit claims between May 25, 2020 and November 24, 2021 for financial compensation and/or to seek to participate in the Restorative Engagement program.


  • In 2015, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) initiated Operation HONOUR to address sexual misconduct within its ranks.
  • Through Operation HONOUR, the CAF has implemented policies and procedures to increase awareness and understanding of sexual misconduct throughout the organization, and established essential support for affected individuals.
  • Support to those affected by sexual misconduct is the main effort of Operation HONOUR. A wide range of support and care is available for affected persons and those who support them, through services such as the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, the Canadian Forces Health Services Group, the Canadian Armed Forces Member Assistance Program, and through legislation such as the new Declaration of Victims' Rights (Bill C-77), affording rights to victims of service offences, when it comes into force.

Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC)

  • The SMRC was created in response to the recommendations made by the External Review Authority's Report on Sexual Misconduct in the CAF.
  • The SMRC operates independently from the chain of command and is a key resource for anyone affected by sexual misconduct. The Centre provides 24/7 confidential counselling, response and support coordination, information and assistance to:
    • Members who have experience sexual misconduct;
    • Members who have been affected by sexual misconduct including a person trying to support another member; and,
    • Military leaders who need information on how to best respond to, and support, other members.

Report on Canadian Military College Students' Experiences of Unwanted Sexualized and Discriminatory Behaviours and Sexual Assault 2019

  • On October 8, Statistic Canada released a report, entitled Canadian military college students' experiences of unwanted sexualized and discriminatory behaviors and sexual assault 2019.
  • Key findings: a higher proportion of women at Canadian military colleges than in the general postsecondary student population reported witnessing or experiencing unwanted sexualized behaviours, especially in regard to inappropriate discussions about sex life (57% vs 41%) and sexual jokes (77% vs 61%). CMC women were also much more likely to have experienced some form of sexual assault compared to women in the general postsecondary student population (28% vs 15%).

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Indigenous Relations

  • National Defence advances reconciliation efforts by engaging with Indigenous peoples across Canada through a variety of programs and activities.
  • This includes consultations on operations, promoting economic development, supporting environmental remediation, and collaboration on major construction projects.
  • We also offer training opportunities to Indigenous peoples and created several recruitment programs that aim to increase Indigenous representation and promote cultural awareness within the military.
  • This includes deepening our relations with remote and isolated communities across Canada through the Canadian Rangers and the Junior Canadian Rangers Program.
  • We will continue to strengthen our genuine long term relationship by further supporting and investing in Indigenous priorities and by collaborating with our Indigenous partners.

Key Facts

  • National Defence is currently engaged in consultations with Indigenous communities, including on:
    • Royal Roads Lands disposal;
    • Former Sainte-Foy military housing area lands disposal;
    • Mary Hill disposal
  • National Defence promotes economic development of Indigenous communities through the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business.
  • DND/CAF Indigenous programs:
    • "Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity  Year"
    • Junior Canadian Ranger Program
    • Indigenous summer programs ("Bold Eagle, Raven, Black Bear, Carcajou, Grey Wolf")
    • "Canadian Armed Forces Aboriginal Entry Program"
    • "Eagle's Nest"
    • Indigenous Cultural Awareness
    • Northern Indigenous Cultural Awareness
    • Introduction to Indigenous Cultures (possible release January 2021)
  • On August 18, 2020, National Defence announced that it will provide support to the Chippewas First Nations Group to build interim housing at Camp Ipperwash.
    • National Defence currently pays for maintenance and utilities at Camp Ipperwash.
  • Based on availability, Garrison and Formation commanders have advisors from the Defence Advisory Aboriginal Group embedded in their operational routine to promote and respond to specific issues dealing with First Nations policies and members in correspondence with the Employment Equity Act.


Indigenous Relations

  • National Defence has a legal duty to consult with Indigenous groups and provide appropriate accommodation when contemplating activities, such as military operations, real property transactions and environmental remediation, which could impact Aboriginal or treaty rights.
  • National Defence is currently engaged in three consultations with Indigenous communities:
    • Royal Roads Lands disposal: Discussions on the disposal of land where Royal Roads University operates involve National Defence, the Songhees Nation, the Esquimalt Nation, Royal Roads University and other interested parties.
    • Former Sainte-Foy military housing land disposal: National Defence has declared the former military housing units in Sainte-Foy unsuitable and is consulting with Indigenous groups about the future use of the land.
    • Mary Hill Land Disposal: National Defence declared 178 hectares of land and eight buildings in the Mary Hill area of Metchosin as surplus, and is consulting with Indigenous groups on the disposal of the land.
  • National Defence is co-developing a Civilian Indigenous Recruitment Strategy with members of Indigenous communities and other stakeholders.

Supporting Reconciliation

  • National Defence also supports broader reconciliation with Indigenous groups by:
    • Participating, as required, in federal treaty negotiations with Indigenous groups;
    • Cooperating with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, provincial and municipal partners;
    • Engaging in Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination tables;
    • Supporting the economic development of Indigenous communities through the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business;
    • Encourage and support Indigenous people to join National Defence and manage Indigenous Talent and promote Advancement within the Executive Group.
    • Offering training and education in addition to commemorative events to ensure awareness of reconciliation. 
    • Undertaking Unexploded Explosive Ordnance (UXO) clearance on Indigenous lands under the Legacy Sites Program; and,
    • Providing UXO training support to some Indigenous communities to allow for employment and economic development opportunities.

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