Addressing hateful conduct, racism, and discrimination
When is the Canadian Armed Forces going to take issues of hateful conduct, racism, and discrimination within its ranks seriously?
- Eliminating extremism, discrimination, and hateful conduct from the ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces is a top priority.
- We will not tolerate racist or discriminatory behaviour of any kind and will act decisively when any incidents are reported.
- This is why I recently announced the creation of an Advisory Panel on systemic racism and discrimination.
- This Panel will provide advice on how National Defence can best eliminate discriminatory behaviours from its ranks.
- I am also pleased to highlight that in July 2020, the Canadian Armed Forces published a hateful conduct policy approach.
- This approach defines hateful conduct and establishes clear expectations and guidance on how to prevent, detect, and respond to it.
- Accompanying this approach is a new tracking system that will ensure we have the capability to identify and track any suspected incidents.
- We remain committed to doing the work that is necessary to address hateful conduct.
If pressed on the Canadian Army, Navy, and Air Force Specific Hateful Conduct Orders
- National Defence takes hateful conduct and discrimination within its ranks very seriously.
- That is why the Commanders of the Canadian Army, Navy, and Air Force have issued specific hateful conduct orders.
- These orders are nested in the Canadian Armed Forces’ overarching policy and directions on hateful conduct.
- They provide direction on how to proactively prevent, report, and respond to concerns of hateful conduct within the ranks.
- National Defence will continue to ensure its efforts against hateful conduct and discrimination are persistent and enduring.
If pressed on 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group Cases
- Appropriate action, whether administrative or disciplinary, must be taken as swiftly as possible, while respecting due process.
- The Canadian Army completed an investigation into these cases and the overall climate of the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group.
- The Canadian Army is addressing the
- investigation’s findings and will continue to improve the management and effectiveness of the Rangers.
If pressed on HMCS TECUMSEH and Sailor First Class Boris Mihajlovic
- The Royal Canadian Navy completed a Command- Level Review, and an Administrative Review into the handling of the case of Sailor First Class Mihajlovic.
- Due process was conducted throughout the Administrative Review.
- Following the conclusion of this review, National Defence determined that Mr. Mihajlovic would be released from the Canadian Armed Forces.
- Release proceedings were completed in January, 2021.
If pressed on the 2016 Poster Incident in Ottawa
- The Canadian Armed Forces launched an administrative review into how this incident was addressed.
- Following the conclusion of this review, appropriate actions were taken.
- Due to privacy considerations, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on this matter.
- 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.
- June 19, 2020: National Defence committed to creating safe spaces for Black Defence Team employees and members to gather without judgement and without question.
- 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 new hateful conduct policy approach, and launched a new tracking system that will allow for improved reporting and tracking of cases of hateful conduct.
- This tracking system includes legacy cases as well as new ones to allow the organization to better understand trends and measures taken impact the institutional culture in a positive way.
- A total of 184 incidents (dating back to 1997) are currently being tracked in the Hateful Conduct Incident Tracking System.
- September 14-18, 2020: Army week featured discussions on hateful conduct within the Army and Rangers. Lieutenant-General Eyre issued an Army-specific hateful conduct order which further outlines how to deal with soldiers suspected of hateful conduct and extremism.
- October 16, 2020: The respective Commands of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy also issued orders against hateful conduct following a similar order issued by the Command of the Canadian Army in September.
- In December 2020, the Canadian Armed Forces issued subsequent direction emphasizing the leadership’s role in dealing with hateful conduct issues.
- December 17, 2020: MND announces the creation of an Advisory Panel on systemic racism, discrimination with a focus on anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism, LGBTQ2 prejudice, gender bias and white supremacy. The MND has asked the Ombudsman to orient his investigation, originally requested in July 2019, towards diversity issues within the CAF and DND including employment equity.
- January 14, 2021: During his swearing in ceremony, the new Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral McDonald, denounced hateful conduct and reaffirmed the Canadian Armed Forces’ commitment to a positive and proactive culture change.
- From January 2013 and November 2018: 51 Canadian Armed Forces members were identified as part of a hate group, or undertaking actions or statements which could be viewed as discriminatory.
- 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. MCpl Hurren was officially released on March 5, 2021.
- 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. MCpl Myggland was officially released on March 17, 2021.
Responsible Principals: Military Personnel Command, Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, Judge Advocate General, Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources)
April 12, 2021
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