CAF Stance on Hateful Conduct

November 20, 2019 - Defence Stories

Hateful conduct, be it through words or actions, is completely incompatible with Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF’s) values and culture. It erodes cohesion and esprit de corps, and diminishes our authority as a force for good in Canadian society and around the world and will not be tolerated in the CAF.

Hateful conduct will call into question a member’s suitability for continued service in our military, and subsequently, suspected cases of such are investigated. If the suspicion is verified, the implicated member may face severe career consequences, including release from the CAF. See Defence Administrative Orders and Directives (DAOD 5019-0) for more information on processes for dealing with performance and conduct deficiencies in the CAF.

If members have engaged in or endorsed inappropriate activities due to ignorance rather than hatefulness, the CAF will endeavour to correct their ignorance and rehabilitate them. Measures implemented can include a recorded warning, counselling, and/or probation.

If a member’s conduct gives rise to a charge under the Code of Service Discipline, the matter may be dealt with through the military justice system. Although there are no service offences specific to hateful conduct, depending on the nature of the inappropriate conduct, one or more charges under the National Defence Act could apply. More information regarding the Code of Service Discipline, including details on service offences and punishments, can be found online in the National Defence Act: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/N-5/.

In some instances, hateful conduct by a CAF member can be dealt with through the civilian justice system, though actions to address the misconduct through the military chain of command can take place concurrently.

It is completely unacceptable for a CAF member to participate in an activity or have membership in a group or organization that is connected with criminal activities, and/or promotes hatred, violence, discrimination, or harassment on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination as defined in the Canadian Human Rights Act. Read more about the Chief of Defence Staff’s direction on this subject.

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