Chief of the Defence Staff statement on Master Corporal (Retired) Stéphanie Raymond
May 30, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
General Jonathan H. Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, issued the following statement:
On May 9, 2017, I accepted the board of inquiry (BOI) report regarding Master Corporal (retired) Stéphanie Raymond. The Commander of the Canadian Army convened this BOI in January 2015 to investigate irregularities identified by my predecessor surrounding the determination of her grievances.
Today Colonel Josée Robidoux, Commander 35 Canadian Brigade Group, briefed Master Corporal (retired) Raymond on the report and its related issues, including:
- The institutional inability to grasp the profound impact of the events of 15 December 2011 on Master Corporal (retired) Raymond
- The failure to apply basic leadership principles in administering Master Corporal (retired) Raymond’s harassment complaint, including a lack of communication with her throughout the process and the absence of follow-up to ensure her well-being
- The recommendations of the BOI
- An overview of the Canadian Armed Forces’ action plan to implement the report’s recommendations
Many of the recommendations found in the report have already been implemented through Operation HONOUR, which is our commitment to eliminating harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour in the Canadian Armed Forces. Through a comprehensive action plan stemming from the BOI recommendations, I have ordered the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, the Commander Canadian Army and the Commander of Military Personnel Command to implement the recommendations as soon as possible.
Harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour is unacceptable and undermines our operational effectiveness. I will do everything in my power to change our culture so our people can operate in an environment that espouses the values we carry as members of the profession of arms.
I want to thank Master Corporal (retired) Raymond for having the courage and tenacity to identify a series of failures by her chain of command, which were indicative of larger systemic issues. Because of the concerns she raised, we are now better aware of how tremendous an impact harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour has on our people and we are taking decisive steps to ensure this type of situation does not reoccur. Her case is one of the reasons why Operation HONOUR exists and why I’m so dedicated to its purpose.
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Department of National Defence
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