Statement from the Minister of National Defence, the Chief of the Defence Staff, and the Deputy Minister of National Defence
November 29, 2021 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
The Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Anita Anand, the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre, and the Deputy Minister, Jody Thomas, issued the following statement:
“There must be absolutely no place in our organization for sexual assault, sexual harassment or discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. We know that our collective failure to build an inclusive workplace culture free from these unacceptable behaviours has hurt our people.
“As part of our efforts to restore relationships with those harmed, we will offer a public apology to all current and former members of the Defence Team who have been affected by sexual assault and sexual misconduct, including harassment, and discrimination.”
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence, will offer an apology on behalf of the Government of Canada. General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, will offer an apology on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces. Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of National Defence, will offer an apology on behalf of the Department of National Defence.
The apology will take place virtually at 1 p.m. EST on December 13 and will be livestreamed on the Canadian Armed Forces Facebook page. Viewers can watch the video stream without an account or signing in to Facebook. A link to the video will be posted shortly before the event on the CAF and DND Facebook and Twitter pages, and will also be available on the DND/CAF Sexual Misconduct Apology web page. The event will also be recorded and available afterwards on YouTube for those who are unable to watch it live or prefer to view it at a later time.
Everyone will process the apology in their own way. The apology may evoke strong emotional responses and/or cause trauma to resurface – either in the moment or later on. Should you or someone you know require support, a list of available support services can be found here.
If you, or someone you know has experienced an incident of sexual misconduct, there is help available. Here are the services available to Defence Team members.
“All Defence Team members should be treated fairly in a workplace that is safe and free of any kind of harassment and discrimination. We know there is much more work to do to create lasting and positive culture change, and we will continue to listen to and learn from those affected to ensure we are taking the necessary action to make that change.”
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Note to editors:
Media will be invited to view the apology closer to the event date; however, interested media can contact the DND Media Relations Office in advance to express their interest.
- Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (24/7)
- Canadian Forces Health Services Centres
- Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program (24/7)
- The Family Information Line (24/7)
- CAF Chaplain Services
- Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) (peer based support program for CAF members, Veterans and their families)
- Veterans Affairs Canada Assistance Service (24/7)
- Employee Assistance Program for DND Employees (24/7)
- Employee and Family Assistance Program for Staff of the NPF Employees (24/7)
- Sexual Misconduct Information and Resources
- Respect in the Canadian Armed Forces mobile application
- Workplace conflict, misconduct, and harassment resolution in the CAF
- Conflict & Complaint Management Services
- New Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations for Defence Team Public Service Employees
- Centre for Conflict Resolution and Ethics for Staff of the Non Public Funds, Canadian Forces
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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