Minister Anita Anand appoints External Monitor to oversee National Defence efforts to address sexual misconduct and harassment

News release

October 24, 2022 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, the Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, announced the appointment of Madame Jocelyne Therrien as External Monitor to oversee the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) efforts to address sexual misconduct and harassment on the Defence Team. In particular, Madame Therrien will monitor National Defence’s implementation of the various recommendations of former Supreme Court Justice Madame Arbour’s Independent External Comprehensive Review (IECR) into harassment and sexual misconduct on the Defence Team. This appointment delivers on recommendation 48 of the report, and will help ensure that meaningful culture change within the DND/CAF continues to occur.

Madame Therrien is a former executive of the Office of the Auditor General of Canada where she conducted numerous audits of federal government entities and led the Parliamentary and International portfolios. Recently, she was part of the review of four cases of workplace harassment within the RCMP. Madame Therrien began her federal public service career as a parole officer. 

The External Monitor reports to the Minister of National Defence and has been appointed by the Governor in Council for an initial term of one year. In this role, Madame Therrien will monitor the DND/CAF’s efforts to implement the IECR’s various recommendations and goals, and will provide regular reports to the Minister of National Defence on these efforts.

While the External Monitor’s mandate will focus on the oversight and implementation of IECR recommendations and objectives, recommendations from other external reviews may also be part of her work, at the Minister’s direction.

On May 30, 2022, Minister Anand welcomed all IECR recommendations, immediately accepted 17 for DND/CAF’s implementation, and confirmed that DND/CAF will analyze and advise on the path forward for the remaining recommendations. DND/CAF has been moving to implement the accepted recommendations, and other initiatives that align with some of the IECR’s areas of focus. For example, CAF-specific training is in the process of being transferred to the Chief Professional Conduct and Culture, an intergovernmental working group has been stood up to support the transfer of sexual misconduct and harassment cases to the civilian system, the reach and services offered by the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre has been expanded, and changes to promotion and selection processes have been introduced, beginning with those for General and Flag Officers. DND/CAF continues to analyze the remainder of the IECR’s recommendations, and once this analysis has been completed, the Minister will provide an update to Parliament on the path forward no later than the end of this year.

The IECR report charts the path forward, and with its help, the Government will deliver meaningful reform to prevent and eradicate sexual misconduct and harassment on the Defence Team.


“Through the pandemic, climate-related disasters and international deployments, I thank our Canadian Armed Forces and the civilians who support them for their vital work to protect Canadians. It is our most basic responsibility and top priority to ensure that they serve in an institution where everyone feels safe, protected and respected. The Independent External Comprehensive Review outlines several culture change reforms needed to help us get there, including the recommendation that we are delivering on today to appoint an External Monitor. I look forward to working closely with Madame Therrien as the External Monitor and the Defence Team on the path forward.”

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

“This is a critical time for one of Canada’s key institutions. I am honoured to serve as the External Monitor and will fulfill these duties openly and accountably. I look forward to working with Minister Anand and the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces on this important work.”

Madame Jocelyne Therrien, External Monitor

Quick facts

  • Governor in Council (GIC) appointments are those made by the Governor in Council—the Governor General acting on the advice of Cabinet. An Order in Council is the legal instrument, which, when signed by the Governor General, formalizes an appointment.

  • The IECR report may evoke a range of personal responses. Resources are available to support current and former members of the Defence Team, including the SMRC that provides 24/7 confidential support by telephone at 1-844-750-1648 and by email at

Associated links


Daniel Minden
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

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