Shomporko Online News Desk: The Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, in a statement that also defined his choice to do so as an «open demonstration of support», apologized and played golf with Gen. Jonathan Vance as he remained under military police investigation on Sunday night.
Viceroy. Viceroy. After the revelation Saturday of the second command of the Canada Forces, Lt.-Gen C.A. Baines’ statement. The statement arrived. Mike Rouleau, a former defense chief, went to play golf last week.
Vance is now under investigation by the military police following claims that Global News revealed in February for the first time. He rejects any charges of misconduct.
“I fully accept responsibility and accountability for not understanding how such a public display of support sends the wrong signal as to my commitment to lead in resolving our systemic cultural and misconduct issues. For this, I sincerely apologize,” read Baines’ statement.
Sources who spoke to Global News about the golf outing cited deep concern about whether the military’s senior leaders are truly committed to rooting out sexual misconduct. They also voiced concerns that the decision to go golfing with Vance contradicts messages made in recent months by senior leaders encouraging members experiencing sexual misconduct to come forward.
Baines’ statement comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier in the day that senior military leaders who golfed with Vance need to ‘answer for themselves’
The vice-admiral said that he would be taking a few days of personal leave and that Rear-Admiral Chris Sutherland would be acting in his place in the meantime.
Rouleau has not yet issued an apology but is set to be replaced soon by Lt.-Gen Frances Allen, who will be the first female vice chief of defence staff. His role as vice chief of the defence staff includes oversight of the military police, which is now investigating Vance.
Military police are also investigating an allegation against Adm. Art McDonald, the former head of the navy and current chief of the defense staff, who stepped aside temporarily in late February following an allegation against him. The woman behind that allegation serves in the navy and is within the chain of command of Baines.
The accusation was declined by McDonald.
A defense spokesman, Harjit Sajjan, announced Saturday evening to the Global News that afternoon following media investigations, the minister was aware of the issue.
‘There are disturbing and inappropriate decisions taken by the LGen Rouleau and VAdm Baines to play Gen Vance golf. The Minister will talk with the Chief Defensive Staff Acting future measures,” the Speaker said.