Shomporko Online News Desk: Vice-Adm Despite a widely panned decision to play golf with Gen. Jonathan Vance, Craig Baines, the leader of the Royal Canadian Navy, will remain in his position.
However, the interim chief of the defense staff believes Baines should make use of the opportunity to “redeem himself” and become a better leader.
Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre said in an internal communication to military troops that he has concluded that Baines can continue to lead the navy and that there is “no perfect answer” for how to handle the problem, which was originally reported on by Global News and The Globe and Mail earlier this month.
“To his credit, VAdm Baines sincerely and readily admitted his error in judgment and publically apologized. He has reached out to many stakeholders to seek their views on his way ahead. Knowing his moral authority has diminished, he is determined to regain the trust and confidence of all through humility and showing us how to learn, reconcile errors, and become a better leader,” Eyre said.
“We need to be strong enough to embrace this painful misstep as a powerful opportunity to make us better. Mistakes will be made, opinions and approaches will differ, but collectively we must all work to ensure a safe and respectful work environment for all.”
Eyre made no mention of Baines’ initial decision to describe his golf round with Vance as a “public display of support” — a description that was quickly condemned following a fierce backlash.
When pressed on whether his statement of a “public display of support” was intended as him taking a public stance on the ongoing military investigation into Vance, Baines later clarified.
“To be clear, it was not a show of support for Jonathan Vance as it pertains to the ongoing investigation. My focus should have been on the victims of sexual misconduct and on the impacts on their lives. For this, I am sorry,” he said in a statement earlier in June.
Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau, who holds oversight authority for the military police, was roundly criticized by all political parties and sexual misconduct victims for also golfing with Vance amid the ongoing probe into allegations of inappropriate behavior against the former chief of the defense staff.
Rouleau said in his June 14 resignation statement that Baines likely would not have gone golfing with Vance if Rouleau had not done so.
“I wish to tell you that I fully accept how my decision to do so has intensified recent events and contributed to further erosion of trust. Vice-Admiral Baines’ participation was surely predicated on my attendance therefore I would ask that only I will be held accountable,” Rouleau said.
The three senior leaders played a round at the Hylands golf course in Ottawa on June 2.
Eyre said the decision showed “poor judgement.”
“We must recognize the harm that this has done to victims and survivors, our institution, and our efforts to change our culture. The former VCDS resigned as a result of his role in this event and now I am left to make a decision on the future of the Commander RCN,” he said in the message to members.
“To make this determination, there is no fixed approach, technique, or direction. There is no ideal answer, and I recognize that no matter what decision is made, not everyone will agree.”
After input from “a wide array of perspectives, including sailors and other CAF members, victims/survivors, legal and conflict of interest specialists, external stakeholders, academics, and senior public servants,” there was “no clear consensus” on what to do.
Source_ The Star