Statement from Minister of National Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, and Deputy Minister of National Defence

From: National Defence

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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