Canada Apologizes to Victims of Military Sexual Misconduct

Ottawa, Ontario (AP) Canadian political and military leaders apologized on Monday to victims of military sexual misconduct.

Released online from National Defense Headquarters, the apology follows the federal government’s settlement of 600 million Canadians (468 million) with tens of thousands of current and former members of the Armed Forces who suffered such behavior during their service.

It has also come as the government and military leaders of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau face questions and criticism over their apparent inability to respond to allegations of inappropriate and criminal sexual misconduct among some of the most senior leaders in the world. the army.

Defense Minister Anita Anand led the 40-minute apology, which at one point was viewed by around 8,000 people, acknowledging that successive governments had failed to protect those who had voluntarily signed on to protect Canada.

I apologize to the thousands of Canadians who have been injured because your government has failed to protect you and we have failed to ensure that the right systems are in place to ensure justice and accountability. she declared.

For too long, your government has not devoted enough time, money, staff and effort to address sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination based on sex, gender identity and gender. sexual orientation in the military and the ministry.

Anand, who succeeded Harjit Sajjan as defense minister in October, who has been criticized for not doing more to tackle such behavior among senior military officials, pledged concrete action by saying: things can change, they must change and they will change.

While the minister praised the dedication of the current leadership of Canada’s military and defense ministry, she refrained from providing specific details on how real change will occur.

Reservist Sam Samplonius, a military sexual assault survivor who is co-chair of It’s Not Just 700, a support and advocacy group for victims of military sexual assault and trauma, welcomed Monday’s apology.

I was hoping that maybe they would expand what they are doing, ”she said. However, I can also understand how they really wanted to focus on the apologies, part of that.

Samplonius said she and others are hopeful the government and military leaders provide an update, after many broken promises and missed opportunities in the past.

Trudeau emphasized the importance of the moment while questioning why he wasn’t delivering it himself.

There has been a lot of discussion about the right way forward, and I am very happy that the Chief of the Defense Staff and the Minister are the ones to apologize, ”Trudeau said. (PA)

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