'Action plan' to follow release of report on military sexual misconduct
Published Thursday, April 30, 2015 1:30AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 30, 2015 7:24AM EDT
Sources say the release of report into sexual misconduct and harassment in the military will be a watershed moment for the Canadian Forces.
The report, 100 pages long and based on hundreds of interviews, will be released Thursday.
The military will be chastised for allowing an environment where language, behaviour, and attitudes of sexual innuendo, stratification and victimization have became so prevalent the institution has become numb to them.
CTV News' Mercedes Stephenson reports that it condemns the military chain of command for failing to adequately investigate allegations of sexual misconduct when they arose. It also faults the chain of command for not supporting or intervening on victims' behalf.
The military has had the report for about a month, but held its release until a proper response could be developed.
Without naming names, some in the military leadership will be faulted for turning a blind eye to bad behaviour, and for allowing a work place environment where sexual innuendo and victimization became rampant.
Senior Non-Commissioned Officers will also be held to task, sources say, and will be singled out for condoning the behaviour and not stepping in to improve the situation.
The report was initiated by outgoing Chief of Defence Staff Tom Lawson, who brought in retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps to conduct an independent, outside review of how the Canadian military deals with sexual misconduct.
No specific cases will be cited, but anecdotal scenarios will be used to highlight trends.
Sources tell CTV News the military will present, upon the report's release, an "action plan" led by military women, including Maj.-Gen. Christine Whitecross.
Whitecross is a 33-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and has had postings in the former West Germany, the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. She was the first woman appointed as chief military engineer and also the first female commander of Canada’s Joint Task Force North.
Sources say Whitecross is seen as a credible pick who is passionate about the forces and will not be afraid to make changes.
The “action plan” will lay out changes, but sources say the key will be whether the military culture can shift from treating sexual misconduct as a public relations problem, to developing and implementing fixes.
With a report from CTV's Mercedes Stephenson