Canadian Navy to take hardline stance on sexual misconduct: internal memo
Published Wednesday, July 8, 2015 4:44PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 9, 2015 12:02AM EDT
An internal memo sent out by the Royal Canadian Navy's commander says the fleet is planning to take a hardline stance on sexual misconduct.
In the document obtained by CTV's Mercedes Stephenson, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman makes it clear that any inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated in the Navy's ranks.
"Let me be clear: I do not consider the misconduct characterized to date to be inappropriate behaviour – rather, I find it to be absolutely unacceptable behaviour," Norman writes in the note.
"There will be no room in the (Royal Canadian Navy) for those who do not agree with, or fail to demonstrate their complete commitment to supporting our shared responsibility in this regard."
Sources tell Stephenson that many members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been unsatisfied with the military's action on sexual misconduct to date.
In particular, Stephenson says that many senior officials with the Department of National Defence have been "deeply unhappy" and even "embarrassed" about how Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson has responded to a report released by former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps in April.
The inquiry found that a highly sexualized culture is pervasive within the Canadian military.
"They felt he did not come out with a hard enough line when this first happened, they felt it was too wishy washy as to whether or not the military was going to accept recommendations (and) that it looked bad that (Defence Minister Jason Kenney) had to get involved and say, 'Yes, of course the military is going to accept these," Stephenson told CTV News Channel.
Lt.-Gen. Jonathan Vance will step into Lawson's role as chief of defence staff in the fall.