Army postpones appointment of army commander following misconduct investigation
The Canadian military has postponed the appointment of its next army commander because the man it chose for the role is under investigation for misconduct.
Lt.-Gen. Trevor Cadieu was to be sworn in as head of the Canadian army in a ceremony in September.
The military said the event was called off when it learned on September 5 that its internal investigative service was investigating “historic allegations” against Cadieu.
“The postponement of the ceremony is not an indictment of Lieutenant-General Cadieu. However, in light of the ongoing investigation, a decision has been taken to allow justice to pursue the case in accordance with the ‘rule of law,’ the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces said in a statement.
The Ottawa Citizen was the first to report on the Cadieu investigation. The newspaper said he was being investigated into allegations of sexual misconduct.
Cadieu denied any wrongdoing.
“The allegations are false, but they must be fully investigated to reveal the truth,” Cadieu said in a statement.
“I have already voluntarily provided information to the National Investigative Service and continue to await further opportunities to fully cooperate with their investigation.”
The soldiers need an “independent” leader, according to Cadieu
Cadieu said he asked the acting Chief of the Defense Staff, General Wayne Eyre, to consider someone else for the job.
“The soldiers of the Canadian Army deserve a leader who is not cluttered with allegations,” he said.
The military is in the midst of an ongoing sexual misconduct crisis, and several senior leaders who are the subject of allegations have been placed on paid leave.
Former Canadian military commander-in-chief, retired General Jonathan Vance, is charged with one count of obstructing justice as part of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct which he denies. His successor, Admiral Art McDonald, has been placed on leave to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct which he has denied and which have not resulted in criminal charges.
Major-General. Peter Dawe, who previously provided a character reference for a soldier convicted of sexual assault, was recently asked for a key role in the military’s response to sexual misconduct before his appointment was quashed.
“It’s not shocking at this point to see yet another case of sexual misconduct,” said Charlotte Duval-Lantoine, a fellow at the Canadian Institute of World Affairs who studies military leadership.
She said the number of allegations and investigations that have come to light in recent months may be the result of a thorough examination by investigators.
“The fact that we are seeing case after case is no surprise at all,” said Duval-Lantoine.
Controversies have prompted calls for the resignation of Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan. His office said Sajjan was also briefed on the Cadieu investigation on September 5.
“With the investigation ongoing, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further,” a spokesperson said in an email to CBC News.