Liberals vote to end military sexual misconduct investigation
The governing Liberals have voted to shut down an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Forces.
Although the Conservatives and the NDP have stated that the probe should continue, Bloc Quebecois MPs voted together with the government in favour of the Liberal motion. One group of survivors has described the investigation as having become "partisan" in nature.
Conservative and NDP MPs all voted against the motion.
“No one has taken responsibility and no one has apologized,” said NDP MP Randall Garrison. “Until we get to the bottom of who knew what when, we have not concluded this study.”
Conservative defence critic James Bezan also noted that the committee is still waiting to hear from witnesses, including Prime Minister’s Office senior official Elder Marques. He added that it’s unclear at this point if all witnesses will make it by Friday’s meeting, after which the investigation is set to end.
“Here we are now with the Liberals trying to shut down a committee investigation into what happened,” Bezan said. “I’m just so disappointed that the Liberals who like to talk about being a feminist government…well guess what, that’s all phoney and hyperbole.”
Allegations first arose when Jonathan Vance was accused of inappropriate behaviour with two female subordinates back in early February. Military police announced shortly thereafter that they were opening an investigation. That same month, Vance’s successor as chief of the defence staff, Admiral Art McDonald, was also accused.
Vance denies the allegations, whereas McDonald has stepped aside pending the investigation.
Other opposition parties on the House of Commons’ standing committee on national defence have called this an attempt by the Liberal government to “cover up" the controversy.