Defence Minister Bill Blair will speak to reporters Monday afternoon about a new report expected to be released by the external monitor tapped to oversee culture change within the Canadian Armed Forces.
Blair will speak to reporters in Ottawa around 3:15 p.m. Eastern. Global News will livestream his remarks here.
Jocelyne Therrien’s report will be her second since taking up the post late last year. Her job is to track progress on culture change in the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces, with a focus on implementing recommendations made by former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour in her blistering report into sexual misconduct in May 2022.
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In her first report released this past May, Therrien found the military was making progress as it implements recommendations aimed at combating sexual misconduct, but lacks an “overall strategic plan” to change its culture.
Although Therrien concluded “a significant level of tangible activity” has been taken within the military on many of the 48 recommendations in Arbour’s final report, she said there needs to be an overarching plan to manage those changes in a way “that will bring fundamental reform in a timely manner.”
“Although I have seen some cross-referencing among the recommendations, there is no overall framework that sets out how the organization, as a whole, will move from one phase to the next,” Therrien wrote.
“Does this mean that there is no progress? Not at all,” she continued. “But an overall strategic plan would serve to ensure that the resources are aligned to priorities.”
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Arbour’s report described the military as a “broken system” that is out of sync with the values of Canadian society, and which poses a “liability” to the country.
Her review was formally launched a year before that — in May 2021 — in response to exclusive reporting by Global News into allegations of sexual misconduct among the highest ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Global News first brought to light in February 2021 allegations of sexual misconduct against senior leaders — the first of dozens of exclusive reports into such allegations and the military’s handling of them over the 18 months after that initial report.
Therrien’s appointment met one of Arbour’s recommendations for an external monitor who will report every six months on the military’s progress toward rooting out sexual misconduct.
In her inaugural report, Therrien said a strategic plan would help prioritize legislative changes the military would need to propose to Parliament in order to implement some of the recommendations
— with files from Global News’ Sean Boynton
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