The federal authorities are called on to be more transparent on the departure of Fortin, the replacement being expected soon – fr

0
22
The federal authorities are called on to be more transparent on the departure of Fortin, the replacement being expected soon – fr


OTTAWA – The federal government faced new calls on Monday to be more transparent with Canadians about the Major-General. Departure of Dany Fortin, the ministers answering questions on the issue in the absence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Now, with the vaccine rolling out at a pivotal moment with no logistical lead, Fortin’s replacement could be appointed shortly.

On Friday, the Department of National Defense announced in a brief statement that Fortin would step down from its role of overseeing the delivery and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine doses across the country, “pending the results of a military investigation ”.

As CTV News exclusively reported, according to sources, Fortin faces a sexual misconduct complaint against him that dates back over 30 years.

It has been three days since Fortin left his post and his replacement has not yet been announced. As Canada is set to receive and distribute 4.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week, opposition MPs say they will be monitoring closely to ensure the distribution process does not will not be affected by this upheaval.

Sources tell CTV News that Fortin’s replacement could be appointed as early as tomorrow, with officials typically holding weekly vaccine rollout updates on Thursday. While plans are still being finalized, sources said the PMO is not concerned that the ongoing military investigation will hamper the mass vaccination effort, with systems in place to ensure vaccines keep arriving. where they need to go.

Fortin has been the public face of the vaccine rollout in Canada since November, holding the title of Vice President of Logistics and Operations at the “National Operations Center” of the Public Health Agency of Canada. At the time Fortin was appointed to the post, the agency said he would be accompanied by a team of nearly 30 members of the Canadian Armed Forces, including operational planners, pharmacists, health administrators, engineers and computer experts.

This included Brig.-General. Simon Bernard and Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie, who was seconded to the Federal Public Health Agency alongside Fortin to help lead the logistical effort.

CALLS FOR TRANSPARENCY

Little has been presented publicly at this point about who was aware and at what point of the allegations or the Fortin investigation. The Prime Minister’s Office told CTV News that if appropriate, the Privy Council Office provided them with updates on the situation of senior executives, but whether that happened in this case, they would not say.

On Monday, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole released a statement calling for more information on the Fortin investigation and who will replace him, as Canadians have yet to hear from Trudeau directly on the matter.

“Justin Trudeau needs to be transparent with Canadians, who deserve to have confidence in our system, and that starts with providing information,” he said. “We still don’t know who will take over vaccine distribution across Canada.”

Trudeau took part in an energy retrofit announcement alongside Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan on Monday morning, but left the call before the question-and-answer portion began.

According to a staff member, the prime minister could not stay online to answer journalists’ questions due to a “scheduling conflict”.

Responding to questions in Trudeau’s absence, O’Regan said the government remains “committed to building a true culture of inclusion within the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defense, so that everyone is treated with dignity. and respect.

Neither Qualtrough nor O’Regan spoke directly about the investigation, but both dismissed fears that Fortin’s departure would have an impact on the national vaccination campaign.

Qualtrough said while she couldn’t talk to who might replace Fortin, either permanently or on an interim basis, she said the team will continue their work.

“I have been on the Cabinet COVID committee from the very beginning, and I can assure Canadians that this will have no impact on operational capacity,” she said. “I have no doubts that Canadians will not feel any impact on the deployment of the vaccine.”

FORTIN FACING A HISTORICAL ALLEGATION

Sources told CTV News that military police received a formal complaint against Fortin in March alleging “historic sexual assault.” The incident, sources say, dates back 32 years to early 1989, when Fortin was a student at the Royal Military College in Saint-Jean, Quebec.

The sources, who are not authorized to speak publicly, said Fortin was under investigation for allegedly exposing himself in front of a woman.

The investigation stems from the allegation made two months ago, sources said, but it is not known whether military police approached him.

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service is conducting this investigation, but actions taken so far remain confidential. The allegation has not been proven in court.

In a statement, Fortin’s attorney said he was not aware of the allegation until CTV News contacted him and Fortin “completely denies” any wrongdoing. Fortin’s lawyer also said his client was surprised to learn he was under investigation on Friday.

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan’s office told CTV News on Sunday that Sajjan was informed on Friday that Fortin had stepped down, by the acting Chief of the Defense Staff.

The Canadian Armed Forces have come under increased scrutiny in recent months due to allegations of misconduct against several high-ranking commanders, former Defense Chief General Jonathan Vance and his successor, Admiral Art McDonald, who both deny any wrongdoing.

Speaking about how the federal government dealt with military sexual misconduct in general on Monday, NDP MP and defense critic Randall Garrison hinted that if the federal Liberals had taken it more seriously seriously over the past few years, Canada may not have ended up with a vital immunization mission.

“This is another case where failure to act in the past six years, to take the crisis of sexual misconduct seriously has wider repercussions now than in the Canadian military,” he said. he said on CTV’s Power Play.

With files from Annie Bergeron-Oliver, Kevin Gallagher and Joyce Napier of CTV News.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here