Canada Navy disciplining ex-head of training school over claims of inappropriate, sexual comments: sources
Sexual misconduct in Canada’s military remains as ‘rampant’ in 2021 as in 2015: report
A Global News investigation found less than one-quarter of military police investigators on sexual misconduct cases are female — far less than in three other major police forces.Former Supreme Court justice Morris Fish's independent review of the military justice system was tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday morning. In it, Fish said his work had heard extensive evidence that "confirmed the factual findings" of the 2015 report by former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps.
The navy is disciplining the former head of the Naval Fleet School Atlantic following allegations of inappropriate and harmful comments said to be sexual in nature, CBC News has learned.
Sources said the navy temporarily removed Cmdr. Danny Croucher as head of the training school at CFB Halifax during an investigation into a complaint in 2020 and he did not subsequently return to his command post.
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In a statement, the Royal Canadian Navy confirmed Croucher was investigated but did not reveal further details, citing privacy rules. Croucher currently is working as part of the COVID-19 response and management team with the Maritime Forces Atlantic, the navy said.
"Cmdr. Croucher was investigated in 2020 for an alleged breach of conduct," said Lt.-Cmdr. Jordan Holder, director of navy public affairs. "As this was an administrative action, results and subsequent actions (if any) are protected under the Privacy Act.
"Any and all forms of misconduct are completely unacceptable and have no place in the Canadian Armed Forces. These behaviours negatively impact our collective well-being, morale and operational effectiveness."
Military leaders wary of changes in sexual assault policy
WASHINGTON (AP) — Military service leaders are privately expressing reservations about removing sexual assault cases from the chain of command, The Associated Press has learned, striking a note of caution as momentum builds toward changing a military justice system that has come under increasing criticism. In memos to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the service leaders laid out their concerns about the growing push to shift prosecution decisions on sexual assault and possibly other major crimes to independent judge advocates. They said the shift could decrease the number of prosecutions, delay cases and potentially provide less help for victims.
The navy said Croucher has declined to respond to CBC News' request for a comment.
Sources said the navy is taking "administrative action" against Croucher, who has served with the military for 28 years. According to the Canadian Armed Forces' website, administrative action could lead to aincluding remedial measures, a job transfer, reversion in rank or release from the military.
Croucher is the second head of a military training school in recent months to be temporarily removed from a job during an investigation, according to sources. Global News reported in May that Lt.-Col. Raphaël Guay stepped aside from his job as commandant of the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence over alleged misconduct.
The Canadian Armed Forces is in the midst of a crisis over its handling of sexual misconduct and several senior leaders are under investigation. The acting chief of the defence staff, Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, has said aspects of Canada's military culture "must and will change" and has rolled out a new external review.
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Allegation tied to time overseeing navy school
Sources said Croucher's case is tied to a complaint alleging he made sexual comments during his time in charge of the training school. He started in the role in June 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The Naval Fleet School in Halifax is where sailors study and develop skills for naval operations in Canada and abroad. The training includes operations at sea, maintenance and repairs, along with warfare training.
Anywhere between 400 and 600 sailors typically take courses there at any given time. Instruction is provided by more than 300 staff, including some civilian employees, said the navy.
The navy would not confirm the outcome of Croucher's investigation but said it takes every allegation seriously. His case was handled by the chain of command as a human resources matter rather than by military police since the complaint was not considered a criminal matter, said the sources.
Julie Lalonde, a women's rights advocate and public educator, said she is particularly concerned about such allegations coming out of educational settings in the military.
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"We're being told they're taking people off the street and forming them into these members of the forces," said Lalonde. "There's this idea in the forces you strip down as an individual and build them back up as a soldier. So I think we need to be particularly concerned about these incidents happening in these settings.
"It's teaching these people this is the appropriate way to behave and this is the norm we are establishing for you."
Lalonde said she's disappointed but not surprised after her own experience at the Royal Military College.and said she was verbally abused by Royal Military College cadets after being invited to speak last fall about sex assault prevention.
The government has tasked former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour with leading an external review of sexual harassment and misconduct in the military. The Department of National Defence (DND) also created a new position of "chief of conduct and professionalism", now held by Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan.
More than a dozen senior military leaders have been swept up in the Canadian Armed Forces sexual misconduct crisis.
Retired judge calls for overhaul of military's handling of sexual misconduct cases
OTTAWA — A retired Supreme Court justice has found that sexual misconduct in the military is as pervasive and destructive now as it was six years ago, and that significant changes are required to address the problem. Morris Fish's findings are contained in an at-times scathing report tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday following a months-long review of the military justice system that was required by law. Yet while the report was greeted with promises of action from the Liberal government and military commanders, several experts on military sexual misconduct lamented what they saw as the government’s continued failure to address the issue head on.
The Canadian Forces National Investigative Service is reviewing allegations against former chief of the defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance and his successor, Adm. Art McDonald. Vance has told Global News he denies the allegation and McDonald has not commented publicly.
Quebec's prosecutor's office is now deciding on possible charges against Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin following an investigation by a branch of military police of a.
Fortin denies the allegation. After it emerged, he left his post leading Canada's vaccine logistics rollout.
Brig.-Gen Simon Bernard also left his role at the Public Health Agency of Canada this month — just days after Fortin's departure — over a complaint he hasContacted by CBC News last week, a spokesperson for DND said Bernard would not be commenting at this point.
The military's former head of personnel, Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson, wasand is under investigation after a was levelled against him — which he denies.
Maj.-Gen. Peter Dawe, the former commander of special forces, was put on paid leave after he
The country's former military operations commander, Lt.-Gen. Christopher Coates, is retiring after Postmedia reported that he had an affair with a U.S. defence department civilian while serving as deputy commander of NORAD.
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