Sexual misconduct is "endemic" in the Canadian military, former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps says in a report released Thursday.
- Leadership tolerated harassment in Canada's military, former justice finds
- Read Justice Marie Deschamps' full report
Gen. Tom Lawson, chief of defence staff, called the report disturbing and said the Canadian Armed Forces' ability to work well depends on trust. Lawson told reporters at a press conference Thursday the military has accepted two of Deschamps' 10 recommendations outright and the other eight in principle.
Here are the report's 10 recommendations:
1. Acknowledge that inappropriate sexual conduct is a serious problem that exists in the CAF and undertake to address it.
2. Establish a strategy to effect cultural change to eliminate the sexualized environment and to better integrate women, including by conducting a gender-based analysis of CAF policies.
3. Create an independent centre for accountability for sexual assault and harassment outside of the CAF with the responsibility for receiving reports of inappropriate sexual conduct, as well as prevention, coordination and monitoring of training, victim support, monitoring of accountability, and research, and to act as a central authority for the collection of data.
4. Allow members to report incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault to the centre for accountability for sexual assault and harassment, or simply to request support services without the obligation to trigger a formal complaint process.
5. With the participation of the centre for accountability for sexual assault and harassment:
Develop a simple, broad definition of sexual harassment that effectively captures all dimensions of the member's relationship with the CAF.
Develop a definition of adverse personal relationship that specifically addresses relationships between members of different rank, and creates a presumption of an adverse personal relationship where the individuals involved are of different rank, unless the relationship is properly disclosed.
Define sexual assault in the policy as intentional, non-consensual touching of a sexual nature.
Give guidance on the requirement for consent, including by addressing the impact on genuine consent of a number of factors, including intoxication, differences in rank, and the chain of command.
6. With the participation of the centre for accountability for sexual assault and harassment, develop a unified policy approach to address inappropriate sexual conduct and include as many aspects as possible of inappropriate sexual conduct in a single policy using plain language.
7. Simplify the harassment process by:
- Directing formal complaints to COs acting as adjudicators in a grievance
- Reducing emphasis on ADR.
8. Allow victims of sexual assault to request, with the support of the centre for accountability sexual assault and harassment, transfer of the complaint to civilian authorities; provide information explaining the reasons when transfer is not effected.
9. Assign responsibility for providing, coordinating and monitoring victim support to the centre for accountability for sexual assault and harassment, including the responsibility for advocating on behalf of victims in the complaint and investigation processes.
10. Assign to the centre for accountability for sexual assault and harassment, in coordination with other CAF subject matter experts, responsibility for the development of the training curriculum, and the primary responsibility for monitoring training on matters related to inappropriate sexual conduct.