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Defence Minister Anita Anand Paves Way for Culture Shift in Military

By Caitlin Snow Dec 13, 2022 | 1:37 PM

Defence Minister Anita Anand speaks during a news conference on Aug. 4, 2022. Image: CPAC video capture

A culture change is on the way for Canada’s Military.

Defence Minister Anita Anand revealed the roadmap to change in Parliament today that addresses sexual harassment and misconduct in the Department of National Defense and Canadian Armed Forces.

This comes after Supreme Court Justice Lousie Arbour filed a report in May with 48 recommendations to make the shift needed with issues like sexual misconduct, recruitment and training.

As Minister of National Defence, I frequently visit military bases in Canada and travel to visit our personnel deployed abroad. I have met with thousands of Canadian Armed Forces members and Department of National Defence employees and I am deeply proud of them. My sincere hope is that every Canadian feels this same pride in the people who protect our country and who keep us safe. But, this can only happen if we rebuild lost trust by delivering transformative change. Culture change cannot happen from the top down. It will only succeed if it is a team effort, and it will continue to require the involvement and commitment of every DND employee and CAF member. I invite them all to take up this call to arms, and to pursue this mission with the same commitment and vigor for which they are known around the globe.
-The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

Since receiving the report, the military has analyzed and consulted and provided options to Anand on how to move forward.

Culture change is a moral and operational imperative for the Canadian Armed Forces. Earlier this year, Minister Anand accepted Madame Arbour Independent Comprehensive Review, and today she provided parliament with a roadmap to implementing Madame Arbour’s recommendations, and other transformative culture change initiatives. As her Parliamentary Secretary, I will continue to support the Minister of National Defence, in a sustained and continuous effort, as we create an environment where all our members feel protected and respected.
-Bryan May, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

As I speak with our members and leaders at all levels, I see a strong desire for change with my own eyes. Simply put, we owe it to our people to make serious changes, we owe it to our people to have confidence in their leadership and their reporting systems. Our ability to defend our nation depends on it, and our future operational effectiveness is predicated on forming diverse and inclusive teams where everyone is able to carry out their duties to the very best of their abilities. Change is absolutely necessary, and we will do so not only because it is what Canadians rightly expect of us, but ultimately because it is the right thing to do.
-General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff

Seventeen of the forty-eight recommendations are already underway, with the next thirty-one on the way.


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