Canada

Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

OTTAWA —
The House of Commons defence committee ended months of hearings on the Liberal government’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations involving senior military officers without producing a report.

Liberal members spoke for nearly the entirety of today’s final two-hour meeting before the committee rose for the summer break.

Liberal member Anita Vandenbeld spent nearly 30 minutes blaming opposition parties for letting the debate drag on by trying to limit the parameters for writing the report on military sexual misconduct.

Conservative defence critic James Bezan, the only non-Liberal to speak, fired back at the Liberals while lamenting the impact on victims of military sexual misconduct.

The committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief general Jonathan Vance as well as current chief of defence staff Admiral Art McDonald since February.

Several experts bemoaned the committee’s failure to finish its report, with some blaming the Liberals while others suggesting the study was doomed to fail from the beginning because of political finger-pointing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2021.



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