Categories: Home2News

Military officer in charge of Canada’s vaccine rollout off the job pending investigation

The officer in charge of Canada’s vaccine rollout has left his assignment with the Public Health Agency of Canada pending the results of a military investigation.

The Department of National Defence announced in a news release Friday evening that Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin is off the high-profile job.

There was no information released about the nature of the investigation.

The release says acting chief of the defence staff, Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, will be reviewing next steps with Fortin.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan issued a brief statement.

“As I have stated previously, I am committed to working to build a true culture of inclusion for the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect,” he said in an email.

“We are committed to this lasting change — one that sheds toxic and outdated values, practices, and policies.

“The Acting Chief of Defence Staff has advised me that MGen Fortin has stepped aside. As there is an ongoing investigation, I will have no further comment at this time.”

Sajjan said the Canadian Armed Forces continues to fully support the vaccine rollout and the rest of the government’s response to COVID-19 across Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Minister Patty Hajdu’s office refused to comment on the impact of Fortin’s departure on the vaccine campaign. They referred all questions to the Department of National Defence.

Last November, Fortin was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to oversee what he called the “greatest mobilization effort Canada has seen since the Second World War.”

Fortin has served in the military for almost 30 years. He commanded NATO’s training mission in Iraq and led Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan at the height of the fiercest fighting there.

It’s the latest blow for the military, which is currently dealing with the fallout from a sexual impropriety allegation levelled against the former chief of defence staff, retired general Jonathan Vance.

Military police are investigating allegations that Vance had a sexual relationship with an officer under his command and that he sent an off-colour email to a junior offer in 2012, before taking the military’s top job.

Vance has not responded to requests for comment, but Global News, which first reported the allegations, says that he has denied any inappropriate conduct.

Shortly after reports of the Vance allegations, his replacement as chief of the defence staff, Admiral Art McDonald, stepped aside due to an unspecified allegation of misconduct. He, too, is now under military police investigation.

And another top commander, Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson, the officer responsible for human resources, is on leave while being investigated by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.

Edmundson has not responded to requests for comment.

There is nothing in Friday’s news release that suggests the investigation against Fortin deals with sexual allegations.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

The Canadian Press

Leave a Comment
Share
Published by
The Canadian Press
Tags: Coronavirus

Recent Posts

Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

26 mins ago

For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

32 mins ago

B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to…

36 mins ago

Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a…

36 mins ago

Liberal government moves to define ‘elder abuse’ to better target ways to stop it

Increasing cases of abuse, neglect, financial abuse or abuse of power-of-attorney being flagged

36 mins ago

Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the…

41 mins ago