Military postpones appointment of army commander over misconduct investigation

·2 min read
Lt.-Gen. Trevor Cadieu is shown in this January 2018 file photo. He has asked the military to select another officer to serve as army commander due to an investigation into historical allegations made against him. (Phil LaPlante/CBC - image credit)
Lt.-Gen. Trevor Cadieu is shown in this January 2018 file photo. He has asked the military to select another officer to serve as army commander due to an investigation into historical allegations made against him. (Phil LaPlante/CBC - image credit)

The Canadian military has postponed the appointment of its next commander of the army because the man it picked for the role is being investigated for misconduct.

Lt.-Gen. Trevor Cadieu was set to be sworn in as the head of Canada's army at a ceremony in September.

The military says the event was cancelled when it learned on Sept. 5 that its internal investigation department was looking into "historical allegations" made against Cadieu.

"The postponement of the ceremony is not an indictment of Lt.-Gen. Cadieu. However, in light of the ongoing investigation, a decision was made to allow the justice system to pursue the matter in accordance with the rule of law," said the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces in a news statement.

The Ottawa Citizen was first to report on the investigation into Cadieu. The newspaper said he is being investigated over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Cadieu has denied any wrongdoing.

"The allegations are false, but they must be investigated thoroughly to expose the truth," Cadieu said in a news statement.

"I have already voluntarily provided information to the National Investigative Service and I continue to await additional opportunities to co-operate fully with their investigation."

Soldiers need 'unencumbered' leader, Cadieu says

Cadieu said he has asked Acting Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre to consider someone else for the post.

"Canadian Army soldiers deserve a leader who is unencumbered by allegations," he said.

The military is in the midst of an ongoing sexual misconduct crisis, and several senior leaders facing allegations have been put on leave with pay.

Canada's former top military commander, retired general Jonathan Vance, is charged with one count of obstruction of justice in relation to an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct that he denies. His successor, Admiral Art McDonald, was placed on leave over an investigation into sexual misconduct claims that he denied and which didn't lead to criminal charges.

Maj.-Gen. Peter Dawe, who once provided a character reference for a soldier being sentenced for sexual assault, was recently tapped for a key role in the military's response to sexual misconduct before his appointment was rescinded.

"It is not shocking at this point to see another case of sexual misconduct," said Charlotte Duval-Lantoine, a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute who studies military leadership.

She said the number of allegations and investigations that have come to light in recent months may be a result of increased scrutiny by investigators.

"The fact that we're seeing cases after cases is not a surprise at all," Duval-Lantoine said.

The controversies have prompted calls for the resignation of Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. His office said Sajjan was also made aware of the investigation into Cadieu on Sept. 5

"As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further," said a spokesperson in an email to CBC News.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting