Senior military officer acquitted of sexual assault sues government, PM for $6M

OTTAWA — Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, a senior military officer who was acquitted of a sexual assault charge late last year, has filed a $6 million lawsuit against the Canadian government.

Fortin is also suing 16 high-ranking officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and chief of the defence staff Gen. Wayne Eyre, alleging defamation, misfeasance in public office, negligent investigation, public disclosure of private facts, breach of confidence and conspiracy to cause damages.

A statement of claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice accuses the officials of "reprehensible, extreme, flagrant and high-handed" conduct and seeks $5 million in general damages and $1 million in punitive damages.

Fortin was removed as head of the government's COVID-19 vaccine rollout in May 2021 pending the investigation of a historical allegation.

He was charged with sexual assault in August 2021 and acquitted of the charge last December.

The military formally cleared Fortin of misconduct and said it would assign him to a new role, but the lawsuit alleges the Canadian Armed Forces is either refusing or unreasonably delaying his reintegration.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2023.

The Canadian Press