Military misconduct: Ottawa today apologizes to the victims

OTTAWA – The federal government, the Department of Defense and the Armed Forces of Canada will issue an official apology today to the victims of sexual misconduct in the military.

The apology was first promised in 2019 as part of a $600 million settlement with current and former service members in a number of class action lawsuits.

The apology will be in three parts with Defense Minister Anita Anand speaking on behalf of the government.

Defense Department Chief of Staff General Wayne Eyre will apologize to the military while Deputy Secretary of Defense Jody Thomas will do the same to the department.

Officials previously said they hoped for an in-person event, but the Defense Department said today’s apology would be delivered virtual and streamed online because of COVID-19.

The apology comes as the Liberal government and military leadership are grappling with a string of allegations of sexual misconduct involving senior officers.

The government has faced calls from the Royal Canadian Legion and others to apologize before an 18-month deadline for victims to submit their claims as part of a settlement that closed last month. .

Nearly 19,000 lawsuits were filed before the claim period ended on November 24, although Jonathan Ptak, an attorney representing victims in some of the six overlapping lawsuits, said victims were still application can be submitted.

“Although the application deadline is November 24, the settlement administrator reserves the right to extend this deadline by 60 days (until January 23, 2022) due to special circumstances or disability. of the requester,” Ptak said in an email.

“To date, many late claims have been accepted for review.”

More than 5,300 claims have been approved for payment while nearly 4,900 have also requested to participate in the “recovery pledge”.

This Canadian Press report was first published on December 13, 2021.


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