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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

Pelorus

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First, to caveat: I only skimmed the CBC article. I first heard about this story via The Globe and Mail article I read in depth earlier this evening. Any pertinent details that were in the CBC article which I missed by only reading the G&M article in detail is my own fault.

Second caveat: In my very limited personal experience with both LGen Rouleau and VAdm Baines, I thought that both were exceptional, reasonable, and down to earth officers, and the type of leaders we needed to lead the CAF out of the multitude of issues that the CAF is currently facing.

-------

Assuming that the allegations described in the media are accurate (which always warrants scrutiny) this seems to be a major lack of judgement by both currently serving officers. As this seems to be a simple who/what/when/where/why problem, the balance of probabilities seems to lean towards the allegations being mostly true.

One could argue that Gen. Vance has not been convicted of anything yet. While this is certainly true, given the preponderance of evidence provided by Maj Kellie Brennan and others to date, certainly the VCDS and CRCN would have been aware of the reports made against him. I would guess that all three men have almost certainly convicted subordinates in Summary Trials of offences during their careers with less compelling evidence.

More importantly, I think that this calls into question the judgement of the VCDS and the CRCN. I suppose that I assume that there are multiple possible reasons for this:
  1. Both leaders assumed that meeting in public with Gen Vance was fine and would not draw ethical scrutiny. Again, I would refer to the previous paragraph about the balance of probabilities, and argue that this displays bad judgement in light of the current situation.
  2. Neither LGen Rouleau or VAdm Baines thought that this would be notable enough to make the press. Given the high profile nature of the sexual misconduct cases in the CAF, the fact that Gen Vance was the tipping point of all of this, and seeing as a source for the G&M indicated that the course was cleared of all other personnel to let the trio golf alone so that Vance wouldn't be recognized, I find this hard to believe.
  3. All three personnel involved expected that by virtue of their institutional power that they would be able to make their exclusive golf day happen without any leaks to the press. I feel like this scenario speaks to an arrogance given by their position in the organization, and again displays a poor understanding of the situation.
  4. As a distant fourth, that even if they were caught/exposed by the press, that the MND office would protect them. Surely this was a throwaway COA given the self-preservation instincts shown by the MND and his staff to date.
In any case, I feel like this shows a real lack of judgement displayed by our senior leadership given the current issues we're all facing. I hope that I'm wrong.
 

CBH99

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Friends who work together go golfing. One of them happens to be under investigation for sexual misconduct, but hasn't been charged.

I guess it's a matter of interpretation...


- On the one hand - it's just that. Friends going golfing together, who have all served together for quite some time and are senior members of an organization that is hitting some rough waters. Probably a good place to chat and hash out possible solutions, improvements, etc - less formal setting. One of them is under investigation sexual misconduct. Not sexual assault, sexual misconduct. He hasn't been charged with any crimes yet. (Personally, I find her story FULL of holes & stuff that doesn't make sense.)

- On the other hand, the optics can appear bad depending if someone views it as "Other senior brass should be avoiding Vance until he has been cleared. Socializing with him in the meantime just showcases the toxic culture..."


Is everybody supposed to avoid Vance until he has been formally cleared? Isn't that a double standard, since he hasn't been formally charged yet? How do the senior heads of the military avoid talking to each other, and expect the organization to run as smoothly as possible during these rocky times? (Busy organization.)

Sometimes a day out playing golf & chatting, is just that. 🤷‍♂️


(Just my initial reaction.)
 

Pelorus

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Friends who work together go golfing. One of them happens to be under investigation for sexual misconduct, but hasn't been charged.

I guess it's a matter of interpretation...

- On the one hand - it's just that. Friends going golfing together, who have all served together for quite some time and are senior members of an organization that is hitting some rough waters. Probably a good place to chat and hash out possible solutions, improvements, etc - less formal setting. One of them is under investigation sexual misconduct. Not sexual assault, sexual misconduct. He hasn't been charged with any crimes yet. (Personally, I find her story FULL of holes & stuff that doesn't make sense.)

I would potentially buy this argument if you, I, and Joe Blow McTouchy (of which all three of us were nobodies in the grand scheme of things) decided to go golfing at some random municipal course in bumfuck nowhere after one of us ran into legal trouble.

But a CAF-exclusive golf course in the National Capital Region in which we cleared out everyone else to have a private afternoon so as to not draw scrutiny?

The day that I (let's not kid ourselves that this will ever happen) am put in charge of thousands of people, millions of dollars of taxpayer budget, by all rights a critical component of the defence of the sovereignty of Canada, and perhaps more importantly in this context regularly have to give media interviews to the point where I am a (semi?)-public figure? I sure as shit am going to scrutinize who I am seen rubbing elbows in public with.

If this isn't enough, I would draw your attention to "The Globe and Mail Test", which is probably known to most Officers/Snr NCOs in the CAF. Some examples:

A ship might make sense, one official wrote, "but we need to survive the Globe and Mail test."

Military leadership sometimes speaks about the concept of “the Globe and Mail Test” referring to how particular military decisions or actions will be written about in the press thus informing the opinions of everyday Canadians.

I've been a captain for a long time, which is not a bad thing, because I've spent a lot of time working with and for very capable senior NCOs and officers who have been trying to do the right thing, and they can't any more. They can't do the things we used to do to take care of the family, they can't do the things they used to do to take care of the soldiers, because everyone's concerned that doing the right thing is actually going to get them into some sort of trouble. Is it going to cost us too much? Is it going to pass the Globe and Mail test?

In most cases (the most optimistic reading), this can be described as "how can an otherwise lawful and ethical decision be poorly interpreted by the media to make us (i.e., the CAF) look bad?" In other less frequent cases, it can be understood to mean "how bad will this look on me (or the unit, the formation, the element, the CAF, etc.) if this is leaked to and picked up by the press?"

Is everybody supposed to avoid Vance until he has been formally cleared? Isn't that a double standard, since he hasn't been formally charged yet? How do the senior heads of the military avoid talking to each other, and expect the organization to run as smoothly as possible during these rocky times? (Busy organization.)

Sometimes a day out playing golf & chatting, is just that. 🤷‍♂️

Again, considering that we are consistently trying to prove to the Canadian public that we are a lawful, ethical organization (the pursuit of which is completely appropriate I would argue, in line with any other taxpayer-funded organizations in Canada, and especially among those which exert violence on behalf of the Crown), we should hold ourselves and our leadership to higher standards of ethical conduct.

Has Gen. Vance been formally convicted of anything? No, but even the most myopic person in our organization can see that his "brand"/association is completely radioactive given the claims leveled against a) him personally, and b) the organization writ large.

Again, I would refer back to the original four points in my last post. If these three individuals, who might be old friends, wanted to shoot the shit and get drunk reminiscing about the good old days, they could have all convened via Uber/Taxi at one of their respective houses in which nobody would have been the wiser.

To kick everyone else out of the golf course to hold a boys day on the links --like you used to be able to in the "good old days"-- in my mind speaks to ignorance or arrogance, neither of which we want from our senior decision makers.
 
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hattrick72

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Friends who work together go golfing. One of them happens to be under investigation for sexual misconduct, but hasn't been charged.

I guess it's a matter of interpretation...


- On the one hand - it's just that. Friends going golfing together, who have all served together for quite some time and are senior members of an organization that is hitting some rough waters. Probably a good place to chat and hash out possible solutions, improvements, etc - less formal setting. One of them is under investigation sexual misconduct. Not sexual assault, sexual misconduct. He hasn't been charged with any crimes yet. (Personally, I find her story FULL of holes & stuff that doesn't make sense.)

- On the other hand, the optics can appear bad depending if someone views it as "Other senior brass should be avoiding Vance until he has been cleared. Socializing with him in the meantime just showcases the toxic culture..."


Is everybody supposed to avoid Vance until he has been formally cleared? Isn't that a double standard, since he hasn't been formally charged yet? How do the senior heads of the military avoid talking to each other, and expect the organization to run as smoothly as possible during these rocky times? (Busy organization.)

Sometimes a day out playing golf & chatting, is just that. 🤷‍♂️


(Just my initial reaction.)
He is under investigation and the investigators report to the LGen until July. A little bit of a conflict of interest in my eyes.

That is the only issue I have with this story. Innocent until proven guilty, but you shouldn't be meeting with that person if you have any sway over the investigation.
 

CBH99

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I would potentially buy this argument if you, I, and Joe Blow McTouchy (of which all three of us were nobodies in the grand scheme of things) decided to go golfing at some random municipal course in bumfuck nowhere after one of us ran into legal trouble.

But a CAF-exclusive golf course in the National Capital Region in which we cleared out everyone else to have a private afternoon so as to not draw scrutiny?

The day that I (let's not kid ourselves that this will ever happen) am put in charge of thousands of people, millions of dollars of taxpayer budget, by all rights a critical component of the defence of the sovereignty of Canada, and perhaps more importantly in this context regularly have to give media interviews to the point where I am a (semi?)-public figure? I sure as shit am going to scrutinize who I am seen rubbing elbows in public with.

If this isn't enough, I would draw your attention to "The Globe and Mail Test", which is probably known to most Officers/Snr NCOs in the CAF. Some examples:

A ship might make sense, one official wrote, "but we need to survive the Globe and Mail test."

Military leadership sometimes speaks about the concept of “the Globe and Mail Test” referring to how particular military decisions or actions will be written about in the press thus informing the opinions of everyday Canadians.

I've been a captain for a long time, which is not a bad thing, because I've spent a lot of time working with and for very capable senior NCOs and officers who have been trying to do the right thing, and they can't any more. They can't do the things we used to do to take care of the family, they can't do the things they used to do to take care of the soldiers, because everyone's concerned that doing the right thing is actually going to get them into some sort of trouble. Is it going to cost us too much? Is it going to pass the Globe and Mail test?

In most cases (the most optimistic reading), this can be described as "how can an otherwise lawful and ethical decision be poorly interpreted by the media to make us (i.e., the CAF) look bad?" In other less frequent cases, it can be understood to mean "how bad will this look on me (or the unit, the formation, the element, the CAF, etc.) if this is leaked to and picked up by the press?"



Again, considering that we are consistently trying to prove to the Canadian public that we are a lawful, ethical organization (the pursuit of which is completely appropriate I would argue, in line with any other taxpayer-funded organizations in Canada, and especially among those which exert violence on behalf of the Crown), we should hold ourselves and our leadership to higher standards of ethical conduct.

Has Gen. Vance been formally convicted of anything? No, but even the most myopic person in our organization can see that his "brand"/association is completely radioactive given the claims leveled against a) him personally, and b) the organization writ large.

Again, I would refer back to the original four points in my last post. If these three individuals, who might be old friends, wanted to shoot the shit and get drunk reminiscing about the good old days, they could have all convened via Uber/Taxi at one of their respective houses in which nobody would have been the wiser.

To kick everyone else out of the golf course to hold a boys day on the links --like you used to be able to in the "good old days"-- in my mind speaks to ignorance or arrogance, neither of which we want from our senior decision makers.
Extremely good points and very well argued. I agree with everything you said above (y)

The optics can certainly be bad, and I had actually forgotten about "The Globe & Mail Test." Not in practice, but I haven't heard that term in ages. Good reminder :)
 

CBH99

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He is under investigation and the investigators report to the LGen until July. A little bit of a conflict of interest in my eyes.

That is the only issue I have with this story. Innocent until proven guilty, but you shouldn't be meeting with that person if you have any sway over the investigation.
Absolutely love this. Agreed.

Must be a bit of a tricky minefield for some of the senior staff these days. The ones who aren't under investigation, who are overseeing the investigations of their superiors or equals - careful not to have contact in such a way to damage the integrity of the investigations - yet still need to work together daily/weekly to keep the organization running. All while the folks under investigation (in this case, the boss of all senior staff) haven't formally been charged. Ugh.

And we thought DND HQ may have been a less than stellar place to work BEFORE all of this 😬

For some reason this makes me envision that game Hop Scotch :confused:



I tried to take 2 different views on this, as per my post.

- Out for a game with important work colleagues to talk things out and steer the CAF in a good direction for their departures. (Except you Rouleau, you stay!) Vance hasn't been formally charged. A game of weekend golf to relax and chat.

- The optics the media will portray to a general public that believe almost anything they are told to. You also brought up it is the LGen overseeing the investigation into Vance, which does put a more inappropriate spin on this than I realized. And which the media will no doubt capitalize on, very much to our detriment.



The more I think about the posts above from yourself and Boot12 - the more I'm thinking along the same lines. I didn't realize the investigators reported to the LGen.
 

trigger324

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I doubt the topic of discussion was about how retirement has been treating him or how well their rounds were going.
 

daftandbarmy

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Absolutely love this. Agreed.

Must be a bit of a tricky minefield for some of the senior staff these days. The ones who aren't under investigation, who are overseeing the investigations of their superiors or equals - careful not to have contact in such a way to damage the integrity of the investigations - yet still need to work together daily/weekly to keep the organization running. All while the folks under investigation (in this case, the boss of all senior staff) haven't formally been charged. Ugh.


The more I think about the posts above from yourself and Boot12 - the more I'm thinking along the same lines. I didn't realize the investigators reported to the LGen.

I'm betting that the LGen wasn't keenly aware of that either.

It will likely pay dividends to have process maps drawn up of the 'chain of responsibility' for various key positions.
 

Jarnhamar

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"The decision by LGen Rouleau and VAdm Baines to go golfing with Gen Vance is troubling and unacceptable," said Lane in a statement. "The Minister will discuss next steps with Acting Chief of the Defence Staff."

On one hand, Vance hasn't been found guilty of anything. The MND deciding "next steps" for 2 CAF members going golfing with a civilian seems pretty messed up. On the other hand:

As second-in-command of the military, Rouleau has authority over the military's provost marshal, which is in charge of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service that is investigating Vance.

That certainly seems to give the impression of conflict of interest (even if he's far removed from the investigation) and likely imparts a certain message to the investigators.
 

CBH99

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On one hand, Vance hasn't been found guilty of anything. The MND deciding "next steps" for 2 CAF members going golfing with a civilian seems pretty messed up. On the other hand:



That certainly seems like a conflict of interest and likely imparts a certain message to the investigators.
Let’s give the benefit of the doubt to the investigators for now. I have faith they will do their investigations thoroughly & objectively.

Once the results are submitted, if there is a change between what is presented by them, and what gets presented after - the media will be all over that in a flash.

And surely all of the senior staff are well aware that any attempt to sweep this under the rug will just make things far worse.


Regardless, this seems to have opened the way to a new set of faces, attitudes, and personalities to take the lead at DND and hopefully the MND.

I realize not rocking the boat is what the government is looking for when choosing these positions, but it will hopefully be more aggressive & respectable leadership that replaces those who end up replaced. 🙏🏻
 

Good2Golf

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First, to caveat: I only skimmed the CBC article. I first heard about this story via The Globe and Mail article I read in depth earlier this evening. Any pertinent details that were in the CBC article which I missed by only reading the G&M article in detail is my own fault.

Second caveat: In my very limited personal experience with both LGen Rouleau and VAdm Baines, I thought that both were exceptional, reasonable, and down to earth officers, and the type of leaders we needed to lead the CAF out of the multitude of issues that the CAF is currently facing.

-------

Assuming that the allegations described in the media are accurate (which always warrants scrutiny) this seems to be a major lack of judgement by both currently serving officers. As this seems to be a simple who/what/when/where/why problem, the balance of probabilities seems to lean towards the allegations being mostly true.

One could argue that Gen. Vance has not been convicted of anything yet. While this is certainly true, given the preponderance of evidence provided by Maj Kellie Brennan and others to date, certainly the VCDS and CRCN would have been aware of the reports made against him. I would guess that all three men have almost certainly convicted subordinates in Summary Trials of offences during their careers with less compelling evidence.

More importantly, I think that this calls into question the judgement of the VCDS and the CRCN. I suppose that I assume that there are multiple possible reasons for this:
  1. Both leaders assumed that meeting in public with Gen Vance was fine and would not draw ethical scrutiny. Again, I would refer to the previous paragraph about the balance of probabilities, and argue that this displays bad judgement in light of the current situation.
  2. Neither LGen Rouleau or VAdm Baines thought that this would be notable enough to make the press. Given the high profile nature of the sexual misconduct cases in the CAF, the fact that Gen Vance was the tipping point of all of this, and seeing as a source for the G&M indicated that the course was cleared of all other personnel to let the trio golf alone so that Vance wouldn't be recognized, I find this hard to believe.
  3. All three personnel involved expected that by virtue of their institutional power that they would be able to make their exclusive golf day happen without any leaks to the press. I feel like this scenario speaks to an arrogance given by their position in the organization, and again displays a poor understanding of the situation.
  4. As a distant fourth, that even if they were caught/exposed by the press, that the MND office would protect them. Surely this was a throwaway COA given the self-preservation instincts shown by the MND and his staff to date.
In any case, I feel like this shows a real lack of judgement displayed by our senior leadership given the current issues we're all facing. I hope that I'm wrong.

Or.....
1623595945662.gif

...and the Government will find itself having to explain why it’s view of this event was it was unethical, while the PM can quite literally breach ethics rule after ethics rule after ethics rule (3 and counting) with impunity.

I’m not so sure this was as unplanned/unthought out as it seems...

🤔
 

CBH99

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Or.....
View attachment 65425

...and the Government will find itself having to explain why it’s view of this event was it was unethical, while the PM can quite literally breach ethics rule after ethics rule after ethics rule (3 and counting) with impunity.

I’m not so sure this was as unplanned/unthought out as it seems...

🤔
That nonsense with SNC-Lavalin was more than just an ethics breach, in my opinion anyway.

If the head honchos of a big corporation approach a Prime Minister of Canada and say “hey, sooooooo...would you mind changing this law right here? We MAY have breached it several times, MAY be under criminal investigation, and since we are guilty, will most likely be charged. But if you change this law, we won’t have to worry. Be a pal?”

You don’t say “sure guys, no problem!” You tell them to GTFO.

(Random morning post. Sorry! Not derailing thread)
 

Kilted

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This was a bad decision, but I think we are going to see cancel culture get significantly worse, just wait till even remote connections to people start to land you in hot water.
 

daftandbarmy

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It only looks that way because we have a military of around 20 people that is directed by senior leaders whose careers appear to thrive on nepotism. Bound to cross paths somewhere 😅

There, FTFY.

Might be a good idea to deepen and broaden the gene pool if we can.
 
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