Canadian Military Law/
Droit militaire canadien

updated and corrections / mise à jour et corrections: 7 February 2021

By/par © François Lareau, 1998-, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Image source:, accessed 2 May 2017
Ah les crocodiles
Ah ! Les crocrocro, les crocrocro, les crocodiles
Sur les bords du Nil, ils sont partis, n'en parlons plus

Part I --Current Affaits -- Sexual Misconduct


Other sites on military law

-Part I -- Canadian Military Law -- Miscellaneous


- Somalia Inquiry & Government Reaction
      -  1995-1997: Somalia Inquiry
Departmental Reaction to Somalia Inquiry
      -  Special Advisory Group on Military Justice and Military Police Investigation Services
          January 1997 to July 1997
-  The Special Senate Committee on the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia (April 1997)
Report to the Prime Minister on the Leadership and Management of the Canadian Forces (March 1997)
Minister's Monitoring Committee on Change in the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces (October 1997 to 1999)
Bill C-25--An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
(Royal Assent, 10 December 1998)
2003 -- Five Year Review of Bill C-25
       - 2011 -- Second Five Year Review of Bill C-25    

Governments Bills 1999-2012 on National Defence Act

- Current Affairs -- Sexual Misconduct

- Court Martial Comprehensive Review 2016-2017

- JAG & DND Web Sites

- Laws, Regulations and Orders

Superseded Legislation

- Web Sites of Interest

Part II -- Canadian Military Law -- Bibliography


Starting here:

Current Affairs: Sexual Misconduct

2019 Sexual Misconduct Incident Tracking Report, August 2019; available at (accessed 14 August 2019);

AFC, "Inconduite sexuelle: les résultats des mesures administratives seront communiqués aux victimes", 45E NORD.CA, 29 juillet 2019, disponible à (vérifié le 31 juillet 2019);

ALCOBA, Natalie, "The Canadian army issued cards to soldiers reminding them sexual assault is 'inappropriate'", Vice News, 17 June 2017, available at (accessed 2 May 2017);

Image source:, accessed 3 June 2017
Pierre Asselin
ASSELIN, Pierre, "Le sacrifice de Stéphanie Raymond", éditorial,  Le Soleil,  1 June 2017; available at  (accessed 3 juin 2017);
(Québec) ÉDITORIAL / Le chef d'état-major de la Défense canadienne, le général Jonathan H. Vance,
s'est odieusement servi du dossier de Stéphanie Raymond pour protéger l'image de l'armée. Et c'est peine
perdue. [...]  

Image source:, accessed 20 December 2016
Alison Auld
AULD,  Alison, "Military probe finds 'unacceptable language' in cadet dress-code pamphlets.  All 1,135 cadet organizations across the country reviewed", CBC News/Newfoundland & Labrador, 19 December 2016; available at (accessed 20 December 2016);

AUDITOR GENERAL OF CANADA, 2018 Fall Reports of the Auditor General of Canada,  Report 5—Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour—Canadian Armed Forces; available at (accessed 20 November 2018);

BERNATCHEZ, Geneviève, Cmdre, Judge Advocate General, Testimony before the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence,  30 October 2017 about the order in council re her appointment to the position of Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Forces; see  (accessed 1 November 2017)  and (accessed 10 November 2017); important contribution;

Image source:, accessed 4 February 2017
James Wilks, left with his defence counsel, David Hodson (photo
by Jean Levac, Postmedia/wire, taken earlier during the trial)
BERTHIAUME, Lee, Canadian Press, "Ex-medic found guilty of sex assault for inappropriate breast exams on recruits.  It’s the third such conviction for former petty officer James Wilks, who was also found guilty of breach of trust",, 3 February 2017; available at (accessed 4 February 2017);

___________"Canadian military-college students report widespread sexual misconduct", Canadian Press, 8 October 2020; available at (accessed 13 October 2020);

___________"Military cites privacy concerns for slow progress in review of unfounded cases.  Internal review found nearly 1 in 3 cases logged between 2010-2016 received the 'unfounded' label", CBC News Politics, 30 January 2018, available at (accessed 31 January 2018);

Image source:, accessed 24 November 2017
Lee Berthiaume
___________"29 service members booted from Canadian Forces in 2017 for sexual misconduct", Toronto Metro, 24 November 2017; available at (accessed 24 November 2017);

___________"Trudeau orders review of Justice Department response to military sex misconduct lawsuit", The Globe and Mail, 7 February 2018, available at (accessed 8 February 2018);

Kevin Bissett

BISSETT, Kevin, "Women in Canadian military subjected to harassment, discrimination, suit alleges.  Plaintiff is Glynis Rogers, 29, a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces from Nova Scotia", CBC News/Nova Scotia, 21 November 2016; available at (accessed 14 December 2016);

BLATCHFORD, Christie, "Christie Blatchford: Canadian military has bigger problems beyond the curse of sexual misconduct:  The Forces reacted to the Deschamps report on sexual misconduct as though her 10 recommendations, like the commandments to Moses, had come directly from God", National Post. com,  22 May 2019,  available at (accessed 24 May 2019);

Source de l'image:, vérifié le 2 mai 2017
Raphaël Bouvier-Auclair
BOUVIER-AUCLAIR, Raphaël, "Huit nouvelles enquêtes liées à des inconduites sexuelles au sein de l’armée canadienne",, 1er février 2016, disponible à (vérifié le 2 janvier 2016);

image source:, accessed 14 December 2016
Dany Braun
BRAUN, Danny,"Inconduite sexuelle dans l'armée: toujours pas de justice", vendredi, 18 mars 2016, ici Radio-Canada, disponible à (vérifié 20 Mars 2016);

Image source:, accessed 25 May 2016
Murray Brewster, "Armed Forces commanders signal hard line against racism and sexual violence in the ranks", CBC Politics, 12 January 2021, available at (accessed 15 January 2021);

Both the incoming and outgoing commanders of the Royal Canadian Navy
today delivered some of their most forceful public condemnations of racism
and sexual violence in the ranks — an apparent signal the military's campaign
against misconduct has entered a new phase.

The remarks were delivered in tandem by Vice-Admiral Art McDonald — who
becomes the country's new top military commander later this week — and
Vice-Admiral Craig Baines during a virtual change-of-command ceremony in Ottawa.

___________ "Decorated military officer accused of sex crimes in Quebec, New Brunswick.  7 members of military have been charged in the last 30 days with sex-related offences", CBC News  Politics, 30 October 2017, available at (accessed 31 October 2017);

___________"DND calls sexual misconduct in military a 'wicked problem,' seeks long-term solutions", CBC News, 28 October 2020; available at (accessed 30 October 2020);

___________ "DND resumes inquiry into handling of sex assault case. Report into army's handling of high-profile case was already written, now on hold for further investigation", CBC News, 22 June 2016; available at (accessed 22 June 2016);

__________"Dramatic drop in number of 'unfounded' sexual assaults in Canadian Forces: DND report.  Number of cases deemed 'unfounded' drops from 29% in 2010 to 7% in 2016", CBC News Politics, 28 April 2017, available at (accessed 31 January 2018);

____________"Exclusive: DND sex assault conviction rate lower than civilian courts:  Military prosecutor says offenders being held to account on lesser charges would send an important message", CBC News Politics, 23 October 2017; available at (accessed 24 October 2017);

__________ "Ghomeshi trial could hurt military efforts against sexual misconduct, expert says Retired colonel Michel Drapeau says the grilling that the alleged victims received so far will give pause to female officers thinking about stepping forward", The Canadian Press, Sunday 7 February 2016,; available at (accessed 8 February 2016);

___________"Military clergy struggle with directive to report sexual misconduct, documents show.  Internal report finds unease among military chaplains over 2015 directive about testifying in court", CBC News Politics, 17 August 2017, available at, accessed 17 August 2017;

Former master corporal Stéphanie Raymond
___________"Military inquiry finds failure of 'basic leadership' in handling of sex assault allegation.  Revelations over military's treatment of retired master corporal Stéphanie Raymond helped launch investigation", CBC News Politics, 30 May 2017, available at (accessed 31 May 2017);

___________"Military making slow progress against sexual misconduct, says report",  CBC News, 26 February 2019, available at (accessed 26 February 2019);

___________"Military members who report sexual misconduct still say they're being dismissed by chain of command: report --Five years into drive to eliminate sexual misconduct from the military, victims report feeling abandoned", CBC News, 22 October 2020; available at  (accessed 22 October 2020);

___________"Military sex assault and misconduct investigations increase in 2015-- Complaints to new crisis response centre at National Defence lead to charges and new investigations", CBC News -- Politics, 24 May 2016, available at (accessed 25 May 2016);

____________"Most military cadets say they've seen unwanted sexualized behaviour at college", CBC News, 8 October 2020; available at (accessed 30 October 2020);

___________"Real number of sex assault complaints in military higher than official figures, watchdog says Military ombudsman receives dozens of sex assault, harassment complaints not counted by Defence Dept.", CBC News -- Politics, 24 May 2016, available at (accessed 25 May 2016);

___________"Sajjan grilled over delay in protecting victims' rights in military law", CBC Politics, 2 November 2020, available at (accessed 4 November 2020);

___________"Sexual-misconduct lawsuit against Armed Forces alleges 'reckless' conduct: 3 former military members spell out allegations of sexual assault and institutional indifference", CBC News, 12 December 2016, available at (accessed 13 December 2016);

___________"Top general says no systemic problems at Royal Military College after report on suicide, sexual misconduct", CBC News Politics, 29 March 2017, available at (accessed 30 October 2020);

CAMPION-SMITH, Bruce, "Canadian Forces to review allegations of sexual misconduct.  Independent probe will re-examine complaints that were dismissed as “unfounded” between 2010 and 2015",, 28 April 2017; available at (accessed 28 April 2017);

___________ "Top general issues orders to drum out sexual offenders.  Canada’s top general has sent a formal order to make good on his goal that anyone guilty of sexual misconduct will be forced out of the military.", 3 January 2017; available at (accessed 14 January 2017);.

Source of image:
CANADIAN ARMED FORCES, Chief Of Military Personnel, Progress Report Addressing Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour, 1 February 2016, Covering the period June through December 2015, Prepared for the Chief of the Defence Staff by the Chief of Military Personnel; available at  (accessed 2 February 2016);

Source of image:, accessed 29 September 2016
CANADIAN ARMED FORCES, Chief Of Military Personnel, Progress Report Addressing Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour,  August 30, 2016, Covering the period January through June 2016, Prepared for the Chief of the Defence Staff by the Chief of Military Personnel; available at and (accessed 29 February 2016);
Table of Contents

Source of image:, accessed 28 April 2017
CANADIAN ARMED FORCES, Chief Of Military Personnel, Progress Report Addressing Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour,  April 28, 2017, Covering the period July 2016 through March 2017, available at  (accessed 28 April 2017); see also the Executive Summary at;

CANADIAN ARMED FORCES STRATEGIC RESPONSE TEAM ON SEXUAL MISCONDUCT (CSRT-SM), Canadian Armed Forces Action Plan on Inapproriate Sexual Behaviour: addressing the External Review Authority Report's Recommendations, 30 March 2015, 11 p.; available at and (accessed on 2 May 2015);
ÉQUIPE D'INTERVENTION STRATÉGIQUE DES FORCES ARMÉES CANADIENNES SUR L'INCONDUITE SEXUELLE (EISF-IS), Plan d'action des Forces armées canadiennes sur le comportement sexuel inapproprié donnant suite aux recommandations du rapport de la responsable de l'examen externe, 30 avril 2015, 12 p.; disponible à et (sites visités le 2 mai 2015);

CANADIAN ARMED FORCES, The Path to Dignity and Respect: The Canadian Armed Forces Strategy to Address Sexual Misconduct, 2020, available at (accessed 30 October 2020)

  ----Oops...!  this artile does not belong here! But for researchers & folks: remember that quite often in the army ça change plus c'est pareil!
  General J.M.G. Baril (image source:

CANADIAN FORCES, Chief of the Defence Staff, J.M.G. Baril, Open Letter, "Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and General Military Discipline in the Canadian Forces to all Members of the Canadian Forces and Their Families", 9 June 1998, available at;
FORCES CANADIENNES, Le Chef d'état-major de la Défense, J.M.G. Baril, Lettre ouverte, "Harcèlement sexuel, actes d’inconduite sexuelle et discipline générale au sein des Forces canadiennes", 9 juin 1998, disponible à;

CANADIAN FORCES, JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL, 2015-2016, Annual Report of the Judge Advocate General: A report to the Minister of National Defence on the Administration of Military Justice from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, [Ottawa, 2016], [1], iv, 43 p., Cat. No. D1-16E-PDF, ISSN: ISSN 1497-7192; available at (accessed 28 July 2016); available at (accessed 28 July 2016);

Also in this reporting period the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) issued his order concerning Operation HONOUR which is aimed at eliminating harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour within the CAF. Inappropriate sexual behaviour of any kind is contrary to the values of the profession of arms, the profession of law, the ethical principles of the Department of National Defence (DND) and the CAF. Accordingly, I have directed the implementation of Operation HONOUR within the Office of the JAG in order to eliminate inappropriate sexual behaviour, to ensure that efforts to implement the CDS’s direction by the chain of command occur with a complete understanding of applicable law and consequent legal risk and to ensure that those individuals who are alleged to have committed a service offence of a sexual nature contrary to the Code of Service Discipline are properly dealt with according to the rule of law. [p. iv]

The JAG will continue to support the CDS and other members of the chain of command in the execution of Operation HONOUR. In addition to taking the necessary steps to implement the strategy of the CDS to eliminate inappropriate sexual behaviour within the CAF, the Office of the JAG will work to ensure that efforts to implement Operation HONOUR occur with a complete understanding of applicable law and consequent legal risk. Additionally, the Office of the JAG will ensure that any efforts to develop the military justice system complement efforts that are being undertaken by other CAF authorities in support of Operation HONOUR. [pp. 33-34]

"Canadian military says doubling of sex assault reports a sign of progress", CBC News, 8 October 2018, available at (accessed 10 October 2018);

CANADIAN PRESS, "MacLean's alleges 'disturbing' levels of sexual assault in Canadian military: The article contains interviews with alleged victims and tracks military police investigations", 24 April 2015, available at (accessed on 30 April 2015);

CANADIAN PRESS, "Military's sexual misconduct call centre to go 24/7 despite staffing struggles", published 16 July 2017, available at (accessed 17 July 2017);
...Denise Preston, who took over as executive director last month, said the Ottawa-based centre will finally expand
 its hours after nearly two years of existence in the coming weeks.
...Preston, a registered psychologist who spent 19 years at the Correctional Service of Canada and eight with the Parole Board,
including in several senior positions.

The sexual misconduct response centre is unique within the military in that it is independent from the chain of command,
which Preston compared to the way the Parole Board operates.

Preston reports to National Defence's top bureaucrat, deputy minister John Forster, who is responsible for managing the
department's civilian staff in the same way defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance oversees those in uniform.

CANADIAN PRESS, "New chief of defence staff issues first order to Canadian Forces: Sexual harassment 'stops now' ", 23 July 2015, available at (accessed 24 July 2015);
Canada’s newly minted chief of defence staff will hold a summit this August with the leadership of the Canadian military to determine
the way ahead for eradicating sexual assault and harassment in the Canadian Forces.

CANADIAN PRESS,  "Proposed class-action claims bullying, sex assault of women in Armed Forces", The Globe and Mail, 21 November 2016, available at, accessed 8 December 2016;

CANADIAN PRESS,  "Report into military sex misconduct case still under review 14 months later: An investigation into the handling of a misconduct case is complete, but the report is currently being examined by the commander of the Canadian Army, a defence spokeman says",, 21 March 2016, available at (accessed 24 March 2016);
he inquiry examined how the military responded to the allegations and grievances of former master
corporal Stephanie Raymond, who alleged she was raped by a superior and then driven out of the
army for reporting it.

CANADIAN PRESS, "Top General takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault", 18 October 2018; available at (accessed 19 October 2018);

Rachel Cave

CAVE, Rachel, "Effort to rid the military of sexual misconduct is coming to New Brunswick.  Interviews have been arranged with victims of sexual misconduct within the Canadian military", CBC News New Brunswick, 22 February 2018; available at (accessed 22 February 2018);

CBC NEWS, "Jason Kenney guarantees independent centre to handle military sexual misconduct", 13 May 2015, published at (accessed 14 May 2015);
Kenney was asked point blank by NDP defence critic Jack Harris whether he would "guarantee that the Canadian Armed Forces will establish an independent body to handle sexual misconduct. Yes or no."

Kenney responded: "Yes."


Lawson's orders also seem to rule out Deschamps's recommendation to have civilian police handle an entire investigation, if the victim chooses.

However, Justice Minister Peter MacKay, a former defence minister, suggested Wednesday he supports that recommendation.

"I personally think, and I encourage — I spoke to the [military's] Judge Advocate General yesterday — that there should be perhaps a protocol or perhaps a consultation that takes place between Crown prosecutors and military justice system."

"I just think there's an opportunity there for greater collaboration in some cases between our military justice system when the behaviour crosses that line."

___________"Military harassment report: 10 recommendations", available at (accessed 14 May 2015);

___________"Military sexual misconduct : Indpendent centre to focus on victim support", 26 June 2015; available at (accessed 26 June 2015);

CBC NEWS Ottawa, "Victim of sexual misconduct facing loss of military career.  Sgt. Vicky-Lynn Cox developed post-traumatic stress and is to be medically discharged from military in May", 15 November 2017, available at (accessed 15 November 2017);
Two years later, while Cox battles mental illness, no charges have been laid and no punishment delivered to the three colleagues
and one superior she has accused of sexual misconduct.

The military has not helped her navigate the process for pursuing her grievances, Cox said, despite the encouraging tone from the top.

She had hoped the office of the Forces' senior legal officer would provide assistance, but was told it was outside their mandate. At one
point she said she was advised to find her own lawyer.

Cox also said she was originally told that none of her complaints would be pursued at all, so she responded by taking her concerns up
the chain of command on her own.

Two of Cox's cases have been reopened. She said she also plans to keep fighting for the other cases to be investigated further.

CBC NEWS, THE NATIONAL, "Military's response to sexual misconduct report", available at (accessed 18 May 2015);

CDS Op Order -- Op HONOUR, August 2015, available at (accessed 18 August 2015);

Service Support

  1. The JAG is committed to ensuring that those findings and recommendations within reference A that touch upon the military justice system are closely reviewed, in coordination with CSRT-SM, to ensure that any changes to military justice legislation, policies and practices are consistent with the approaches being developed by that team.

___________FRAGO OO4 To CDS Op Order – OPERATION HONOUR – dated 5 March 2018; available at (accessed 11 May 2018);

Source:, accessed 1 November 2017
Sean Chase
CHASE, Sean, "Petawawa soldier receives eight years for sexual assault, voyeurism",  The Daily Observer, 30 October 2017, available at:, accessed 1 November 2017;

A Petawawa soldier was sentenced Monday to 8 years and nine months in prison for video taping and taking photographs
of women as he sexually assaulted them.

In Pembroke superior court, Cpl. Derrick Gallagher learned he will receive five years and four months of credit for the
pre-sentence custody he had already accumulated

COMOX VALLEY ECHO, "General talks to CFB Comox staff about sexual misconduct in the military", 16 May 2015; available at  (accessed 17 May 2015);
Whitecross hopes to see change as soon as possible.

"Our first report is due in the fall" said Whitecross.  "And in that timeframe, we're hoping to actually have tangible action plans and perhaps even measurements
available in all our action items.  I can't really say how long it will take us.  Culture change takes months and years.  Behaviour change as well.    
Whitecross hopes to see change as soon as possible.
"Our first report is due in the fall," said Whitecross. "And in that timeframe, we're hoping to actually have tangible action plans and perhaps even measurements available in all of our action items. I can't really say how long it will take us. Culture change takes months and years. Behaviour change as well." - See more at:

Contract between Marie Deschamps and the Government of Canada, available at (accessed 13 April 2015);

CPAC, Revue politque, "The findings of a survey on sexual assault within the Canadian Forces paint a troubling picture of the situation. Commissioned following the tabling of Justice Marie Deschamps ‘s report, the survey reveals that close to 1,000 sexual assault cases were reported in the twelve months preceding this consultation. Pierre Donais discusses this file with lawyer and retired colonel Michel Drapeau and Noémi Mercier, the reporter with journaliste de l’Actualité magazine who broke the story, in 2014, on sexual misconduct in the military. The following MPs also share their views on this file : Joël Lightbound (Liberal Party), Pierre Paul-Hus (Conservative Party), Brigitte Sansoucy (NDP) and Michel Boudrias (Bloc Québécois)", 28 minutes, available at (accessed 30 November 2016);

Elaine Craig, image source:, accessed 30 June 2019
CRAIG,  Elaine, "An Examination of How the Canadian Military’s Legal System Responds to Sexual Assault", Forthcoming Dalhousie Law Journal 43:1 Spring 2020;  available at (accessed 30 June 2019);  now available at  as (2019) 43:1 Dal LJ 1 (accessed 23 December 2019); also available at (accessed 29 October 2020);

Although the Canadian military has been conducting sexual assault trials for over twenty
years, there has been no academic study of them and no external review of them. This
review of the military’s sexual assault cases (the first of its kind) yields several important
findings. First, the conviction rate for the offence of sexual assault by courts martial is
dramatically lower than the rate in Canada’s civilian criminal courts. The difference
between acquittal rates in sexual assault cases in these two systems appears to be even
larger. Since Operation Honour was launched in 2015 only 1 soldier has been convicted
of sexually assaulting a female member of the Canadian Armed Forces by Canada’s
military legal system. (One other conviction was overturned on appeal and is pending
before the Supreme Court of Canada.) In addition, plea bargains in which accused
individuals can avoid Criminal Code convictions by pleading guilty to military specific
discipline offences like drunkenness and disgraceful conduct have been used in some
cases involving aggressive sexual attacks. Sanctions for even these serious sexual
attacks involved fines and reprimands. Last, the decisions of military judges in
some cases suggest a critical failure to recognize the Canadian military’s culture
of hostility to women documented in the Deschamps Report. Together these findings
raise the following question: regardless of the outcome of the current constitutional
challenge to courts martial proceedings in Canada (in R v Beaudry), should the
military’s legal system continue to maintain jurisdiction over sexual assault cases?


CTV NEWS, " 'Action plan' to follow release of report on military sexual misconduct", 30 April 2015; available at (accessed 30 April 2015);

CTV News with a report from CTV's Mercedes Stephenson in Ottawa, "Feds trying to stop sexual misconduct lawsuit against Canadian Forces", Staff, 6 February 2018, available at (accessed 8 February 2018);

....the federal government argued in court filings that it does not “owe a private law duty of care to individual members within
the CAF to provide a safe and harassment-free work environment, or to create policies to prevent sexual harassment or sexual assault."

CTV NEWS, "Critics cast doubt on justice for sex assault victims in Canadian military", 1 December 2016; available at (accessed 2 December 2016);
This week, two more soldiers faced court martials on sexual assault charges. In both cases, the soldiers pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disgraceful conduct while the
 sexual assault charges were stayed.

Retired Col. Michel Drapeau calls the process “a second-class type of justice system” for victims of sexual assault.

“The accused pleads guilty to (a) disciplinary offense and gets away -- I think that’s the term -- with a minor sentence, no criminal records,” Drapeau told CTV News.


Military prosecutors say they take sexual offences seriously and that plea bargains are not a default.

“Obviously if we put them forward professionally, it’s because we think they are appropriate in the circumstance. Otherwise we would not put them forward,” said Lt.-Col David Antonyshyn with the Canadian Military Prosecution Service.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has said the system is under review.

CTV NEWS, Muneeza Sheikh, Levitt LLP, "Military Justice System: How does the military justice system work? Employment and Labour Lawyer Muneeza Sheikh weighs in", 30/04/2016, available at (accessed 30 May 2017);

CUDMORE, James, "Army Chief orders mandatory briefings on sexual misconduct", CBC News, 23 June 2015; available at (accessed 24 June 2015);

___________ "Canadian Forces brace for report on sexual misconduct in the rank: review by former Supreme Court justice expected to blast military leadership",  CBC News, 28 April 2015; available at (accessed 29 April 2015);

___________"Military's response to sexual misconduct report curtailed by general's orders.  Chief of the defence staff's directive set out 'assumption' that meant key recommendation would be ignored", CBC News, 13 May 2015; available at (accessed 14 May 2015);

CYR, Yanick, "Les inconduites sexuelles en forte baisse dans les Forces armées canadiennes", Radio-Canada,  26 février 2019, disponible à (consulté le 26 février 2019);, class actions concerning the Canadian Armed Forces:
- CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action, see (accessed 28 August 2019):
Main Documents and Notices
  1. Final Settlement Agreement
  2. Court-approved Notice 
  3. Participation Form

-   LGBT Purge Settlement Class Action, see (accessed 28 August 2019);
Main Documents and Notices
  1. Final Settlement Agreement.pdf
  2. Settlement Approval Order.pdf
  3. Long Form Notice.pdf
  4. Individual Application (Claim) Form.pdf

DESCHAMPS, Marie, 1952-, External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces[: Report], [Ottawa], 27 March 2015, xii, 89 p.; available at  (accessed on 30 April 2015); also available at (accessed 25 July 2015);
DESCHAMPS, Marie, Examen externe sur l'inconduite sexuelle et le harcèlement  sexuel dans les Forces armées canadiennes [: rapport], 27 mars 2015, xiii, 87 p.; disponible à  (site visité 30 avril 2015); also available at and at (accessed 25 July 2015);


D'AMOURS, Matt, "Canadian Forces face human rights complaint over sexual harassment allegations.  Canadian Human Rights Commission agrees to investigate complaint filed by former member of military", CBC News, Montreal, 14 December 2016; available at (accessed 26 January 2017); 

DICKSON, Louise, "Victoria lawyers file sexual harassment suit against Armed Forces", Rime Colonist, 5 December 2016, available at (accessed 6 December 2016);

DOOLITTLE, Robyn, "Unfounded.  Canadian military police to review sex-assault cases", The Globe and Mail, 12 March 2017, available at (a ccessed 13 March 2017);
Victoria lawyers file sexual harassment suit against Armed Forces - See more at:

DRAPEAU, Michel , "Auditor general’s report on sexual misconduct in military: another canon shot, new signal of distress", The Hill Times, 26 November 2018; see (accessed 29 November 2018);

___________ "Blog comment to 'Retired justice to investigate how Canadian Forces deal with sexual misconduct and harassment'", Blog posted on Global Military Justice Reform web site, 22 July 2014 to original article posted on 11 July 2014, available at (accessed on 24 July 2014);
Justice (retired) Marie Deschamps' mandate specifically excludes any review of any decision relating to the military penal justice system or a decision made to investigate complaints, lay charges, to proceed with charges or prosecute charges. It also excludes any legal advice received by the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Forces, the conduct of military police or any matter related to the JAG in respect of his function as the Superintendent of the administration of the military justice. In short, her mandate is limited to (a) a review of policies, procedures and programs in relation to sexual misconduct and sexual harassment, and (b) the extent to which members actually report incidence of sexual misconduct.

I am unable to comprehend why a jurist of her high standing would have accepted such a truncated mandate. Particularly since both her vast and acclaimed judicial expertise and experience lie precisely in the area pertaining to the penal justice system and since the failure by victims to report ‘sexual misconduct’ probably exist in the first place because of the failure of the existing military penal justice system to properly deal with such crimes.

Unless, her mandate is enlarged, this External Review risks to be left with the pleasant task of giving accolades to the military for the clarity and comprehensiveness of their policies, instructions, orders, regulations, directives on the issues of sexual misconduct as well as the appropriateness of their training programs to prevent sexual misconduct. By the same token, however, this will provide the military penal justice system an unassailable opportunity to “montrer patte blanche’ despite its current alleged inability to deal effectively with victims of sexual assault resulting in a disturbingly high level of unreported incidents of sexual misconduct.

____________"A bridge too far",  Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 8 February 2016, available at  (accessed on 9 February 2018);

___________"Canadian military's apathetic and lethargic response to External Review on Sexual Misconduct. A call for leadership by the new CDS", Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 12 May 2015, available at (accessed on 13 May 2015);

___________"Canadian Military Sexual Misconduct Response Centre--Progress?",
Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 3 February 2016, available at (accessed on 4 February 2016);

Canadian trial: will it discourage complainants?", Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 7 February 2016, available at (accessed on 8 February 2016);

Criminal justice system and military discipline; a world apart!", Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 3 December 2018, available at (accessed on 5 December 2018);

___________"A   dramatic courtroom scene",  
Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 4 December 2016, available at (accessed on 5 December 2016);

___________"Editorial censure?",
Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 2 June 2017, available at (accessed on 3 June 2017);

Firestorm of protest in Canadian parliament over military mishandling of sexual misconduct issue", Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 14 May 2015, available at (accessed on 17 May 2015);

from bad to worse: Statistics Canada makes public a survey of 43,000 soldiers",  Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 28 November 2016, available at (accessed on 29 November 2016);

___________ "Opinion Leader 'Actualité' in French Canada weighs in with a restricted jurisdiction for military tribunals", Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 7 May 2015, available at  (accessed on 8 May 2015);

Plague of sexual misconduct in military can’t be solved internally", The Lawyer's Daily, 4 December 2018, available at  (accessed 5 December 2018);

Results of Military Board of Inquiry into treatment of sexual assault victims released", Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 1 June 2017, available at  (accessed on 2 June 2017);

___________"The Senate of Canada examines Sexual Harrassment and Violence", 30 April 2018, Michel Drapeau Law Office, available at (accessed 1 May 2018);

__________"Sexual Assaults and the Canadian military justice system: early signs of real leadership", 
Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 4 February 2016, available at (accessed on 5 February 2016);

___________"Sexual Assaults in the Canadian Military.  Is the Military Making Headway?", paper submitted to the National Security and Defence Committee Senate of Canada", 30 April 2018, 16 p., available at (accessed 1 May 2018);

Sexual misconduct has escaped the military brass for past two decades", 7 December 2016, available at (accessed 8 December 2016);

___________"Sexual misconduct in the Canadian Forces" Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 23 May 2019, available at (accessed on 23 May 2019);

"Sexual misconduct in the military due to biological wiring?",  Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 19 June 2015, available at (accessed on 20 June 2015);

DUNNE, Tim, "
The unremitting problem of sexual crimes in Canada’s military", The Lawyer's Daily, 6 December 2017; available at (accessed 7 December 2017);

"EDITORIAL: Gender inequality and military justice", Herald Opinions, 6 July 2018; available at (accessed 8 July 2018); 

HARRIS, Eimi, "
The Canadian Armed Forces: Integrating Gender Perspectives into Military CultureEIMI5)", NATO Association of Canada, 17 February 2016, available at  (accessed 27 May 2017);

FIDELL, Eugene R., "Action filed in Canada over CAF sexual assaults", Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 30 November 2016, available at (accessed on 1 December 2016);

Dateline: Ottawa", Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 27 February  2019, available at (accessed on 28 February 2019);

One of Deschamps' other recommendations — still considered a work in progress — is to make the sexual misconduct
response centre fully independent and able to track and evaluate the military's efforts.

It's something defence department officials have resisted, but Emma Phillips, a Toronto lawyer who acted as counsel
to the Deschamps commission, said Tuesday's report shows DND is backtracking and the centre will now be independent.

More questions raised about Canadian military justice", Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 30 May 2018, available at (accessed on 31 May 2018);

FOWLER, Rory, "Defence Administrative Order and Directive 9005-1 - Sexual Misconduct Response", Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog,  18 November 2020 and available at  (accessed on 19 November 2020);

____________"Defence Administrative Order and Directive 9005-1 - Sexual Misconduct Response",
blog,  Law Office of Rory G. Fowler, 18 November 2020, and available at and (accessed 19 November 2020);


Image source:, accessed 8 December 2016
Gloria Galloway
GALLOWAY, Gloria, "Canadian military criticized over sexual-harassment policies", The Globe and Mail, circa 8 February 2018, available at (accessed 8 February 2018);

___________ "Canadian military makes headway on sex assault nearly three years after its #MeToo revelation", The Globe and Mail, 19 January 2018, available at (accessed 19 January 2019);

Colonel Bruce MacGregor, the director of military prosecutions, recognizes that sexual-assault victims who pursue justice through
the court-martial system cannot rely on those legislated rights. But, he said, he has spent the past couple of years rewriting policies
for military prosecutions to take the best of the Victims Bill of Rights and put it into practice in the military system.

For instance, Ms. Deschamps recommended in her report that sexual-assault victims be allowed to express their opinion about
whether their cases should be handled by a civilian or military court. Col. MacGregor has decreed that his prosecutors must ask
the victim for their views on jurisdiction – even if the final decision rests with him. Prosecutors are also told that victims must
be kept up do date about the progress of their cases. "If there is a lack of communication," he said, "that's against our direction."

There is an effort to limit the number of times a victim has to tell their story and to ensure that the same prosecutor handles a
case from start to finish. And military prosecutors must put pressure on defence counsel to allow victim-impact statements.

Col. MacGregor has also hired Lieutenant-Colonel Maureen Pecknold, a reservist and senior mentor to the Ontario Crown on
sexual-assault cases, to be the part-time director of his sexual-misconduct prosecutions team.

___________"Military sexual-assault trials have high acquittal rate despite zero-tolerance policy",  The Globe and Mail, 10 June  2019;    

___________ "New defence chief orders 'harmful behaviour' to stop.  General Jonathan Vance says sexual misconduct is a threat to the military", The Globe and Mail, Saturday, July 18, 2015, p. A5;
In his first speech as CDS, Gen. Vance told the officers, politicians and bureaucrats attending the ceremony in a downtown convention centre that the well-being of the members of the Armed Forces will be his own top priority and that of all other officers of the army, navy, air force and special operations.

"Any form of harmful behaviour has been and always will be absolutely contrary to good order and discipline.  It is a threat to morale, it is a threat to operational readiness and a threat to this institution," said the general.  "Therefore, as my first order to the Canadian Armed Forces, everybody must continue to work together to eliminate this harmful behaviour.  It must stop now."

____________"Third sexual-abuse class-action suit in works against Canadian military", The Globe and Mail, 7 December 2016; available at (accessed 8 December 2016);

___________"Top military general to revise plan to combat sexual misconduct amid push for better gender balance", The Globe and Mail,  17 December 2018; available at (accessed 18 December 2018);

Image source:, accessed 8 December 2016
Jen Gerson
GERSON, Jen, "Sex assault scandals rock prestigious Royal Military College in Kingston", National Post, 29 May 2015, available at  (accessed 2 June 2015);

Image source: , accessed 30 April 2017
Matt Gurney
GURNEY, Matt, "Matt Gurney: Failings in leadership aren’t biologically hardwired, either", National Post, 17 June 2015; available at (accessed 19 June 2015); on the CDS statement on sexual harassment;

HAJIZADEH, Mohammad, Alice Aiken, Chrelsea Cox, "Risk Factors Associated with Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces: Does It Vary by Sex and Environmental Command?",  Archives of sexual behavior, 04 July 2019;

Description: Using the Survey on Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces
(n = 43,440) we examined risk factors associated with the experience of sexual
misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). We used logistic regression models
to identify predictors of being a target of sexual misconduct among CAF members.
We also examined whether risk factors associated with sexual misconduct vary by sex
and environmental command (Army, Navy, Air Force, or Military Personnel). The
proportions of CAF members who experienced sexual assault, inappropriate sexualized
behavior, or discriminatory behavior on the basis of sex and sexual orientation or gender
identity in the past year were 2%, 18.4%, and 5.9%, respectively. The odds ratio of being
the target for sexual assault or inappropriate sexual behavior and discriminatory behavior
in the past year among females compared to males was 4.75 (95% confidence interval
[CI] = 4.14 to 5.44), 2.55 (95% CI = 2.41 to 2.71), and 4.67 (95% CI = 4.3 to 5.08),
respectively. Being a victim of one or more of the three types of sexual misconduct in the
past year was associated with one or more of the following factors: younger, single,
Indigenous, disabled, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, highly educated, or junior
non-commissioned members of the CAF. Results were generally consistent when we
stratified our analysis by sex and environmental command. These results suggest that
sexual misconduct is a problem within the CAF. There is a need for change within the
CAF to prevent sexual misconduct among at-risk members.

&vl(boolOperator2)=AND&vl(freeText2)=&vl(13699713UI6)=00&dum=true&vl(freeText0)=Canada%20military, accessed 5 August 2019]

Image source:, accessed 30 April 2017
Kayla Hounsell
HOUNSELL, Kayla, "Former civilian employee pushing to join lawsuit against Canadian Armed Forces", CTV News Atlantic, 19 December 2016, available at (accessed 20 December 2016); includes Video;

HOUSE OF COMMONS, Standing Committee on National Defence, Subject discussed: Sexual Assault in the Military, 27 May 2014; witnesses: Department of National Defence:Gen Thomas J. Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff; RAdm Jennifer Bennett, Champion for Women in Defence; MGen Blaise Cathcart, Judge Advocate General; MGen David Millar, Chief of Military Personnel; Col Robert P. Delaney, Canadian Forces Provost Marshal.; available at, accessed on 5 August 2014;

____________Standing Committee on National Defence, Subject discussed: Briefing on the external review and sexual harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces, 25 May 2015; Witnesses: As an individual: Marie Deschamps, External Review Authority. Department of National Defence: MGen Christine Whitecross, Commander, Canadian Armed Forces Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct; available at (accessed 26 May 2015);   

____________Standing Committee on National Defence, "Briefing on Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces", 29 September 2016, meeting 19; witnesses:  RAdm Jennifer J. Bennett, Director General, Canadian Armed Forces Strategic Response Team On Sexual Misconduct and LGen Christine T. Whitecross, Commander, Military Personnel Command, available at (accessed 4 October 2016);

___________Standing Committee on National Defence, "Improving Diversity and Inclusion in the Canadian Armed Forces: Report of the Standing Committee on National Defence ", June 2019 (42nd Parl., 1st sess.), ix, 71 p.  (chairperson: Stephen Fur); available at (accessed 14 July 2019);

John Ibbitson, image source:                     Daniel Leblanc, image source:

IBBITSON, John and Daniel Leblanc, "Former military members who were discharged over sexuality launch class-action suits", The Globe and Mail, 1 November 2016, available at, accessed 8 December 2016;

"Inconduites sexuelles: peu d'améliorations dans les Forces armées", La, 22 mai 2019, disponible à (consulté le 22 mai 2019);

Les efforts déployés par les Forces armées canadiennes dans les dernières années pour
empêcher les inconduites sexuelles n'ont pas donné les résultats voulus. Un sondage de
Statistique Canada mené en 2018 démontre que les agressions sexuelles sont toujours
aussi présentes qu'en 2016.

"IT'S JUST 700", Directory of Services to Help Canadian Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Survivors, web site, available at (accessed 2 May 2017);

Image source:, accessed 8 December 2016
Jack Julian
JULIAN, Jack, "Military, DND face class-action lawsuit over alleged treatment of gays, lesbians.  'There was a constant aura of intimidation and fear within the forces for anyone who was gay or lesbian'", CBC News, 8 December 2016, available at (accessed 8 December 2016);

KOSKIE MINSKY LL.P., "Certification Hearing Dates Set in Canadian Armed Forces Systemic Sexual Assault and Harassment Class Actions", Toronto, 5 June 2017, available at (accessed 6 June 2017);

TORONTO, June 5, 2017 /CNW/ - The path has now been cleared for certification hearings to proceed in two class actions alleging systemic sexual
assault and harassment on behalf of members of the Canadian Armed Forces. The Honourable Mr. Justice Fothergill of the Federal Court on May 30,
ordered the motions for certification to proceed in Toronto from July 9 to 13, 2018. The defendant in the class actions is The Attorney General
of Canada.
Sherry Heyder, Amy Graham and Nadine Schultz-Nielsen are the plaintiffs in the Federal Court class action on behalf of women. They experienced
sexual assault, harassment and gender-based discrimination. Larry Beattie is the plaintiff in the Federal Court class action on behalf of men.
If you are a current or former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who has experienced sexual harassment or assault, please call 1(888) 502-7455,
visit or, or email or

LAFFONT, Nicolas, "Malgré Op HONOUR, toujours autant d’agressions sexuelles (VIDÉO)", 45E NORD.CA,  22 mai 2019, disponible à (consulté le 31 juillet 2019);

Image source:, accessed 30 April 2017
Dave Lazzarino
LAZZARINO, Dave, "OPERATION HONOUR.  Edmonton-based soldier spearheading program to battle sexual assault in the military", Toronto Sun, 19 November 2016, available at   (accessed 24 November 2016);

LEBLANC, Daniel, "Military fires 77 for sexual misconduct following latest report", The Globe and Mail, 28 April 2017, available at (accessed 30 April 2017);

Image source:, accessed 30 April 2017
Simon Leblanc
LEBLANC, Simon, "Le CIIS, un processus confidentiel",  ADSUM -- Le journal bimensuel de la communauté militaire -- Région de l'Est du Québec; Centre d’intervention sur l’inconduite sexuelle = CIIS; disponible à (visité le 10 janvier 2017);

LÉTOURNEAU, Gilles, "A worrying command centric decision regarding sexual offences and harassment by Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff", Global Military Justice Reform web site, blog, 8 December 2016, available at  (accessed on 9 December 2016);

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Stephanie Levitz
LEVITZ, Stephanie,  "Military's sexualized culture hostile to women: inquiry", The Canadian Press, 30 April 2015; available at (accessed on 2 May 2015);

Pascal Lévesque, ancien avocat militaire, avec Isabelle Richer
LÉVESQUE, Pascal, Isabelle Richer, Radio-Canada, "Agressions sexuelles dans l'armée: Isabelle Richer reçoit Pascal Lévesque Lévesque, avocat", disponible à (vérifié le 12 janvier 2017);

Image source:, accessed 10 November 2017
Tamara Lorincz
LORINCZ, Tamara, "Canada’s Invisible War: Exposing Violence against Women in the Canadian Military”, Presentation by Tamara Lorincz, Board Member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace Panel: Confronting Military Sexual Violence: Challenging Militarized Security,
Commission on the Status of Women 57
th Annual Conference Monday, March 4, 2013 Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECO); available at (accessed 10 November 2017);

LOUGH, Shannon, "Contract reveals limited scope of military's million-dollar sexual harassment investigation", Global News, 29 April 2015, available at  (accessed 24 November 2015);

MACLEAN, R.C., Major, , Equal but Unfair: The Failure of Gender Integration in the Canadian Armed Forces,  JCSP 43, Master of Defence Studies, 2016-2017, iv, 92 leaves; available at (accessed 27 September 2017);

MACGREGOR, Bruce, Colonel, "How Canada’s military is dealing with inappropriate sexual behaviour", The Lawyer's Daily, 13 December 2017; available at  (accessed 14 December 2017);
Following the release of Justice Marie Deschamps’ Report in 2015 and the implementation of Operation HONOUR, I ordered a
review of all military prosecution policies, including those affecting victims and the prosecution of sexual misconduct offences.
Recently, I also created the Sexual Misconduct Action Response Team (SMART), a team of prosecutors led by a reserve military
prosecutor who is also a senior prosecutor and mentor on serious sexual assault matters with the Ontario Crown Office. This was
designed in order to bring best practices on sexual violence responsiveness from civilian prosecution services into the military
prosecution service. 

"Pictured from left to right are the Canadian Military Prosecution Service
leadership team: LCol Anthony Farris, LCol Anne Litowski, LCol Maureen Pecknold,
LCol Anthony Tamburro, Col Bruce MacGregor, Director of Military Prosecutions. Photo: DND"
MAPLE LEAF, The, "New Sexual Misconduct Action Response Team and amendments to prosecution policies", The Maple Leaf, 26 January 2018; available at (accessed 4 February 2018); aussi disponible en français: "La nouvelle équipe d’intervention en matière d’inconduites sexuelles et l’amendement des politiques relatives aux poursuites", disponible à  (consulté le 4 février 2018);

Source of photo: (accessed 13 May 2015)
MARTIN, Fraser, "Opinion: Dealing — or not dealing — with sexual assault in the Canadian Armed Forces", Montreal Gazette, 12 May 2015; available at (accessed 13 May 2015);

MEISSNER, Dirk, "Ex-sailor launches sexual harassment class-action suit against Canadian Forces", The Globe and Mail, 5 December 2016, available at, accessed 8 December 2016;

MERCIER, Noémi, "Ce que je vise, c'est l'élimination complète des comportements sexuels dommageables et inappropriés:  Le général Jon Vance admet que les Forces canadiennes doivent faire mieux pour combattre les violences sexuelles dans leurs rangs. Voici l’intégrale de l’entrevue qu’il a accordée à L’actualité", L'Actualité, 16 février 2016; disponible à (vérifié 22 février 2016);

___________ "Jonathan Vance: ‘I’m not satisfied at all with where we are at’ Noémi Mercier in conversation with the Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces on sexual assault and harassment in the military", MacLean's, 1 February 2016; available at (accessed 5 February 2016);

___________"Lutte aux crimes sexuels dans l’armée: progrès et faux pas. Les Forces canadiennes ont fait le bilan de leurs efforts pour lutter contre les violences sexuelles dans leurs rangs, un an après le déclenchement de l’Opération Honour. Analyse", L'Actualité, 20 septembre 2016; disponible à (visité le 21 septembre 2016);



1- Vers une réforme des cours martiales?

Un examen en profondeur du système des cours martiales a démarré en juillet dernier, étude qui porte entre autres sur la gestion des infractions sexuelles.

C’est une introspection inhabituelle pour un appareil judiciaire que l’armée a toujours défendu bec et ongles et ce, jusqu’en Cour suprême. L’institution a jusqu’à présent refusé de remettre en question son pouvoir de traduire elle-même en justice les soldats accusés de crimes sexuels, malgré les critiques nourries dont ce système fait l’objet.

Un comité composé de quatre avocats militaires, dont une femme, a pour mission de passer en revue « tous les aspects » des cours martiales afin d’améliorer « l’efficacité, l’efficience et la légitimité du système ». L’équipe mènera sous peu des consultations publiques et sollicitera l’avis d’experts canadiens et étrangers. Elle remettra son rapport au plus tard en juillet 2017 au Juge-avocat général, le grand responsable de la justice militaire.

En ce qui concerne les infractions d’ordre sexuel, le comité se demandera s’il faut les mettre à jour ou en ajouter de nouvelles au répertoire de la justice militaire; il évaluera les règles en matière de détermination de la peine; et il envisagera des mesures pour mieux protéger les intérêts des victimes. Le comité devra aussi s’assurer que ses recommandations s’harmonisent avec les exigences de l’Opération Honour. Reste à voir s’il osera bousculer l’ordre établi.

2- Bientôt plus de rigueur dans les enquêtes et les accusations

La police militaire prend des mesures pour introduire plus de rigueur dans ses enquêtes et ainsi laisser moins de décisions à la discrétion des policiers – dont la juge Deschamps avait décrié, dans son rapport, l’incompétence et l’insensibilité.

Toutes les enquêtes sur des crimes sexuels seront désormais confiées à des enquêteurs dédiés aux infractions de cette nature, et ce, peu importe la gravité des allégations. Dix-huit postes d’enquêteurs spécialisés viennent d’être créés à cette fin dans l’ensemble du pays. Les inconduites sexuelles devront aussi être traitées en priorité, tant dans les enquêtes qu’au moment des audiences devant un tribunal militaire. Autre nouveauté, les enquêteurs devront obtenir l’accord d’un procureur militaire avant de renoncer à porter des accusations dans un dossier d’agression sexuelle, une décision qu’ils pouvaient auparavant prendre unilatéralement.

Quant aux procureurs, ordre leur a été donné de tenir compte du point de vue des victimes tout au long des procédures, y compris pour décider dans quel système judiciaire, militaire ou civil, l’affaire sera entendue.

3- Soutien aux victimes : enfin du nouveau?

Un programme d’aide exclusivement destiné aux militaires souffrant d’un traumatisme sexuel devrait voir le jour d’ici six mois. Ce nouveau service reprendra le modèle de « soutien par les pairs » qui existe déjà pour les soldats souffrant d’un traumatisme de guerre : c’est-à-dire des rencontres de groupes animées bénévolement par des militaires actifs ou retraités ayant vécu une épreuve semblable. Jusqu’à présent, le Centre d’intervention sur l’inconduite sexuelle, une ligne d’écoute et de référence créée l’an dernier, devait se contenter de diriger les appelants vers les ressources existantes, mais n’avait pas de nouveau programme à offrir.



MERCIER, Noémi et Alec Castonguay, "Cimes sexuels dans l'armée: en terrain miné -- L’enquête indépendante déclenchée à la suite du reportage-choc de L’actualité est en marche. Opération de relations publiques ou véritable examen de conscience ?", L'actualité, 16 août 2014, disponible à (visité le 15 mars 2015);
C’est la première fois que l’inconduite sexuelle dans l’armée fait l’objet d’un examen externe. Le chef d’état-major, le général Tom Lawson, en avait fait l’annonce en avril, après la parution d’un dossier-choc dans L’actualité et Maclean’s. Un budget de 795 000 dollars a été alloué pour couvrir les honoraires et déplacements de l’examinatrice, d’un conseiller juridique (Pierre Fournier, ancien bâtonnier de Montréal) et d’une adjointe administrative. « On est loin du comité de neuf experts et trois sous-comités créé l’an dernier pour étudier la chose aux États-Unis », dit Eugene Fidell, professeur de droit à l’Université Yale, au Connecticut, et spécialiste de la justice militaire.


Le modèle canadien est une rareté à l’échelle internationale. Dans de nombreux États, les soldats doivent répondre de leurs crimes devant la justice civile, tandis que l’armée arbitre uniquement les entorses à la discipline. Le Canada doit suivre leurs traces, affirme Gilles Létourneau, juge retraité de la Cour d’appel fédérale et de la Cour d’appel de la cour martiale. Les victimes auraient ainsi l’assurance, estime-t-il, que leur plainte est entre les mains d’enquêteurs et de personnes de loi indépendants du pouvoir militaire. « Partout, les pays font des réformes, et nous, on rame à contrecourant, dit-il. La juge Deschamps ne pourra proposer que des cataplasmes. Il faut une révision complète du système de justice militaire. » 

___________"Crimes sexuels dans l’armée : la générale Whitecross fait le point", L'actualité, 26 mai 2014; disponible à (vérifié 27 mai 2015);

___________"Crimes sexuels dans l’armée : les députés montent au front", L'actualité, 17 mai 2014; disponible à  (vérifié 18 mai 2015);

___________"Crimes sexuels dans l’armée : un profond changement s'impose", L'actualité, 30 avril 2015; disponible à (vérifié 17 septembre 2015);

____________"Crimes sexuels: l'armée lance son examen indépendant, L'actualité, 9 juillet 2014; disponible à (vérifié le 23 avril 2015);

___________"Des chiffres explosifs confirment le fléau des crimes sexuels dans l'armée", L'actualité, 15 août 2014; disponible à  (vérifié le 17 septembre 2015);

___________"Document interne sur les crimes sexuels: l’appareil militaire dans le déni.  Une évaluation interne des programmes et politiques des Forces canadiennes en matière de violence sexuelle — préparée à la demande du chef d’état-major Tom Lawson, en avril dernier — conclut que les mesures prises par l’armée sont «efficaces» et qu’aucun changement majeur n’est requis, selon ce même document obtenu par L’actualitéL'actualité, 12 juin 2014; disponible à (vérifié 18 mai 2015);

___________"Intervenir sur l'inconduite sexuelle dans l'armée: une mission impossible?",  L'actualité, 26 mai 2015; disponible à  (vérifié le 27 mai  2015);

___________"La justice militaire dans la mire de la Cour suprême", L'actualité, 7 mai 2015; disponible à  (vérifié le 8 mai 2015);

MILEWSKI, Terry and CBC News, "Harassment in Canada's military tolerated by leadership, former justice finds", 30 April 2015; published at  (accessed 14 May 20154);

NARDI, Christopher, "Militaires expulsés pour inconduite sexuelle.  Depuis trois ans, l’armée canadienne a libéré 74 membres et en a retiré 47 d’un poste de commandement", Le Journal de Montréal, 13 novembre 2018; disponible à (vérifié le 14 novembre 2018);

NATIONAL DEFENCE, Defence Policy Review Public Consultation Document 2016, available at  (accessed 27 July 2016);

In 2015, the Chief of the Defence Staff announced Operation HONOUR – the CAF’s mission to eliminate harmful
and inappropriate sexual behaviour – and in February 2016, the first progress report was released. Among other
efforts, a Sexual Misconduct Response Centre was established to provide CAF members with an additional, and
unique, victim support option. Additionally, an extensive review of policies and programs has been completed to
assess the effectiveness of current resources related to harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour. This is
forming the basis of definitions, policy, and program changes, and an updated curriculum that will be implemented
starting in the spring of 2016. The CAF continue to focus efforts on a positive cultural shift to ensure a healthy,
respectful, and professional environment for all members 

NATIONAL DEFENCE, "Canadian Forces Military Police Unfounded Sexual Assault Internal Review", 20 September 2018; available at (accessed 29 September 2018);

NATIONAL DEFENCE, "Military Police launch Sexual Assault Review Program", News Release, 19 November 2018; available at (accessed 1 December 2018);

NATIONAL DEFENCE, "Unfounded Sexual Assault Internal Review Results Released ", 20 September 2018; available at (accessed 29 September 2018);

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) has completed an internal review of all 2010-2016 Canadian Forces
Military Police (CF MP) sexual assault files concluded as unfounded. CFNIS assigned a member that reviewed the 179 files from
early 2017 until July 2018 revealing that:
  • 113 cases remained as unfounded following this review;
  • 43 cases had been misclassified; and
  • 23 cases were identified for further investigation.

The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal and CF MP Group Commander directed the CFNIS to conduct the internal review following
the Globe and Mail publication in 2017 of its two-year investigative report into unfounded cases of sexual assault.

NATIONAL DEFENCE AND THE CANADIAN FORCES, "Sexual Misconduct Response Centre - Charter", October 2017, available at (accessed 1 December 2017);

Image source:, accessed 21 September 2017

NATIONAL DEFENCE, Strong Secure Engaged, Canada's Defence Policy, 2017, 113 pages, ISBN: 978-0-660-08443-5; available at (accessed 24 August 2017);

[p. 27]

[p. 28]



Marie Deschamps
NATIONAL DEFENCE AND THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES, "External Review on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces", July 2014, available at (accessed on 17 July 2014)
Scope of Work

Mme Marie Deschamps will independently conduct the External Review and deliver a report to the Chief of the Defence Staff. Mme Deschamps will consider and make recommendations concerning: 

  • CAF policies, procedures and programs in relation to sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.
  • The definition of “sexual misconduct” and “sexual harassment” as provided for in the Defence Administrative Order and Directives.
  • The training CAF members receive in relation to sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.
  • The extent to which CAF members report alleged incidents of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and if applicable, any reasons why reporting may not occur, including the role of military culture and the chain of command as it relates to the reporting of incidents.
  • Any other matter that Mme Deschamps considers relevant in assisting the CAF to strengthen the prevention of incidents of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.

Over the course of the contract, Mme Deschamps will complete a comprehensive review of CAF policies, procedures and programs related to sexual misconduct and sexual harassment, will conduct onsite interviews with CAF members, subject matter experts, and stakeholders outside of the CAF, and is scheduled to provide a final report to the Chief of the Defence Staff, complete with recommendations, by Spring 2015.

Mme Deschamps will receive the full cooperation of the CAF and the DND and will have direct access to CAF members, facilities and documents as she wishes.  She will also be available to CAF members that wish to contact her directly.

Limitations to the Scope of Work

The scope of work for the External Review does not include:

  • The review of any decision relating to the military or criminal justice system including: a decision by a military judge in the performance of his or her judicial duties, a decision of a court martial or summary trial, or a decision made to investigate complaints, lay charges, proceed with charges or prosecute charges.
  • Legal advice received by the DND or the CAF in relation to any matter or any proceedings.
  • Professional conduct and professional standards under the jurisdiction of the Bar Society of province.
  • Conduct of military police that may be the subject of a complaint under Part IV of the National Defence Act.
  • Any matter related to the Judge Advocate General (JAG) in respect of his superintendence of the administration of military justice in the CAF.

Reviewer’s Biography

The Honorable Marie Deschamps received a Licentiate in Laws from the Université de Montréal in 1974 and an LL. M. from McGill University in 1983. The Université de Montréal awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2008; she received from the Law School of McGill University the F. R. Scott award for distinguished service in 2013. She was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada in 2013. She was called to the Quebec Bar in 1975 and practiced as a litigator at Martineau Walker and Sylvestre et Matte in family, civil and commercial law, then at Rouleau, Rumanek et Sirois in criminal law and finally at Byers Casgrain in civil and commercial law.

She was appointed judge to the Quebec Superior Court in 1990, to the Court of Appeal in 1992 and to the Supreme Court in 2002. She retired from the judiciary in August 2012. She has been an adjunct professor at the law schools of University of Sherbrooke since 2006, and of McGill University since 2012. She continues to serve as member of a number of committees and boards of directors, including Gaz Metro inc., Éducaloi and Pro Bono Canada. She rejoined the Quebec Bar in 2013. She is regularly invited to give lectures and conferences to various audiences, mostly on constitutional and commercial law and on governance and ethics.

How to contact the Reviewer

All current and former CAF members who wish to get in touch with the Reviewer are encouraged to do so via email at

DÉFENSE NATIONALE ET LES FORCES ARMÉES CANADIENNES, "Examen externe sur les inconduites à caractères sexuels et le harcèlement sexuel dans les forces armées canadiennes", juillet 2014, disponible à (vérifié le 17 juillet 2014);
Portée des travaux

Mme Marie Deschamps mènera un examen indépendant externe et soumettra un rapport au chef d’état‑major de la défense. Mme Deschamps tiendra compte des éléments ci‑après et formulera des recommandations :

  • Les politiques, les procédures et les programmes des FAC qui touchent l’inconduite sexuelle et le harcèlement sexuel.
  • La définition des expressions « inconduite sexuelle » et « harcèlement sexuel », comme il est établi dans les Directives et ordonnances administratives de la Défense.
  • La formation que les membres des FAC reçoivent relativement à l’inconduite sexuelle et au harcèlement sexuel.
  • La mesure dans laquelle les membres des FAC signalent les incidents présumés d’inconduite sexuelle ou de harcèlement sexuel et, s’il y a lieu, les raisons qui expliquent l’absence de signalement, y compris le rôle de la culture militaire et de la chaîne de commandement en ce qui concerne le signalement des incidents.
  • Toute autre question qui, de l’avis de Mme Deschamps, pourrait s’avérer pertinente et aider les FAC à renforcer la prévention des incidents d’inconduite sexuelle et de harcèlement sexuel.

Dans le cadre de l’exécution du contrat, Mme Deschamps effectuera un examen complet des politiques, des procédures et des programmes des FAC qui touchent l’inconduite sexuelle et le harcèlement sexuel, mènera des entrevues sur place avec des membres des FAC, des experts en la matière et des intervenants de l’extérieur des FAC et présentera, au chef d’état-major de la défense, un rapport final contenant des recommandations d’ici le printemps 2015.

Mme Deschamps pourra compter sur la coopération pleine et entière des FAC et du ministère de la Défense nationale (MDN) et aura, à sa guise, un accès direct aux membres, aux installations et aux documents des FAC. Les membres des FAC pourront également communiquer directement avec elle.

Limites de la portée des travaux

La portée des travaux réalisés dans le cadre de l’examen externe n’inclut pas : 

  • L’examen de toute décision relative au système de justice militaire ou criminel, notamment : les décisions rendues par un juge militaire dans l’exercice de ses fonctions judiciaires, les décisions rendues par une cour martiale ou dans le cadre d’un procès sommaire, ou les décisions rendues pour faire enquête sur une plainte, déposer des accusations ou intenter une poursuite. 
  • Les avis juridiques reçus par le MDN ou les FAC relativement à toute affaire ou procédure judiciaire. 
  • La déontologie et les normes professionnelles sous la juridiction du barreau d’une province. 
  • La conduite de la police militaire pouvant faire l’objet d’une plainte en vertu de la partie IV de la Loi sur la défense nationale. Toute question relative au juge-avocat général (JAG) en ce qui a trait à sa supervision de l’administration du système de justice militaire dans les FAC.

Biographie de l’examinatrice

L’honorable Marie Deschamps a obtenu une licence en droit de l’Université de Montréal en 1974 et une maîtrise en droit de l’Université McGill en 1983. L’Université de Montréal lui a décerné un doctorat honorifique en 2008 et la faculté de droit de l’Université McGill, le prix F.R. Scott pour service exemplaire en 2013. En outre, elle a été nommée Compagnon de l’Ordre du Canada en 2013. Admise au Barreau du Québec en 1975, elle a exercé comme avocate plaideure au sein des cabinets Martineau Walker et Sylvestre et Matte dans les domaines du droit civil, du droit de la famille et du droit commercial, ensuite chez Rouleau, Rumanek et Sirois en droit criminel, puis chez Byers Casgrain en droit civil et commercial.

Elle a été nommée juge à la Cour supérieure du Québec en 1990, à la Cour d’appel du Québec en 1992, puis à la Cour suprême du Canada en 2002. Elle a pris sa retraite de la magistrature en août 2012. Elle est professeure associée aux facultés de droit de l’Université de Sherbrooke depuis 2006 et de l’Université McGill depuis 2012. Elle siège sur divers comités et conseils d’administration, dont Gaz Metro inc, Éducaloi et Pro Bono Canada. Elle est redevenue avocate en 2013. Elle est régulièrement invitée à donner des cours et des conférences à des auditoires variés, principalement en droit constitutionnel et commercial et sur la gouvernance et l’éthique. 

Comment communiquer avec l'examinatrice

Tous les membres actuels et anciens des FAC qui souhaitent communiquer avec l'examinatrice sont encouragés à le faire par courriel à

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, News Release, "The Chief of the Defence Staff addresses Statistics Canada survey on Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces", 28 November 2016; available at :, accessed 29 November 2016;

NATIONAL DEFENCE AND THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES, "Internal Review of Workplace Policies, Programs and Leadership Engagement", 25 June 2014, available at (accessed on 3 May 2015);
DÉFENSE NATIONALE ET LES FORCES ARMÉES CANADIENNES, "Examen interne des politiques et des programmes sur le milieu de travail et de la participation de la direction"25 juin 2014, disponible à (vérifié le 3 mai 2015);

NATIONAL DEFENCE AND THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES, "Thinking about gender in military planning and operations", 15 March 2017; available at (accessed 27 May 2017);

The practice of thinking about gender and GBA+ is based on earlier measures. These include the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and
the seven Resolutions that followed. The Resolution on Women, Peace and Security was a landmark measure. It was the first instrument to deal solely with women
in situations of armed conflict. It acknowledged that these conflicts have a different impact on men, women, boys and girls.

The CAF also issued a Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) Directive for Integrating UNSCR 1325 and Related Resolutions into CAF Planning and Operations  in
 January 2016. It shows what the CAF is doing to further integrate gender perspectives.  It also ensures that GBA+ is always considered as an essential part of all CAF activities.

The CAF has considered gender in its work for years. However, this is the first time this practice has been applied under a single Directive.


Image source:, accessed 17 November 2017

NATIONAL DEFENCE AND THE CANADIAN FORCES, Operation Honour web site, available at (accessed 17 November 2017);

NATO, Summary of the National Reports of NATO Member and Partner Nations to the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives 2015, see Canada at pp. 53-60, available at (accessed 30 May 2017);

NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY WEB SITE, "Conservatives hamstring external review on military sexual assault", 10 July 2014, available at (accessed on 18 July 2014);
The Conservatives have specifically excluded any examination of how the military justice system has handled sexual assault cases in their upcoming external review of sexual misconduct and harassment in the armed forces.

The way Canadian military police and the Judge Advocate General’s office handle sexual assault reports will be excluded from scrutiny, meaning that the review will not be able to examine the systematic failure to investigate or prosecute sexual crimes in the military.

“Any meaningful investigation must look at all aspects of Canada’s military justice system, and its findings must be made public,” said NDP Defence critic Jack Harris (St. John’s East). “Instead, the Conservatives have set up a process that specifically excludes the key issue of military justice and how the system has failed victims of sexual assault. The review won’t be able to look at some of the most serious problems that have been reported.”

The external review was launched after reports that approximately five sexual assaults take place every day in the Canadian military, many of which go unreported due to a lack of confidence that complaints will be appropriately dealt with. New Democrats have called for a full judicial commission into these reports.

“The Conservatives love to talk about supporting victims, but when it’s time to take action they’re not there,” said NDP deputy Defence critic Élaine Michaud (Portneuf – Jacques-Cartier). “It’s time for them to stop passing the buck and take real action to protect the women and men in the Canadian Forces from sexual assault.”

NOUVEAU PARTI DÉMOCRATIQUE, SITE WEB, "Les conservateurs limitent trop l'enquête sur les agressions sexuelles dans l'armée", 10 juillet 2014, disponible à (vérifié le 18 juillet 2014);
Dans leur prochain examen externe de l’inconduite sexuelle et du harcèlement dans les forces armées, les conservateurs ont exclu de manière spécifique l’examen de la façon dont le système judiciaire militaire a traité les cas d'agressions sexuelles.

En effet, la façon dont la police militaire canadienne et le Bureau du juge-avocat général ont géré les incidents d’agressions sexuelles signalés ne sera pas soumise à cette enquête, ce qui veut dire que l’examinatrice ne pourra pas enquêter sur l’absence systématique d’enquête et de poursuites dans les cas de crimes sexuels dans l’armée.

« Pour que cet examen soit exhaustif, il faut que tous les aspects du système judiciaire militaire soient scrutés à la loupe et que les résultats soient rendus publics, a affirmé le porte-parole du NPD en matière de défense, Jack Harris (St. John’s Est). Or, les conservateurs ont mis en place un processus qui exclut de manière spécifique le plus grand problème de la justice militaire, soit la manière dont le système laisse systématiquement à leur sort les victimes d’agression sexuelle. En raison de ces restrictions, l’examen va ignorer certains des plus sérieux problèmes signalés.»

L’examen externe a été lancé à la suite d'un reportage journalistique révélant qu'il y avait cinq agressions sexuelles par jour dans l’armée canadienne et que la majorité n’était pas signalée en raison du fait que la plupart des victimes ne croient pas que leurs plaintes seront gérées de manière appropriée. Le NPD avait demandé qu’une commission judiciaire soit mise sur pied afin d’enquêter sur cette situation.

« Les conservateurs se vantent d’appuyer les victimes, mais ils sont aux abonnés absents quand vient le temps d’agir, a ajouté la porte-parole adjointe en matière de défense, Élaine Michaud (Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier). Il est temps pour eux d’arrêter de lancer la balle aux autres et d’agir afin de protéger les femmes et les hommes des Forces canadiennes contre toute forme d'agression sexuelle. »

Image reproduced from Google Image, accessed on 2  June 2014

O'HARA, Jane with Brenda Branswell, John Geddes, Shanda Deziel, Sharon Doyle Driedger and Stephanie Nolen, "Rape in the military", 25 May 1998 issue, Maclean's -- Canada's Weekly NewsMagazine; available at
(accessed on 2 June 2014);

Operation Honour Manual (Interim edition), The, A Comprehensive Guide to Information and Resources on Sexual Misconduct, July 2019, available at (accessed 14 August 2019);

Video still at 36:09 (Law reform --The Winds of Change  Conference, Ottawa)         Phillip Millar, avocat, capitaine à la retraite, video still at 40:58
PASIC, Seana, 
Danny Braün, réalisateurs, Femmes au combat, ICI RDI, série les Grands Reportages, Saison 2016 Épisode 42, année de production: 2016, date de diffusion 21 mars 2016, durée: 44 minutes, production YAYAFILM; disponible à (visité 22 mars 2016); ausi disponible à (vérifié 2 mai 2017)
Cinq femmes des Forces armées canadiennes témoignent des agressions sexuelles qu’elles ont subies dans
 l’armée. Elles ont fait face à un ennemi venu de l’intérieur, leurs frères d’armes. Femmes au combat, c’est le
 parcours de ces femmes courageuses qui ont osé porter plainte au prix d’une carrière dont elles rêvaient.

Image source:, image search,  accessed 22 January 2017
Former service member
James Wilks, center, at his court martial, followed on the right by his defence counsel David Hodson
PEDWELL, Terry, The Canadian Press, "
‘I felt exposed’: Military tribunal hears from women who allege medic examined their breasts", 17 January 2017, available at (accessed 22 January 2017);

Image source:, accessed 10 March 2017
Emma Phillips
PHILLIPS. Emma, "Sexual Harassment: Canadian Forces' toughest battle is culture change", Opinion Page, The Globe and Mail, Monday, 15 February 2016, p. A9;  "Emma Phillips: Counsel to the External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces.  Partner at Goldblatt Partners LLP"; see (accessed 10 March 2017);

Image source:, accessed 31 May 2018
Charlie Pinkerton
PINKERTON. Charlie, "
Not ‘a lot of progress’ has been made when handling cases of military sexual misconduct", iPOLITICS, 29 May 2018, available at (accessed 31 May 2018);


Jason Proctor
PROCTOR, Jason, "
In Depth: 'A place of fear and dread': case illustrates impact of harassment in military Unwanted advances result in demotion and fine for warrant officer who admitted disgraceful conduct", CBC News, 3 December 2016 available at  (accessed 5 December 2016);

"Crude joke mars program: Questions are raised about military progress against sexual harassment", Ottawa Citizen, Monday, 26 October 2015, p. 1;

Defence Watch podcast: The military's sexual misconduct problem", Ottawa Citizen, 10 June 2019, available at (accessed 12 June 2019);    includes "
Defence Watch podcast, the Ottawa Citizen’s David Pugliese discusses this with women’s rights advocate Julie Lalonde and lawyer and retired Col. Michel Drapeau." --IMPORTANT;

MGen Chris Whitecross, photo by
Matthew Fisher, source:
___________"General to devise plan to deal with sexual misconduct in military", The Ottawa Citizen, 3 March 2015; available at, accessed on 7 March 2015;

Maj.-Gen. Christine Whitecross will develop a plan to deal with problems identified in a new report produced by Marie Deschamps, a former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, according to an email Lawson sent to military staff. The email was obtained by the Citizen.

“The team will be led by Major-General Chris Whitecross, who will be supported by Chief Warrant Officer Helen Wheeler to form the leadership team,” Lawson stated in the message sent Monday. “Its mandate will be to conduct a detailed review of the final report produced by Mme Deschamps, and to develop an action plan to address the report’s recommendations.”

But in advance of receiving that report, Lawson is putting in place what he is calling the Canadian Armed Forces Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct. That is the team led by Whitecross.

Sources say the move by Lawson is designed to offset criticism about the Canadian military when the Deschamps report becomes public. (source:, accessed on 7 March 2015)

David Pugliese
___________"Gen. Tom Lawson’s spectacular crash and burn – What happened?", The Ottawa Citizen, 18 June 2015; available at (accessed 19 June 2015);

_______________"Military Justice system needs reform, lawyer argues"
, The Ottawa Citizen, 30 April 2015; available at (accessed 1 May 2015);

Military quietly ends policy of promptly investigating sexual misconduct cases.  Military police policy formerly required that investigations of potential criminal cases be closed and the results delivered in 30 days or less", National Post, 22 November 2018; available at 22 November 2018);

general plans to boot those involved in sexual misconduct out of Canadian Forces", Calgary Sun, 14 December 2016, available at (accessed 16 December 2016);

Image source:, accessed 2 December 2016
Douglas Quan
QUAN, Douglas, "
Predators and prey: Canada’s military cadets and the sex misconduct problem few talk about", National Post, 24 May 2016, available at (accessed 6 August 2016);

CSO 5019-1– Royal Military College of Canada Policy on Harmful and Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour (HISB)", available at (accessed 5 March 2018);

source:, accessed 2 November 2017
Harjit Sajjan
SAJJAN, Harjit, Minister of National Defence, question period in the Senate, Tuesday, 31 October 2017, 1st Session, 42nd Parliament, volume 150, Issue 153, available at (accessed 2 November 2017);

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Senate on December 10, 2015, to receive a Minister of the Crown, the Honourable  Harjit S. Sajjan,
Minister of National Defence, appeared before honourable senators during Question Period.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, Senator Eggleton, I’m sorry; I have to interrupt the proceedings. It is now 3:30, and the
minister is present. Honourable senators, please join me in welcoming the honourable Harjit Sajjan, P.C., M.P, Minister of National Defence. Welcome.

Sexual Misconduct

Hon. Paul E. McIntyre: Welcome back to the Senate, minister. My question today concerns sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces, and
more particularly, the prosecution and conviction in the military justice system.

Now, that said, my understanding is that between April 2014 and March 31 of this year, only 23 per cent of sexual assault cases prosecuted in the
military justice system resulted in a conviction, considerably less than the conviction rate for sexual assault in civilian courts of 43 per cent in 2014-15.

To what do you attribute this extremely low conviction rate? What message do you think a conviction rate of just 23 per cent sends to the women and
men of our Armed Forces who have experienced harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour?

Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan, P.C., M.P., Minister of National Defence Thank you, honourable senator. The only message I want to send in the Canadian
Armed Forces is that any inappropriate behaviour like this is completely unacceptable.

In terms of the prosecutions, as you mentioned, because it’s an independent system, we have to be respectful of that. We have a new Judge Advocate
General, the first female Judge Advocate General, who is taking this extremely seriously. She is making sure that the prosecutors have the right training
and that the victims have the right support.

We’re making sure that we are putting the right resources in with the military police in the NSI branch, which does the investigation, so they have the right
training, have the ability to deploy and have all the right tools to do the work.

More important, we want to make sure we send a message to anyone in the Canadian Armed Forces who has been a victim to come forward. We will

Regardless of the numbers, the only message we want to send is that it’s completely unacceptable. If someone is a victim, please come forward. If you have
done any inappropriate behaviour, we will find you and you will be prosecuted.

SÉNAT, Comité sénatorial permanent de la sécurité nationale et de la défense, Le harcèlement et la violence: Rapport du Comité sénatorial permanent de la sécurité nationale et de la défense, mai 2019, 32 p., disponible à  (consulté le 20 mai 2019);

Colonel David Antonyshyn                                                        Honourable Marie Deschamps

SENATE, Standing Committee, National Security and Defence, Topic: Sexual Harssment and Violence in Defence and Security Establishmments, 28 May 2018, witnesses:
Col. David Antonyshyn, Deputy Judge Advocate General, Military Justice; Rear-Admiral Jennifer Bennett, Director General, Canadian Armed Forces Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct; The Honourable Marie Deschamps; Sanela Dursun, Director, Research Personnel and Family Support (Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces) and Marie-Claude Gagnon, Founder (It's Just 700); available at;%20Win64;%20x64;%20rv:60.0)%20Gecko/20100101%20Firefox/60.0 (accessed on 31 May 2018); includes VIDEO;

Sexual Misconduct and Operation HONOUR orders, policies and directives, available at (accessed 23 December 2019);

Sexual misconduct and Operation HONOUR orders, policies and directives

Orders, policies and directives issued by the Canadian Armed Forces related to sexual misconduct and Operation HONOUR.

CDS Intent and Operation Orders

Operation HONOUR was initiated by a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Operation Order in 2015. The mission has been continually refined to reflect developments and lessons learned.

Policies and procedures

  • The Operation HONOUR Manual – The Manual serves as interim policy on sexual misconduct in the CAF. It is a comprehensive guide with definitions, tools and resources for responding to sexual misconduct and supporting those affected.
  • Sexual Misconduct Incident Management Decision Tree – Step-by-step directions for managing disciplinary and administrative processes and providing victim support for reported incidents.


Defence administrative orders and directives

The following Defence Administrative Orders and Directives (DAODs) provide detailed direction for the administration of personnel with respect to sexual misconduct.

Military justice policies and directives

The following policies and directives were issued by the Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Director of Military Prosecutions (DMP) with respect to sexual misconduct.

Related orders and directives

These items relate to sexual misconduct but are not specific to Operation HONOUR.

Provide feedback

If you have comments, suggestions or ideas related to Operation HONOUR initiatives or products, please fill out our feedback form.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT RESPONSE CENTRE -- Annual Report 2016-17, available at  and  (accessed 18 January 2018);

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT RESPONSE CENTRE -- Annual Report 2017-18, available at   (accessed 4 October 2018);

Image source:, accessed 2 December 2016
Marie-Michèle Sioui
SIOUI, Marie-Michèle, "Inconduites sexuelles: l'armée met sur pied une équipe stratégique", 2 mars 2015,, disponible à (vérifié le 3 mars 2015);
L'Équipe d'intervention stratégique sur l'inconduite sexuelle, dirigée par la major générale Christine Whitecross, doit réagir au dépôt, ce printemps, du rapport de l'ex-juge de la Cour suprême Marie Deschamps sur les agressions sexuelles dans les forces armées.
Pour l'instant, l'équipe stratégique n'est constituée que de cinq personnes. «L'équipe se met en place. Il reviendra à la major générale de déterminer de quelles ressources elle aura besoin», a affirmé la porte-parole.

STATISTICS CANADA, "Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces, 2016", released 2016-11-28; available at and and 29 November 2016);

STATISTICS CANADA, "Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces, 2018", released 2019-05-22; available at , accessed 23 May 2019;

STEPHENSON, Mercedes, "
Military advances fight against sexual misconduct", CTV News, 2 December 2016; available at (accessed 4 December 2016); contains VIDEO;

STEPHENSON, Mercedes, Marc-André Cossette and Amanda Connolly, “Former top soldier Gen. Jonathan Vance facing allegations of inappropriate behaviour with female subordinates: sources”, (2 February 2021), online: Global News <> (accessed 7 February 2021); includes video;

“Gen. Jonathan Vance will be investigated over allegations of inappropriate behaviour”, (3 February 2021), online: Global News <> (accessed 7 February 2021); includes video; 

SULLIVAN, Steve, "Missing in action: Harper is shrugging off military sexual assault", ipolitics, 6 May 2015; available at (accessed 10 May 2015);
One of the most important recommendations in the report calls for the creation of “an independent centre for accountability for sexual assault and harassment outside of the CAF with the responsibility for receiving reports of inappropriate sexual conduct, as well as prevention, coordination and monitoring of training, victim support, monitoring of accountability, and research, and to act as a central authority for the collection of data.” The military doesn’t seem comfortable with this recommendation — probably the “independent” part — but they’ve had decades to deal with this problem and have failed repeatedly. It’s time to take it out of their hands.

Fatima Syed
SYED, Fatima, "
How the Canadian Military Is Changing Its Response to Sexual Assault.  They’ve been tackling the problem for years, with little success. Finally, the tide may be turning", The Walrus, 4 May 2017, available at (accessed 20 May 2017);

Photo of Scott Taylor, reproduced from (accessed on 31 March 2014)
TAYLOR, Scott, "On Target: Combatting Sexual Nisconduct in the Ranks", Esprit de Corps, Canadian Military Magazine, 2 November 2020, available at (accessed 3 November 2020);

___________ "ON TARGET: Sexual abuse in the military not a new story", The Chronicle Herald, 3 May 2015, available at
 (accessed 4 May 2015);

The 1998 stories were eerily similar to the most recent revelations, in that victims of rape had also been
victimized by a military chain of command intent on protecting careers and the reputation of the
institution, at the expense of administering justice. By then, the public had already soured on the
Canadian military after more than two years of public inquiry into a top-level attempted coverup
of a murdered prisoner at the hands of Canadian paratroopers that became collectively known as
the Somalia Scandal.

Then-Liberal defence minister Art Eggleton had at first attempted to defuse the bombshell as a
tempest in a teapot, but by the fourth weekly front cover body blow, the public clamour was
too loud to ignore. In response to the outrage, Eggleton announced the appointment of Andre
Marin as the first-ever ombudsman for the Forces. Marin was a keen young lawyer, and in the
interest of full disclosure, I consider him a friend.

However, despite all the fanfare that accompanied the creation of the ombudsman’s office,
the powers which Marin insisted he needed to effectively challenge the chain of command
were never granted.

Now that we are back to Square 1, 17 years later, perhaps the solution is not to create another
non-independent layer of oversight, but to simply revisit those powers Marin recommended
but never received

VENTURA-GIROUX, Alexandra, "Les Forces se mobilisent pour contrer l'inconduite sexuelle", (13 mai 2015) 21(20) Servir à la p. 5; disponible à (vérifié le 25 mai 2015);
Le lundi 4 mai dernier à l’auditorium de la Garnison Saint-Jean avait lieu la présentation du major-général Christine Whitecross, commandant de l’Équipe d’intervention stratégique des Forces armées canadiennes (FAC), en matière d’inconduite sexuelle.  Secondée par le colonel Gisèle Fontaine, commandant adjoint de l’Équipe, ainsi que par l’adjudant-chef Helen Wheeler, adjudant-chef de l’Équipe, le mgén Whitecross est venue exposer son plan d’action en réponse au rapport déposé le jeudi 30 avril dernier par la juge à la retraite Marie Deschamps.


Entrevue avec le major-général Whitecross
: Pourquoi les membres des FAC doivent se tourner vers le système de justice militaire plutôt que civil?
Mgén Whitecross : Le système militaire est en place pour plusieurs bonnes raisons, mais nous gardons l’esprit ouvert. Selon la situation, une victime pourra porter plainte selon le système de justice civil. Par contre, je sais que nos commandants sont engagés à enrayer ce problème et qu’ils veulent relever ce défi. Ils sont imputable du bien-être de leurs gens et le système de justice militaire leur per-met d’agir en ce sens

ZAPPA, Pierre-Olivier, TVA Nouvelles, "Enquête «J.E.» – La guerre contre les homosexuels: L’homophobie persiste dans l’armée", 25 octobre 2016, disponible à (vérifié 2 décembre 2016);