Lt. Cmdr. Raymond Trotter outlined the obstacles he faced in early February as he tried repeatedly to report serious allegations of sexual misconduct by McDonald and later another incident involving another senior officer.
Trotter, who was told by a female colleague about the allegations against McDonald, found himself being bounced around the defence department’s sexual misconduct response centre to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s office and then back to the response centre. “For a full 24 hours I was running in circles,” he told the Commons defence committee that is looking into sexual misconduct allegations against McDonald and Vance.
Trottier said he didn’t want to go the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service because that military police organization is not independent of the senior leadership.
In addition, Trotter reported a separate incident to officials at his home base of CFB Esquimalt, BC. But he was berated by a senior officer for doing that. “Senior officers appear to get special treatment when there are sexual misconduct allegations,” he testified.
There is a growing frustration in the Canadian Forces with both the military leadership and Defence Minister Sajjan. They are increasingly being seen as making worthless statements and promises when there is a need for action, military personnel privately say.
In response to Taylor’s decision to leave the Canadian Forces, Sajjan noted in a statement that “eliminating all forms of misconduct, including abuse of power, and creating a safe work environment for everyone in the Defence Team is and always has been a top priority for me as Minister of Defence. All options are on the table to make sure that any person serving in the Canadian Armed Forces can feel safe and confident to come forward to report misconduct.”
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