The Canadian military delayed the appointment of its next army commander after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against the man chosen for the job, the latest in a series of senior officers to be investigated for misconduct.
Lieutenant General Trevor Cadieu was to be sworn in as the head of the Canadian Army in a ceremony in early September. But that event was canceled after the military learned of “historic allegations” against Cadieu.
In a joint statement, the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Forces said the acting chief of defense staff, General Wayne Eyre, was briefed on the investigation two days before Cadieu took command of the army.
On Wednesday, military police confirmed they were investigating Cadieu, but said no further details would be provided.
Cadieu has denied the allegations.
“The allegations are false, but must be thoroughly investigated to expose the truth,” he said in a statement. “I believe that all complaints should be professionally investigated, regardless of the rank of the accused.”
Cadieu said that upon learning of the investigation, he asked the country’s top interim soldier to “consider selecting another leader” for the army.
In recent months, several senior military officials have been involved in sexual misconduct investigations.
In February, military police opened an investigation into former Defense Chief of Staff Jonathan Vance on allegations of sexual misconduct. Vance was charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the misconduct investigation.
Admiral Art McDonald, Vance’s replacement, was also the subject of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. Military police say they have found no evidence to support the charge against McDonald, who is on administrative leave.
Maj. Gen. Dany Fortin, the chief of the nation’s vaccine launch, was indicted for sexual assault in August.
Maj. Gen. Peter Dawe, who once provided a character reference for a soldier convicted of sexual assault, was recently appointed to assist in the military’s response to sexual misconduct. He was removed from work after public outrage.
In May, Lt. Col. Eleanor Taylor, one of the nation’s top female soldiers, resigned, saying she was “sick” from the army’s repeated failures to address abuse within its ranks.
The controversy over Cadieu only serves to highlight the failure of the liberal government to stamp out sexual harassment in the military, said opposition leaders, who renewed calls for the resignation of Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan.
New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh said in a statement that Sajjan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have “consistently failed women of service – and Canadians – by naming and protecting men who are not equipped or interested. To change the status quo. “