DND Leaders In Trouble?

Chief of the Defence Staff Jonathan Vance prepares to appear before the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence on Canada’s national security and defence policies, practices, circumstances and capabilities, in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018.
Chief of the Defence Staff Jonathan Vance prepares to appear before the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence on Canada’s national security and defence policies, practices, circumstances and capabilities, in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018.

Defence department officials tried to blame a clerk for failing to challenge the military’s top legal officials who had claimed a report requested under the Access to Information law didn’t exist even though it did.

The department’s decision to assign blame to the unidentified clerk came even though Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance and police investigators were in possession of documents clearly showing senior Judge Advocate General staff discussed withholding the records and acknowledging what was being done was illegal. Postmedia revealed last week the July 2017 attempt to stymie the request made under the Access to Information law for the document, a report highlighting problems with the court martial system.

Judge Advocate General Commodore Geneviève Bernatchez, who oversees the military justice system and is the top legal advisor to the Canadian Forces, endorsed a recommendation by one of her staff to tell the Department of National Defence’s access to information officials the documents didn’t exist, according to the briefing document for Vance’s office. The JAG organization sent a “nil” response to the DND Access branch, known by its acronym as DAIP, in response to two requests for the draft report of the court martial system review.

“We conclude that the Office of the JAG’s response to DAIP indicating that the requested records do not exist is potentially unlawful in that it seeks to deny a right of access to a record,” Vance’s office was told by Bernatchez’s staff. “The records that were requested clearly exist, and have existed since at least 21 July 2017.”

At least three officers in Bernatchez’s organization raised ethical or legal concerns about the decision to withhold the records.

[…]

See Also:

(1) What The Hell is This?

(2) Canadian navy decides to start upgrades to extend life of aging submarine fleet

(3) Tens of millions paid out due to bungled Canadian Forces procurement, but government says details are secret

(4) 15 Canadian Forces members died by suicide last year, despite new prevention strategy

(5) Fires and rollovers plague Canadian Army’s $600 million fleet of new armoured vehicles

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Victoria Class submarine design. The submarine has a single-skin hull constructed of NQ1 high-tensile steel. The skin of the submarine is fitted with about 22,000 elastomeric acoustic tiles to reduce the submarine’s acoustic signature. Okay, now look at the picture of HMCS Windsor in the NP article. Large areas of missing protective tiles! And that’s just on the part of the hull we can see. So Canada is so neglectful of the safety of our sailors that we knowingly send them to sea with obvious gaping holes in passive defensive protection. That’s hardly an ‘hope for the best but prepare… Read more »