In the May 5th House of Commons question period, the leader of the opposition Erin O’Toole questioned the Prime Minister on the status of accountability within government offices for ignored accusations of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.
With General Vance’s termination due to accusations of sexual misconduct as an example, O’Toole asks, “Why isn’t it enough to terminate Katie Telford?”
Trudeau read from a prepared statement in response: “The harassment, intimidation, and assault faced by far too many women and men serving in the military is unacceptable … Measurements taken since being in government haven’t gone far enough. We announced in budget 2021 over $236Million to eliminate sexual misconduct and gender-based violence in the Canadian Armed Forces.”
“They ignored it for three years, Mr. Speaker,” O’Toole replied. Erin O’Toole pushed Trudeau to give a direct answer to the question of Katie Telford’s response to former allegations against General Vance. “Did Katie Telford tell the Prime Minister there were outstanding allegations of sexual misconduct: Yes, or No?”
The opposition called for the Prime Minister to take accountability and to hold someone within office accountable, specifically for the ignored allegations of survivors over the three-year period.
The Liberal party maintained that they are making strides in addressing and preventing sexual misconduct and gender-based violence. “We have always taken this seriously and always will. Far too many survivors don’t feel comfortable coming forward. That is why we need to make transformational change to the Canadian Armed Forces. No one should feel unsafe in coming forward. That’s what we’ve always worked on.”