Ex-ombudsman calls Sajjan’s committee testimony ‘weak’ and ‘bizarre’ Social Sharing


Canada’s former military ombudsman says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s claim that he wanted to avoid politicizing a potential sexual misconduct investigation of the country’s top military commander is both “bizarre” and “weak.” In his first television interview since delivering bombshell testimony to the House of Commons defence committee earlier this month, Gary Walbourne responded to some of Sajjan’s subsequent statements about how he handled an informal misconduct complaint involving Vance that Walbourne presented to him in 2018. Walbourne told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics that he has no faith in the federal government’s willingness to reform the military’s system of oversight. Three years ago, Walbourne presented Sajjan with an anonymous complaint of misconduct against the chief of the defence staff at the time, Gen. Jonathan Vance. The minister refused to look at the evidence and later called in the Privy Council Office, which has jurisdiction over governor-in-council appointments, to investigate. Sajjan, in separate testimony before the defence committee, defended his actions, saying he didn’t want to politicize the potential investigation. He stuck to that line in testimony today before the Commons committee on the Status of Women.

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