The country’s acting top military commander has formally ended Operation Honour, the high-profile campaign to stamp out sexual misconduct in the ranks.
In a message to members of the Canadian Armed Forces late Wednesday, Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre said the nearly six-year-old program is over, but the drive to find another way to end inappropriate behaviour and sexual violence will continue.
“Operation Honour has culminated, and thus we will close it out, harvest what has worked, learn from what hasn’t, and develop a deliberate plan to go forward,” he said.
On Tuesday, Eyre told a parliamentary committee that the program may have run its course and may need to be replaced. But his remarks to the four-party committee on the status of women stopped short of formally cancelling the operation.
Last week, in making public her resignation, one of the country’s most decorated women combat veterans said the campaign had lost all credibility in light of the misconduct allegations against the military’s two highest ranking commanders.
Lt.-Col. Elenor Taylor said she was “disgusted” by what she had witnessed and could no longer continue serving. She had been one of the brightest lights in the army, a company commander in Afghanistan and senior staff officer with the country’s elite special forces.
Eyre served with her during the Afghan war and testified that he had spoken with her about her decision to leave. Taylor had left the regular force and was serving as deputy commander of a reserve brigade on the East Coast.
It has been a month since Admiral Art McDonald stepped aside as chief of the defence staff after military police launched an investigation into a decade-old allegation of inappropriate behaviour made against him.
Military police are also investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against McDonald’s predecessor, Gen. Jonathan Vance.
Eyre also told the Commons committee on Tuesday that he’s asked for a “playbook” on how to deal with future misconduct complaints against senior leaders of the Armed Forces.
Two parliamentary committees are investigating sexual misconduct in the military.