Liberal’s failure to act continues to harm Canadian forces service women « Canada’s NDP

May 30, 2022 at 5:30 am  Federal, Politics

NDP Critic for National Defence, Lindsay Mathyssen, made the following statement:

“Our thoughts are with the women of the Canadian Armed Forces who continue to face sexual misconduct and assault in the military under this Liberal government. Despite empty words and platitudes from the government, service women are still waiting for the systemic change they were promised.

Today, another report paints the same picture of the desperate need for cultural change in our military, with recommendations that needed urgent action years ago.

The women and men of our Canadian Armed Forces bravely commit their lives to serving our country, but Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have failed to deliver on their promises to keep them safe. The needless delays and empty words have only perpetuated the toxic culture in our military and emboldened the abusers while victims pay the price for this government’s inaction.

This government must develop the political will and courage to finally act on the recommendations already provided by multiple Supreme Court Justices, the Auditor General, and the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.

Seven years ago, Justice Deschamps provided specific recommendations on how the government could address sexual misconduct and harassment in the Armed Forces. Last year, Justice Deschamps felt the need to publicly call this government out for letting her report collect dust while the abuse and misconduct continued.

This is the Prime Minister’s failure. He must apologize to Canadian service women for refusing to implement the recommendations from the Deschamps report and failing to take action to keep them safe from sexual violence and harassment for the past seven years. Without any further delay, the Liberal government must immediately implement the recommendations to address sexual misconduct and harassment in the Armed Forces.

The NDP stands with the members of our Canadian Armed Forces who have suffered for years while the government failed to act. Over and over again, this government has protected the powerful men at the top instead of standing up for the service women who were demanding change and justice. The pain, frustration and unnecessary harm caused by these delays is immeasurable. Women deserve better. All Canadians deserve better.

New Democrats will work to make sure the government implements these recommendations immediately to ensure service women have the safe work environment they deserve.”

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