The House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence voted in favour of a motion to invite Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to testify on the sexual misconduct allegations made against retired Canadian Forces Gen. Jonathan Vance.
NDP MP Randall Garrison put forward the motion, citing Kenney’s tenure as Canada’s defence minister during Vance’s appointment to the top military position.
“We need to know whether in fact we’ve had a failure of two successive governments to deal with the question of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in the military,” said Garrison.
“For that reason I gave notice for the motion today, to call the former minister of defence and former member of parliament Jason Kenney, who was the minister of defence who first appointed General Vance to the chief of defence staff, and we now know from many media reports that there were allegations of sexual misconduct at the time of his appointment or immediately thereafter.”
The motion passed with support from all members of the committee except the Conservatives who abstained from voting on the matter. As it stands, the invitation is not a subpoena, so Kenney is not legally obligated to testify before the committee.
Kenney had a short stint as minister of defence in 2015 after the departure of John Baird.
During his tenure, Kenney promised to create an independent complaint centre for victims of military sexual misconduct following a report on the issue within the armed forces.
Following a number of revealing media reports detailing a number of allegations of inappropriate behaviour with subordinates, Canadian military police launched an investigation into the retired top military general.
“We can confirm the CFNIS is investigating this matter,” a spokesperson for the military told Global News.
“In order to preserve the integrity of the investigative process, no additional information can be provided at this time.”
Liberal Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan is also expected to testify in the inquiry into Vance’s conduct.