Defence leaders apologize for slow response to racism as Forces investigates meme

Defence leaders apologize for slow response to racism as Forces investigates meme

Defence leaders apologize for slow response to racism as Forces investigates meme

OTTAWA — Canada’s top military and civilian defence officials have apologized not responding sooner to questions about systemic racism in the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces.

The apology is contained in a letter written by Defence Department deputy minister Jody Thomas and chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance and distributed to troops and Defence Department employees on Friday.

The letter coincides with a wave of anti-racism demonstrations and sentiment in the U.S. and Canada following the killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, in the U.S. by white police officers last month.

Thomas and Vance go on to reveal that military police are investigating reports of a service member spreading anti-Black pictures in Quebec.

They also acknowledge that racism is a real problem many Defence Department and military members experience on a daily basis — and that past efforts to curb it have been unsuccessful.

Federal Black Employees’ Caucus co-founder Richard Sharpe, who met with Thomas and Vance last week, described the letter as historic and expressed optimism about the military’s genuine desire to eliminate racism from the ranks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Military

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

blessing
Bentley Blessing Pantry continues to faithfully serve the community

‘We just wanted to make everyone aware that we are still here to serve you throughout this coming year.’

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw
Alberta eases some COVID-19 restrictions

Salons, barbershops and other personal and wellness services will be open by appointment only

Lesser Slave Lake UCP MLA Pat Rehn. (Facebook)
Kenney kicks Pat Rehn out of UCP caucus after municipal complaints

Rehn had been criticized by municipal leaders in his constituency

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

(Via the Canadian Press)
Alberta monolith comes with message to save eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains

‘They deserve our attention. They warrant our protection. They are under threat’

A Suncor logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 2, 2019. A worker is missing after a dozer broke through ice on an inactive Suncor tailings pond in northern Alberta.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Worker missing after dozer breaks through frozen tailings pond in northern Alberta

The worker was an employee of Christina River Construction

File Photo
‘You took away some real joy,’ Sylvan Lake Winter Village turned off after vandalism

Sometime during the night of Jan, 12 the light display at the pier was vandalized and damaged

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID clarity: Feds say 42-day gap for 2-dose vaccines OK as provinces race to immunity

‘Realities on the ground’ means that provinces, territories will have difficult choices to make

(Pixabay photo)
Alberta surgeon who hung a noose in a hospital found guilty of unprofessional conduct

College of Physicians and Surgeons says sanctions will be determined at a later hearing