5th Canadian Division Confronts Sexual Harassment
An Operation HONOUR video
“Early 2015, former Supreme Court Justice and External Review Authority (ERA) Marie Deschamps reported on sexual misconduct within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)… [Mme Deschamps’] report indicated the existence of an underlying sexualized culture in the CAF.”
Under the direction of the Canadian Armed Forces’ senior official, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Operation HONOUR was swiftly enacted to address Mme Deschamps’ findings.
“Mission: To eliminate harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour within the CAF.”
CDS Op Order – Op HONOUR
Brigadier-General Carl Turenne, Commander 5th Canadian Division: By now, you have or should have been briefed multiple times on Operation HONOUR and the importance of eliminating sexual misconduct within our ranks. This behaviour is destructive in nature, erodes our credibility and our ability to operate as a cohesive team where everyone is treated with respect and dignity.
Chief Warrant Officer Shawn Croucher, Sergeant Major, 5th Canadian Division: As members of the Canadian Armed Forces our behaviour must be first rate. And as brothers and sisters in arms our conduct must be beyond reproach. As you will see in the following clips everyone agrees and understands that respect and dignity are an important part to our success on operations and in training.
Major Mike Blanchette: I think sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
Gunner Lee Dormer: affects us as soldiers.
Sapper Matthew Claridge: Not only does it put up a poor display of how we work with each other.
Major Mike Blanchette: it destroys a team.
Mrs. Catherine Rossiter: So it creates very quickly a very dysfunctional organization in which to operate.
Gunner Lee Dormer: It breaks down to mutual respect.
Sergeant Kathryn Morice: It would have a direct impact on your work environment and your day to day.
Chief Warrant Officer Linda Chasse: It’s not a team environment. It prevents cohesion.
Mrs. Janice Rivest: It marginalizes anybody that's been a victim of it.
Sergeant Adam Sherlock: It takes our focus off our task.
Master Seaman Tedra Chisholm: As it can cause individuals to feel that they have no value or self worth.
Captain Audrey MacArthur: It can be very demeaning. It can be very stressful. It puts an individual in a vulnerable situation.
Captain Yan Martin: It creates a workplace where no one works together, and it creates fear.
Master Corporal Brianna Galbraith: It's something that common sense says that is not right it's wrong.
Sapper Matthew Claridge: It just doesn't make a very pleasant work place in my opinion.
Colonel Dan MacIsaac: Everybody comes to work to succeed and when they get out of bed in the morning that's the spirit I want them to have.
Warrant Officer Robert Melee: When we are representing the Canadian Armed Forces people look at us as somebody to look up to and how a person should behave.
Lieutenant-Colonel Keith MacNeil: Thirty years in the military and to me the sexual harassment, innuendos to me makes me feel very very bad and I think it affects everybody.
Mrs. Janice Rivest: Sexual harassment, sexual innuendo or whatever, we have all been a witness to it and it's our job to report that.
Major Eleanor Taylor: Anything that's going to undermine our effectiveness as a team needs to be reported because it needs to be addressed.
Lieutenant Kirsten Stotz: Regardless of gender there should never be a reason why someone feels like they can't be an equal part of the team.
Master Corporal Kristin Milarchuk: If I saw harassment in my workplace I would expect my chain of command to respond appropriately with disciplinary action.
Private Shelley Tully: If it happened to anybody that I would witness I would go straight through my chain of command.
Colonel Dan MacIsaac: If I become aware of any inappropriate sexual behaviour. I will direct that action be taken.
Sergeant Brock Marshall Secord: Harassment in itself is nothing more than a wrench in the system that can quite literally be a beginning to an end.
Master Seaman Tedra Chisholm: Reporting sexual harassment is so important, number one to raise awareness and to protect possible future victims.
Corporal Catherine Heath: The people who do this, we don’t know who else they do it to. For this reason, this behaviour is very, very important to talk about.
Captain Pat White: It is everyone’s responsibility to report sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour in the work place if witnessed.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Stewart Seaward: Trust the chain of command, trust your peers, trust your colleagues.
Sergeant Brock Marshall Secord: Come forward and talk to those who you can trust.
Mrs. Catherine Rossiter: So when you either deal directly with the perpetrator of the behavior or you report it through the chain of command you are bringing attention to the right area.
Master Corporal Celest Daly: If you don't report it then no one can help you and then you suffer in silence.
Captain Yan Martin: This behaviour has no place in our workplace.
Gunner Lee Dormer: Your dealing with another human being and you need to treat them the way that they want to be treated, the way that they need to be treated.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Stewart Seaward: And there is no place for that type of behavior in any work environment, military or otherwise.
Lieutenant-Colonel Keith MacNeil: It's not part of my military and certainly not part or our military and if we are to change the culture we have to be open, we have to be honest and we have to pay attention to those victims who come forward.
Master Corporal Brianna Galbraith: It might be hard to make a change but it starts with now being aware of what we have been doing wrong and how we are going to go about changing those things.
Chief Warrant Officer Shawn Croucher, Sergeant Major, 5th Canadian Division: Notwithstanding the fact that no one condones inappropriate behaviour, the Commander and I see files regularly which demonstrates that misconduct continues to happen. And to be frank, that’s unacceptable.
Brigadier-General Carl Turenne, Commander, 5th Canadian Division: Let’s be clear, if you don’t think there’s a problem, you’re most likely part of the problem.
We cannot afford to be idle. Everyone needs to take action and take a lead role in changing the culture.
Chief Warrant Officer Shawn Croucher, Sergeant Major, 5th Canadian Division: We need to use our integrity and courage to step forward, to speak up and to stop inappropriate sexual behaviour. We must be accountable for all our actions. Proper conduct starts now, there is no grace period.
Brigadier-General Carl Turenne, Commander, 5th Canadian Division: So how do we know were having successes? I see four key indicators that we need to follow:
First do survivors have the confidence that they will receive the full gamete of support in a timely manner.
Second, are bystanders and the chain of command reporting and taking action on misconduct.
Third, do we have an environment that is free of retribution?
And forth, do we have an institution that has the ability to deal with perpetrators in a timely manner appropriately with procedural fairness.
Clearly we have work to do.
Reach Out Now!
Sexual Misconduct Response Centre
CF Health Services Centre
CAF Chaplain Services
Family Information Line
CAF Member Assistance Program
Your Chain of Command
CF National Investigation Services (CFNIS) Regional Offices
CAF Harassment Process
- Unit Workplace Relations Advisors can help you interpret
the harassment policy and how to proceed