February 2, 2021, Canadian media reported that General Jonathan Vance, Canada’s outgoing former chief of defense staff, had been anonymously revealed by his former subordinate and lover, Major Kelly Brennan, that they had had an improper sexual relationship.
More than 20 days later, on February 24th Admiral Art McDonald, Vance’s successor and then Canada’s chief of defence staff, was forced to resign amid allegations of misconduct.
Lt. Gen. Haydn Edmundson, then commander of personnel in the Canadian Army, was also investigated for sexual misconduct on March 9.
The Chief of Defence Staff is the highest-ranking official in the Canadian army. It is rare for so many generals in the Canadian military to be involved in sexual misconduct.
On April 29th Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s defence minister, announced an independent review of harassment and sexual misconduct in the Canadian military.
According to figures provided to Parliament by the Ministry of Defence, there have been 581 reports of sexual assault in the Canadian military in the past five years, as well as 221 cases of sexual harassment.
The Canadian Army’s sex scandals are not just recent, they have been exposed as early as the 1990s.
The long-suffering military Chinese has also polluted Canada’s military schools. According to a report released by Statistics Canada on 8 October 2020, 28 per cent of girls at the Royal Military Academy in Kingston, Ontario, and the Royal Military Academy in Saint-Jean, Upper Quebec, had been sexually assaulted, compared with 15 per cent in the previous year alone.
Behind these numbers, there are two humbling stories.
Kelly Brennan: The truth is ugly enough to look straight in the eye
Kelly Brennan, a former lover of Jonathan Vance, Canada’s former chief of defense staff, was one of the first to speak to the media anonymously. On 23 April, she testified before the Committee on the Status of Women in the Canadian Parliament.
In 2001, Brennan, who was less than 30 years old, began dating Vance and became his lover. In 2006, she became vance’s immediate subordinate. Brennan said the couple’s later relationship was compulsive, and “if he called me or texted me, I had to reply to him.”
Brennan and Vance had two children in their long,interrupted relationship, but Vance never paid maintenance for the two children.
Not only that, but Vance also blocked Brennan’s promotion in order to prevent him from becoming someone else’s handle and influencing his path to promotion.
“We might be able to put aside our guard and go to a small Caribbean island that doesn’t matter if we don’t wear clothes,” Mr. Vance said in a 2012 e-mail to Brennan. ”
Later, their relationship broke down, and Brennan intended to report Vance’s improper relationship with her to law enforcement in the military. But Vance told her that her position was “unshakable.”
Brennan, who has a major rank and has known the military for 30 years, describes Canadian military culture this way,“It’s a door that locks a lot of secrets, and we’re all afraid to open it and see the truth.” Because the truth is too ugly, the truth is too complicated.”
The actions of the husband of the female soldier victim, the “house thief”, were painful
Another story features a major-ranked veteran named Kevin Schamuhn and his wife Annalise, who also served in the military for 13 years. Later, she had to retire because Annalise had been raped by her boss.
In 2006, Mr. Chamoun served with Jonathan Hamilton in Afghanistan as comrades. Later, they both settled in Kingston, Ontario, and became neighbors.
In 2013, Shamuen went to the field to train with the troops, and his wife, retired officer Annalise, was raped twice by Hamilton.
The couple therefore filed a lawsuit in court. On May 2, 2017, the court found Hamilton guilty of six counts, but by the time the verdict was announced in August, the judge had given him a three-year suspended sentence.
This result is due to a series of behind-the-scenes operations. First, Colonel Jason Adair, commander of Shamuan’s unit, wrote a letter of proof of character to the judge describing Hamilton as a combat hero, saying his rape was “a momentary confusion.” Upon learning of the news, Mr. Shamoun asked the troops to revise the letter, and Colonel Adair, though he had agreed to it in person, submitted it to the court without changing his word.
Later, Mr. Chamoun’s top boss, Major General Peter Dawe, commander of the Canadian Special Forces, wrote a letter of proof of character to the court endorsing Mr. Hamilton, claiming that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and so on. Mr. Dowway even admitted to Mr. Shamuen that he was trying to influence the outcome of the verdict.
Mr. Chamoun said he was disappointed not only that his wife had been raped, but that the army’s top brass had sheltered and condoned Mr. Hamilton afterwards.
Even more ironically, it was the “hero” and “good man” in the eyes of the army and superiors who was sentenced to three years in prison in a separate rape case unrelated to the case.
“It was an extremely painful experience of betrayal,” Mr. Chamoun said, recalling the incident. None of the enemies I have encountered overseas have done so much harm to my life and family as they have done. ”
Now, when a sex scandal in the Canadian military comes to the fore, it’s no surprise that the couple are having an encounter. There are many others who have experiences similar to, or even more seriously than, them.
Some of the active-duty and retired female servicemen who have publicly exposed the military sex scandal
In 2015, Marie Deschamps, a former Supreme Court justice of Canada, published a report on these phenomena in the military. In her report, she said the entire culture of the Canadian army had become “hostile” as a “plague”.
“I think sexual misconduct in the Canadian army is embarrassing for the whole country,” Christine Wood, who launched a class-action lawsuit in 2021 on behalf of women sexually assaulted in the military, told Parliament.