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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Admiral McDonald says he is returning as defence chief after misconduct investigation

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OTTAWA — Admiral Art McDonald says he has decided to return to his position as commander of the Canadian Armed Forces after military investigators opted not to charge him following an investigation into his conduct.

McDonald stepped down in February as chief of the defence staff as a result of a Canadian Forces National Investigation Service investigation into an allegation of misconduct.

But in a statement released by his legal team this afternoon, McDonald says he is returning to the position after the six-month investigation completely exonerated him and that he is returning to his post.

It was not immediately clear whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan were aware of McDonald’s plan to take back command of the military from acting defence chief Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre.

The Liberal government has faced calls not to reinstate McDonald, with some experts and victim’s advocates questioning the decision to have military police investigate Canada’s top military officer.

McDonald in his statement says he co-operated fully during the investigation, and cited the need to respect due process in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 11, 2021.

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