OTTAWA — Incoming Canadian Army commander Lt.-Gen. Trevor Cadieu’s promotion to the top of the army has been halted due to an investigation for sexual misconduct.
While details surrounding the investigation are sparse, CTV News has learned that a female veteran filed an allegation of sexual misconduct against Cadieu and she spoke to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS), the investigative arm of the Canadian military police, in early September.
Cadieu was scheduled to take over as army commander on Sept. 7, but just two days prior, acting defence chief Gen. Wayne Eyre suspended the ceremony after he was told that the CFNIS was investigating “historical allegations” against Cadieu.
“The postponement of the ceremony is not an indictment of Lt.-Gen. Cadieu,” the Defence Department and Canadian Armed Forces said in a joint statement. “However, in light of the ongoing investigation, a decision was made to allow the justice system to pursue the matter in accordance with the rule of law.”
Cadieu is a 29-year veteran of the military and served in both Bosnia and Afghanistan. Most recently, he was advising the chief of the defence staff.
“The allegations are false, but they must be investigated thoroughly to expose the truth,” Cadieu wrote in a statement provided by the military.
Cadieu added he has provided information to investigators and “taken other measures to prove my truthfulness and innocence.” He has also asked for Eyre to consider someone else to take over as Canadian Army commander.
“I know that these false claims will, as intended, create doubts about my ability to lead in this environment,” Cadieu said.
“While I have devoted every day of my career to making fellow members feel respected and included, Canadian Army soldiers deserve a leader who is unencumbered by allegations and can lead at this important time when culture change, addressing systemic misconduct and preparing tactical teams for operations must remain the priority effort.”
Todd Lane, a spokesperson for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, told CTV News that the minister became aware of the allegation on Sept. 5, the same day as Eyre.
The allegation against Cadieu is the latest of several misconduct allegations against high-ranking military members, which have prompted calls for Sajjan’s removal as minister of Defence and criticism of the government’s handling of the allegations.
With files from The Canadian Press