Another senior soldier has been removed from the vaccine rollout project


CBC News learned that a senior member of the Canadian Armed Forces was quietly removed from his role in Canadian vaccine promotion last month in response to complaints about his use of racist language in the workplace.

Brigadier General Simon Bernard left his position with the Public Health Agency of Canada on May 17-only three days after the Major General. Dany Fortin has left his position as head of vaccine logistics in Canada.

The source told CBC News that Bernard was accused of using the N word in the workplace sometime in 2020 before being seconded to a public health agency. The complaint was filed recently, and Bernard is Fortin’s deputy in vaccine and logistics planning. Bernard was appointed to this position in November.

In a media statement, the Department of Defense (DND) confirmed that Bernard was the subject of a “language complaint” and that the armed forces were “trying to determine the facts and what to do next.”

Daniel Le Bouthillier, DND’s head of media relations, said: “In order to maintain the integrity of our efforts, we will not disclose the nature of the complaint.”

CBC News contacted Bernard via email; Le Bouthillier stated that Bernard would not comment at this time.

Public health agencies and government agencies submit all questions to DND.

Bernard left the vaccine rollout project at the request of public health officials. This is part of a series of events triggered by Fortin’s withdrawal from the vaccine program due to allegations of sexual misconduct.

Fortin’s former lawyer Cdr. Marc Létourneau stated that his client denied the allegation.

Major General Dany Fortin answered questions about the COVID vaccine at a press conference in Ottawa on January 14, 2021. (Adrian Wilder/Canada Press)

Fortin’s departure was announced in a short three-line statement released later that day on May 14. His departure means that the vaccine project has lost an experienced soldier and a strong communicator, and the launch is at a critical moment.

It allows the government to find suitable substitutes. As Fortin’s No. 2 figure, Bernard is the main candidate.

But in the days after Fortin’s departure, government officials learned that Bernard himself was under investigation and he was excluded.

On the contrary, brigadier general. Krista Brodie was appointed as Fortin’s successor on May 17. On the same day, public health officials, after understanding the nature of the allegations against Bernard, ended his secondment at PHAC and sent him back to the Canadian Armed Forces.

Lebuthill said in a media statement: “It has been decided to let him return to the CAF as soon as possible.” “He has been on annual leave since then and will be assigned to a position to be determined when he returns.



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