November 12, 2015 1:01 pm

Military investigating soldier’s alleged racist social media post about defence minister

Minister of Defence Harjit Singh Sajjan speaks to reporters in the foyer on Parliament Hill after being sworn in earlier in the day, on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, in Ottawa.


The military is investigating an incident in which an armed forces member allegedly wrote a racist post on social media about the new defence minister.

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According to a statement from the Department of National Defence, the department is “very much aware” of an incident where a soldier wrote “inappropriate” comments on social media. Reports in various media outlets suggested that it was a Facebook post written by a member of the military in Quebec – and was swiftly removed from the site.

The department did not elaborate on what the post said, though it made lengthy reference to the military’s anti-racism policies, saying that racism will not be tolerated.

“Racist attitudes are not compatible with military ethos and with effective military service,” wrote the department. Incidents involving racism are reported to the commanding officer, who can order informal counseling, issue a warning, put the member on probation or recommend their release, depending on the seriousness of the circumstances.

The new defence minister, Harjit Sajjan, served in the military himself in Afghanistan and Bosnia and was the first Sikh to command a Canadian army regiment.

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