The aspersions targeting Maj. Kellie Brennan come after she appeared before a parliamentary committee probing high-level sexual misconduct in the Canadian Forces and said she does not believe military police will take the investigation into her allegations seriously.
Brennan testified during that committee that Vance was the father of two of her children.
“If you sleep with a senior rank you get good postings and promotion to support the bastards but no parenting and support from the senior rank,” one person in the Facebook group wrote in a comment posted about a link citing news of Brennan’s testimony.
“If the senior rank is a general then one should know better and you get nothing,” wrote another.
Global News obtained several screenshots of the posts in that group and many comments were sexual in nature.
“Giggity,” wrote another individual, while another said, “Her story is about as clear as a PMQ orgy party on pay day.”
PMQ is a reference to “permanent married quarters” or “private married quarters,” which are a type of military housing provided for married members and their families.
Giggity is the catchphrase used by the Family Guy character Glenn Quagmire to express excitement at a situation of sexual opportunity or sexual excitement.
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The comments come as military police are conducting twin probes into allegations against both the current and former chiefs of the defence staff, and amid ongoing questions about whether military police are independent enough from the military chain of command to probe the matter.
Brennan testified before the House of Commons defence committee last week that Vance had told her he “owned” the military police and that he was “untouchable.”
Global News first reported on Feb. 2 that Vance is facing allegations of inappropriate behaviour from two female subordinates. Brennan identified herself as one of the women at the heart of those allegations later that month, while the second woman has asked to remain anonymous.
Adm. Art McDonald has also stepped aside as Vance’s successor after military police launched a probe into an allegation against him in late February.
Experts have said the Canadian military is now facing an institutional crisis as it reckons with allegations of high-level sexual misconduct and with what one senior female leader described as a “seething undercurrent of rage” among women in the military over handling of sexual misconduct.
Stu Kellock, a retired military police officer, told Global News the questions being raised about whether military police can handle the matter are not unfounded.
“These are very dedicated, hard-working and committed individuals who try to do the right thing. But unfortunately, their chain of command often comes as an obstruction to that,” Kellock said.
“They don’t have the independence of a professional police force, a civilian police force where individual detectives and police officers can lay charges and bring individuals before the court.”
Kellock, who served 40 years with the Canadian Forces reserves including 30 years with the military police, said the effects of the chain of command in the military are everywhere.
“Everything in the Canadian Forces military police system is based on a chain of command, and that chain of command ultimately ends up with the Canadian Forces provost marshal who was personally appointed by the chief of the defence staff.”
The comments also drive home the need to change the culture in the Canadian military, said Christian Leuprecht, a political sciences professor at the Royal Military College of Canada.
“It’s heartbreaking because, of course, at the lowest level it re-victimizes victims,” he said.
“I think it reinforces the doubts, perhaps, that both members in uniform and the public have about the National Investigation Service’s ability to carry out these investigations.”
Global News reached out to the Department of National Defence about the comments.
Lt.-Cmdr. Jamie Bresolin, a spokesperson for the military police and provost marshal, said the comments are now under review.
“The Military Police is aware of comments made in a private Facebook group and have referred the matter to Professional Standards for assessment,” Bresolin told Global News in an email.
The Professional Standards unit handles complaints about military police conduct, he added.
“Given this matter is currently under review, no further comments will be provided at this time.”
A government source told Global News that military police have not yet found any currently serving military police officers among the individuals making the comments.