The probability that retired Gen. Jonathan Vance fathered one child with Maj. Kellie Brennan — years after he said their sexual relationship ended — is more than 99 per cent, according to the results of a paternity test shared with Global News.
The test taken by Vance analyzed the genetic material from him and one of the children alleged by Brennan to be his, and found the probability of Vance’s paternity of the child to be just shy of 100 per cent.
“The alleged father cannot be excluded as the biological father of the tested child,” the test results stated. “Based on the analysis … the probability of paternity is 99.99991%.”
In order to protect the identity of the child, Global News is not disclosing their age but can confirm the test appears to contradict past statements by Vance that his sexual relationship with Brennan ended while the pair were stationed in Gagetown, N.B., in 2001.
Brennan testified before a parliamentary committee in April that Vance had fathered two children by her.
Paternity testing of a second child did not find a probability that Vance is the father.
Global News reached out to Vance and his lawyers through multiple avenues over recent days but has not yet received any response.
Global News had reached out to Vance on Feb. 1 about the allegations. When asked if he was the father of one specific child by name, Vance said: “I am not.”
When asked whether he was the father of another specific child by name, he said, “I don’t even know who these people are.”
Both of the children Vance was asked about in February were the children in the paternity tests.
Global News had contacted Vance prior to reporting on Feb. 2 that he is facing allegations of inappropriate behaviour from two female subordinates. Brennan later identified herself as one of the women at the heart of those allegations.
Vance denied any inappropriate behaviour at the time and said while he had a sexual relationship with Brennan in the past, that relationship ended while they were in Gagetown.
“Are you 100 per cent sure?” Global’s Mercedes Stephenson asked Vance on Feb. 1.
“Yes,” Vance said.
Vance was also asked shortly afterwards during that phone call: “There’s been no sexual relationship since 2001?”
“Right,” Vance replied.
He was also asked by Global News, “If the kids were DNA tested, they wouldn’t be yours?”
“I guess so. I mean, yeah,” Vance said.
“But that’s a pretty clear yes or no, right?” Stephenson asked again.
“Yes, if DNA testing goes that way, yeah,” Vance said.
Military police opened an investigation into the allegations of inappropriate behaviour against Vance on Feb. 4, and charged him with one count of obstruction of justice on July 15.
According to the court documents, military police allege that between Feb. 1 and Feb. 3, Vance “did willfully attempt to obstruct the course of justice in a judicial proceeding by repeatedly contacting Mrs K.B. by phone and attempting to persuade her to make false statements about their past relationship to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, contrary to section 139(1) of the Criminal Code.”
While the charge was laid by military police, the court case is being handled by civilian authorities.
Vance is due in court on Sept. 17.
The allegations against him kicked off a reckoning over the Canadian military’s handling of sexual misconduct: in particular, the standards of behaviour for senior leaders and the role of the chain of command in perpetuating a “toxic” culture for women and LGBTQ members.
Former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps documented the scope of the problem in her landmark 2015 report into military sexual misconduct but for six years, the Liberal government did not heed her key recommendation to create an independent reporting system.
Deschamps found the chain of command reporting structure too often incentivizes supervisors sweeping allegations under the rug and that it creates a conflict of interest when the individual accused is superior to the complainant.
While Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has said he supports an independent reporting system, he has offered no timeline for creating one and has not said whether he would amend the National Defence Act to require the military to hand the prosecution of either sexual assault or sexual misconduct cases to civilian authorities.
Former Supreme Court justice Morris Fish found in a June report that sexual misconduct remains as “rampant” and “destructive” in 2021 as it was in 2015.
Louise Arbour, another former Supreme Court justice, is currently leading an external review tasked with providing advice to the government on creating an independent reporting system.
But a final report is not expected before roughly March 2022.