Advertisement

Navy head criticized for golfing with Vance to retire in military brass shakeup

Click to play video: 'Senior military leaders went golfing with Gen. Jonathan Vance while under investigation' Senior military leaders went golfing with Gen. Jonathan Vance while under investigation
WATCH ABOVE: Senior military leaders went golfing with Gen. Jonathan Vance while under investigation – Jun 12, 2021

Royal Canadian Navy commander Vice-Adm. Craig Baines will be retiring in a shakeup of several military senior leaders.

Baines faced criticism last summer after Global News and other media reported that he had gone golfing with retired Gen. Jonathan Vance while the latter was still under military police investigation.

Baines later apologized and kept his position while another then-senior leader at the golf game, vice chief of the defence staff Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau, retired shortly thereafter.

Read more: Navy head keeping job, must ‘redeem himself’ after golfing with Vance: military head

The acting chief of the defence staff said at the time that Baines must use the chance to “redeem himself” and become a better leader.

Story continues below advertisement

In an internal message sent to military members, Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre said he had decided that Baines could stay in his role as head of the navy and that there was “no perfect answer” for how to handle the situation, which was first reported on by Global News and The Globe and Mail.

“To his credit, VAdm Baines sincerely and readily admitted his error in judgment and publically [sic] apologized. He has reached out to many stakeholders to seek their views on his way ahead. Knowing his moral authority has diminished, he is determined to regain the trust and confidence of all through humility and showing us how to learn, reconcile error, and become a better leader,” Eyre had said.
Click to play video: 'Freeland ‘disturbed’ by decision to keep Navy head in position after golfing with Vance' Freeland ‘disturbed’ by decision to keep Navy head in position after golfing with Vance
Freeland ‘disturbed’ by decision to keep Navy head in position after golfing with Vance – Jun 30, 2021

Eyre made no mention of Baines’ initial decision to describe his golf round with Vance as a “public display of support” — a description that was quickly condemned following a fierce backlash.

Story continues below advertisement

When pressed on whether his statement of a “public display of support” was intended as him taking a public stance on the ongoing military investigation into Vance, Baines later clarified.

“To be clear, it was not a show of support for Jonathan Vance as it pertains to the ongoing investigation. My focus should have been on the victims of sexual misconduct and on the impacts on their lives. For this, I am sorry,” he said in a statement in June, 2021.

Read more: Gen. Jonathan Vance pleads guilty to obstruction of justice, gets conditional discharge

Military leaders are facing significant pressure to fix the sexual misconduct crisis within their ranks.

The results of an external review into how to implement an independent sexual misconduct reporting system are expected next month.

Sponsored content