Captain of HMCS Halifax removed from post while under investigation

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The commanding officer of HMCS Halifax has been temporarily removed from his position as an investigation takes place following several incidents onboard the ship, according to the Department of National Defence.

Although the department did not name the ship’s captain, he has previously been identified as Cmdr. Dale St. Croix by The Lookout, the Navy’s newsletter.

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The incidents took place on board during a port visit in Swinoujscie, Poland, while deployed on an operation, according to a June 9 release from the Department of National Defence.

No sexual misconduct or harmful, inappropriate sexual behaviour was involved in the incidents, according to the release.

The ship’s captain was relieved of his duties in order to ensure the investigation can take place while HMCS Halifax continues its deployment.

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In March, the ship and its 253-person crew left on a six-month deployment to the North Atlantic and north European waters in support of NATO deterrence measures as Russia invades Ukraine.

An interim leader, naval officer and commanding officer, Paul Mountford, has taken his place in the meantime.

Reports of the incidents follow a blistering report that revealed the top ranks of the Canadian Forces are “incapable” of recognizing the “deficient” parts of a culture that keep sexual misconduct entrenched.

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That highly anticipated report into the culture of the Canadian Forces from former Supreme Court of Canada justice Louise Arbour was released on May 30, exactly one year after the review formally began in May 2021.

“Firmly entrenched in its historical way of life, the military has failed to keep pace with the values and expectations of a pluralistic Canadian society, increasingly sophisticated about the imperative of the rule of law,” Arbour wrote.

“Operating as a totally self-regulated, self-administered organization, entirely reliant on deference to authority, it has failed to align with the ever-changing, progressive society we live in. This disconnect is a liability for the CAF and for Canada.”

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