More Not-So-Plain Speaking from DND

By Dan Middlemiss, 17 March 2023

Dan Middlemiss

Why is it that DND, when confronted with questionable behaviour, always seems to prefer to stonewall – or worse? The latest example comes in the form of a DND claim that a 2021 document, one indicating that Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff received advice on how to finesse his public statements about unethical behaviour in the department, could not be found after a thorough search had been conducted.

Of course, the catch here was that a newspaper had already received the very document in question from people concerned about the way the military has been handling a series of sexual misconduct scandals. This latest story by David Pugliese can be found at: As Pugliese notes, this type of questionable response to Access to Information requests is not an isolated incident.

Even if one chooses to believe DND’s claim that a mistake had been made and that this was an isolated incident, then a question arises. Which is worse: serial dissembling, or persistent incompetence? How can Canadians have faith in an organization responsible for their defence when it repeatedly is unable to find important documents? Have to get to the battlefield in a hurry? Sorry, we seem to have misplaced our maps.

Will our military leaders never learn the simple lesson that, in the end, the cover-up is always worse than the particular incident itself?


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