Gen. Vance to be investigated — concerns about allegations were known for years in military circles | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Gen. Vance to be investigated — concerns about allegations were known for years in military circles

The Canadian Forces announced Wednesday it will investigate allegations about the former chief of the defence staff. National Defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier said the investigation will be independent but added that “the specifics around any investigation have yet to be determined.”

The investigation follows a report by Global News that Vance allegedly had an ongoing relationship with a woman he significantly outranked. Global also reported that Vance is alleged to have made a sexual suggestion to a second, much younger soldier in 2012, before he was appointed chief of the defence staff.

(Vance was also the driving force behind Operation Honour, the military’s effort to quash sexual misconduct in the Canadian Forces and some officers suggested his alleged behaviour undercut that initiative.)

This newspaper requested comment from Vance but he has not responded.

One of the women in the Global report raised concerns about Vance’s behaviour with the Canadian Forces Ombudsman but she declined to file a formal complaint, this newspaper has confirmed. She wanted the ombudsman’s office to be aware of the issue. Without a complaint little could be done, according to sources familiar with the matter.

In addition, sources say concerns about allegations of Vance’s alleged behaviour were acknowledged among senior staff and their wives when the general was named as chief of the defence staff in 2015 by then Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Other generals were also aware of allegations and some National Defence headquarters staff discussed the situation among themselves but without formal complaints from the women they did nothing.

The relationships were consensual. Some of the concerns, sources say, focused on the power-imbalance of having a senior officer allegedly in a relationship with a woman in lower-ranked positions.