Jocelyne Therrien as External Monitor of Military Sexual Misconduct

NOTE: On May 11, 2016 La Presse reported: “Seven years after her arrest, an accused in the Diligence trial, Jocelyne Therrien, can now move on. The four counts of gangsterism, money laundering and conspiracy against the accountant were all withdrawn on Wednesday morning.”

La Presse photo

On October 24, 2022, the Minister of National Defense announced the appointment of Jocelyne Therrien as External Monitor to oversee the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) efforts to address sexual misconduct and harassment on the Defence Team. In particular, Madame Therrien will monitor National Defense’s implementation of the various recommendations of former Supreme Court Justice Arbour’s Independent External Comprehensive Review (IECR) into harassment and sexual misconduct on the Defence Team. This appointment delivers on recommendation 48 of the report, and will help ensure that meaningful culture change within the DND/CAF continues to occur.

Therrien is a former executive of the Office of the Auditor General of Canada where she conducted numerous audits of federal government entities and led the Parliamentary and International portfolios. Recently, she was part of the review of four cases of workplace harassment within the RCMP. Madame Therrien began her federal public service career as a parole officer.

The External Monitor reports to the Minister of National Defence and has been appointed by the Governor in Council for an initial term of one year. In this role, Madame Therrien will monitor the DND/CAF’s efforts to implement the IECR’s various recommendations and goals, and will provide regular reports to the Minister of National Defence on these efforts.

While the External Monitor’s mandate will focus on the oversight and implementation of IECR recommendations and objectives, recommendations from other external reviews may also be part of her work, at the Minister’s direction.

On May 30, 2022, the Minister welcomed all IECR recommendations, immediately accepted 17 for DND/CAF’s implementation, and confirmed that DND/CAF will analyze and advise on the path forward for the remaining recommendations. DND/CAF has been moving to implement the accepted recommendations, and other initiatives that align with some of the IECR’s areas of focus. For example, CAF-specific training is in the process of being transferred to the Chief Professional Conduct and Culture, an intergovernmental working group has been stood up to support the transfer of sexual misconduct and harassment cases to the civilian system, the reach and services offered by the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre has been expanded, and changes to promotion and selection processes have been introduced, beginning with those for General and Flag Officers. DND/CAF continues to analyze the remainder of the IECR’s recommendations, and once this analysis has been completed, the Minister will provide an update to Parliament on the path forward no later than the end of this year.

The IECR report charts the path forward, and with its help, the Government will deliver meaningful reform to prevent and eradicate sexual misconduct and harassment on the Defence Team.

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