General Leading Canada Vaccine Drive Steps Aside Amid Probe

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(FILES) Formerly, commander of the NATO mission in Iraq, Major-General Dany Fortin has left his public health assignment “pending the results of a military investigation,” authorities said in a brief statement, without elaborating. (Photo by SABAH ARAR / AFP)

The general in charge of coordinating Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has left his post in the Public Health Agency as he is being investigated by the military, the Department of National Defence said Friday.

Formerly, commander of the NATO mission in Iraq, Major-General Dany Fortin has left his public health assignment “pending the results of a military investigation,” authorities said in a brief statement, without elaborating.

Fortin was appointed last November by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to coordinate the logistics of the largest vaccination campaign in Canadian history.

The Canadian military is responsible, in collaboration with the public health agency, for distributing the vaccine in remote communities of this vast country.

The military has been shaken in recent months by a series of investigations into high-ranking officers accused of sexual misconduct.

They include retired general Jonathan Vance, a former chief of the defense staff, who has denied the allegations against him.

His successor, Admiral Art McDonald, left office a few weeks after his appointment, following the opening of an investigation into similar charges.

Last month, the Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan instructed Louise Arbour, a prosecutor before the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and for the former Yugoslavia, to conduct an independent investigation into the handling of sexual harassment cases within the military.

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