Canada appoints first woman to number two military post

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau salutes the first appointment of a woman to Canada’s second-highest military post, which came amid a shakeup of the top ranks over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Lieutenant-General Frances Allen has been named vice-chief of the defense staff, the military said in a statement.

“I am very pleased to see a strong woman in the vice-chief position for the first time in Canada’s history,” Trudeau tells a news conference.

Her nomination follows accusations reported in the Canadian media and now being probed by military police of inappropriate behavior and relations with subordinates against former top soldier General Jonathan Vance — which he has denied. Vance retired in January before these were made public.

Weeks later, his successor Admiral Art McDonald also stepped aside after an investigation was launched into separate allegations against him.

Trudeau said the senior leadership must “move forward on ending the challenges of harassment and discrimination in the military… and ensuring that anyone who comes forward to share stories or allegations is given the support and resources that they need.”

He acknowledged that measures taken to date to address these issues “didn’t go far enough, and they haven’t moved fast enough.”

“It’s my commitment that we will be moving faster and going further to make sure that anyone who serves their country… has a safe workplace,” he says.

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