Dany Fortin sues federal government, Trudeau for $6M

Ottawa –

Major General Danny Fortin, a senior military officer who was acquitted of sexual assault charges late last year, has filed a $6 million lawsuit against the Canadian government.

Fortin, who was removed as head of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine program in early 2021, said: 16 dignitaries in wide suitsIncluding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Defense Chief of Staff General Wayne Eyre, former Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan and former Health Minister Patti Haido.

The bill, which was filed in the Ontario Superior Court on Wednesday, accuses officials of “reprehensible, extreme, flagrant and coercive” conduct and seeks $5 million in general damages and $1 million in penalties. seeking damages.

The document alleges that Fortin suffered damages for defamation and misconduct in public office. It also accuses officials of negligent investigations, improper disclosure of private facts, breach of confidentiality, and conspiracy to cause damage.

Fortin’s attorney, Thomas Conway, said in an interview, “He was not given due process.

“It caused him the kind of grief one would expect anyone to experience in the face of the kinds of allegations he had to face publicly.”

Fortin was dismissed in May 2021 as responsible for the government’s COVID-19 vaccine deployment, pending an investigation into past allegations stemming from his 1988 military college days.

He was charged with sexual assault in August 2021 and was acquitted by the Quebec High Court last December.

The complaint alleges that the investigation was grossly negligent and that there was no basis for criminal prosecution in the first place. It accuses officials of dismissing Fortin from a major vaccine role for political reasons.

“I think there’s some kind of chills coming down on the Canadian military in relation to all these allegations of sexual misconduct,” Conway said.

“And we’re not trying to trivialize the issue in any way. It’s not. It’s a serious issue. But unfortunately everyone has the right to a fair process He seems to have abandoned the idea that there is

He added that despite Fortin’s acquittal, his reputation has been tarnished.

“That stain or damage will not be removed unless you seek relief through civil remedies for what happened in court,” Conway said.

The military said in January that it would formally liquidate Fortin’s misconduct regarding the balance of possibilities and assign him a new role. Allegedly, it is delayed until

According to the complaint, it was because the defendant, who was named a “political actor,” “made it clear” to the military leadership that Fortin was unable to return to normal duty, and that he was not allowed to return to the military itself. Because it “damaged” his reputation and created a climate. A person who has “done nothing wrong” cannot advance his career if someone else makes an allegation.

The Department of Defense intends to reassign Fortin to “an appropriate position commensurate with his rank and experience,” spokesperson Jessica Lamiland said in a statement.

“We have reviewed the allegations and have no further comment at this time,” she said.

We reached out to the prime minister’s office for comment, but did not receive a response at this time.

A statement of defense has not been filed against the allegations of litigation.

Separate proceedings are still pending in the federal court of appeals, and Fortin is appealing the federal court’s decision to deny his request for reinstatement last year.

In that regard, Fortin claims he was ousted from the vaccine role without political interference and due process.The government denies these allegations. A Fortin spokesperson said a date for further proceedings has not yet been set.

Fortin, commander of the NATO training mission in Iraq and commander of the 1st Canadian Division, also filed a complaint with the Military Police Complaints Commission after his acquittal.

When asked whether Fortin pursued a settlement with the government before filing a lawsuit, Conway said that Fortin had been extended with his former colleagues and with the agency where he worked for more than 30 years. All I said was that I had no interest in filing a lawsuit.

“Trust me, this is the last thing he wanted to do.”

The defendants named in the Fortin lawsuit are:

— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

— General Wayne Eyre, Chief of Defense Staff

— Harjit Sajjan, former Defense Minister and current International Development Minister

— Patty Hajdu, former Minister of Health and current Minister of Indigenous Services

— Janice Charette, Privy Council Office Clerk

— Ian Stewart, former Public Health Agency of Canada, current Chairman of the National Research Council

— Jodi Thomas, former Deputy Defense Minister and current National Security Advisor Trudeau

— Lieutenant Colonel Eric LeBlanc, Commander of the Canadian Forces National Investigative Service

— Colonel Bruce McGregor, former Director of the Bureau of Military Prosecutions

— Brigadier General.Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Simon Trudeau

— Retired Brigadier General Diraldo Cross, who was the plaintiff’s supervisor in a sexual assault case

— Laurie Ann Kempton, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Department of Defense

—George Young, Sajjan’s then chief of staff and now deputy chief of staff to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

— Brigadier General Dennis Hushey, Military Police Investigator

— Brigadier General. Alan Mulawyshyn, then Chief of Eyre on his staff and now Deputy Executive Director of Veterans’ House

— The Canadian Armed Forces, the Department of Defense, the Department of Health, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Secretariat of the Privy Council, and the Attorney General of Canada, who has been named as defendant in the proceedings on behalf of the people, Health Canada.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on March 15, 2023.

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