MGen Whitecross leads the way

Mgen leads the way

MGen Christine Whitecross answers questions during a media event at the Wardroom, at the conclusion of her visit to CFB Esquimalt.

Major-General Christine Whitecross, commander of the new Canadian Armed Forces Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct, visited CFB Esquimalt to clarify details of the new action plan dealing with sexual misconduct in the military.

The base visit is just one of many underway to have face-to face interaction with military members in a town hall setting.

On May 13, she conducted three separate town halls at Esquimalt, reaching about 1,000 military members, which provided an opportunity to interact directly with CAF members.

“I think the biggest thing we need to communicate is that people need to be aware of their actions and their language and how it affects other people,” said MGen Whitecross.

“So we’re giving them some tools to do that, because ultimately we have a responsibility to our people that they work in a safe and respectful environment.”

Her 25 person team, comprised of military and civilian personnel, is responsible for conducting a detailed review of former Supreme Court Justice Marie Deschamps final report on sexual misconduct.

They will then develop an action plan to address and implement the report’s findings that says the “sexualized culture” in the Forces disproportionately affects lower-ranking female members.

The plan will address all 10 of Dechamps’ recommendations for the Canadian Armed Forces, including establishing a centre for survivors of sexual harassment and assault that is independent of the chain of command.

“We want to make sure that people who go to the centre are not unduly influenced by their own chain of command; so they feel compelled and empowered to go to a central agency that will help them in terms of victim support and advocacy.”

She adds, “My mandate was clear from the Chief of the Defence staff from time zero: ‘Move out on all 10 recommendations.’ I’m carrying out exactly the mandate that I’ve been given.”

Aside from visiting military bases in Canada, MGen Whitecross will visit allied militaries such the United States and Australia.

During these visits she and her team will examine their policies and practices to identify what programs and processes they have in place that might be applicable to the Canadian Armed Forces’ response to sexual misconduct.

“I need to bring those best practices and lessons back so that I can create a comprehensive option that will meet the needs of our men and women,” she said.

“One that is enduring and that is put together with due process and analysis.”

Rachel Lallouz
Staff Writer

Filed Under: Top Stories


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.