Canada

‘My career appears to be over’: Former head of vaccine rollout says sudden firing was devastating

In an affidavit, Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin wrote that his reputation was irreparably damaged by the decision to publicly announce an investigation into my alleged conduct.

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OTTAWA – Former head of Canada’s vaccine rollout says the government’s decision to suddenly fire him while revealing that he was the target of a military investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct over 30 years ago was “devastating” and that his career “apparently” was over. “

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“The reputation I have built over the course of my three decades serving my country has been irretrievably tarnished by the decision to publicly announce an investigation into my alleged conduct, made worse by the fact that the announcement was out of context which the investigation relates to a single allegation of misconduct dating back over 30 years, ”Major General. Dany Fortin wrote in an affidavit signed last week and received by the National Post.

Documents Fortin filed in support of his affidavit also show he was with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) just days before his sudden discharge and months after Eyre. Received a brilliant performance rating from acting defense chief Wayne Eyre was reportedly briefed on the military investigation directed against him.

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The document, which is Fortin’s first personal response to his dismissal as Vice President of Operations for PHAC on May 14, was tabled by the federal court in support of his petition for judicial review of the government’s decision to dismiss him.

His June lawsuit came shortly after military police announced they had referred a sexual misconduct investigation to the Quebec District Attorney’s Office. No charges were brought against Fortin, and no official details of the allegations have been released.

In his affidavit, Fortin says the decision to make public the fact that the military police are investigating him was “devastating” to both his reputation and his career. He says he was on the verge of being promoted to the rank of lieutenant general before his dismissal. or get an equivalent post at PHAC after posting.

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“I was at the height of my career,” he said in his affidavit.

READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW

In addition to his affidavit, Fortin included performance reviews from the past three years, signed by either the incumbent CDS Staff Eyre or the then CDS Jonathan Vance, which rave about his performance as a military leader and prompted him for “immediate” promotion within the Canadian Armed Forces ( CAF).

“MGen Fortin is a rare quality officer who reflects the best that the CAF has to offer in terms of institutional governance,” states its 2020-2021 review, signed by Lt.-Gen. Eyre on May 11th, just three days before he was released from PHAC. “MGen Fortin has proven to be mature, experienced, experienced and ready for greater challenges.”

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“Apply now and take the helm of a CAF command,” conclude Eyres’ remarks.

None of his claims have been considered in court and the federal government has not yet provided a response. The Ministry of Defense was unable to comment in the deadline.

Fortin’s affidavit also reiterates the assertion in his original lawsuit that he was not given due process before being asked to leave his post and that his dismissal was decided not by his military superior but by politicians – particularly the Defense Minister, the Minister of Health and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

“Political interference in the military chain of command is something that should concern all Canadians,” said Fortin’s attorneys Natalia Rodriguez of Conway Litigation in a statement emailed.

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Despite alleged warnings from both Lt.-Gen. Eyre and PHAC President Iain Stewart in March that he should “keep your bags packed” in case the PMO or the Minister of Health ever decide that he must be fired because of the military investigation against him, he claims he always does “don’t know” yet. why he was removed from his job at PHAC.

In his lawsuit, he calls on the federal court to order the government to reinstate him in his previous position with the health department or in an equivalent position.

However, separate court records indicate that the federal government intends to ask the federal court to dismiss Fortin’s lawsuit immediately, believing that he should have filed a military complaint against his deportation first.

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In other words, attorneys representing the Attorney General believe Fortin should have gone through the internal military complaints process instead of immediately asking the court to overturn the federal government’s decision.

Government attorneys hope their motion to dismiss the lawsuit will be heard before Fortin’s motion, which his lawyers believe should be heard “expedited” this fall. But Rodriguez says they plan to oppose this request.

“The (government) motion will only cause unnecessary delays and heightened prejudice for MGen Fortin, and the strike motion is inappropriate in the context of the judicial review,” she said in an email.

• Email: cnardi@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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