Four of the five Canadian Forces personnel who said they were members of the group the Proud Boys and disrupted a Mi’kmaq ceremony in Halifax on July 1 have been allowed to return to their regular duties.
Rear-Admiral John Newton said following the military police’s investigation no charges would be laid against the members, who served in both the army and navy.
He said one of the five members has since left the military of his own accord, a process that started before the Canada Day incident and was unrelated to it.
4 members on probation
Newton said the four remaining members are now being monitored and are on probation, which they must pass to continue with the military.
He wouldn’t spell out the exact disciplinary measures the members have faced but said they were removed from their workplaces and weren’t allowed to handle classified material. He said they are experiencing professional setbacks and personal consequences in their units and the community.
None of the men received demotions or were moved as a result of the harassing behaviour. Newton said being on probation limits what they can accomplish professionally.
Speaking to reporters, Newton defended the military’s actions, saying “this is not lightweight punishment. These non-commission members who are early in their career, have remorse.”
“This is a permanent mark on a member’s record,” he said Thursday afternoon. “Any trespass against those conditions, any repeat leads to their release from the Canadian Armed Forces, or it’s good potential depending on those circumstances, will lead to their release.”
Millions spent on training
Newton said he interviewed the men personally and “saw their acknowledgement, their desire, their intent to adhere to the conditions.”
He also said the four are expected to learn from their “monumentally poor judgment.”
“I don’t have a huge surplus of people in the Canadian Armed Forces who we’ve already spent million of dollars training, who in their mistake and in this learning … will work to restore the trust between them and the chain of command. They will be a good investment in the long term.”
Their side of the story ‘means nothing’
On Canada Day, dozens of people were gathered around the statue of Edward Cornwallis in downtown Halifax to mourn the atrocities committed against Indigenous people when a group of five men clad in black polo shirts approached.
The off-duty members were carrying a Canadian Red…