ontario news watch

General overseeing vaccination campaign urges military, society to be better

OTTAWA — The military officer tapped to manage Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign used her first public appearance in her new role to call on the military — and Canadians, in general — to strive to be better.

Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie said she was excited and honoured to have been asked to take over the job, which involving overseeing the delivery and distribution of millions of vaccine doses every week.

At the same time, she said, “in these times, there are many, many things that we need to be doing within the Canadian Armed Forces and within society at large to ensure that our behaviours, our attitudes, our beliefs align with the better values of the profession, align with the values and the ethical principles that we uphold as Canadians.”

She went on to urge all Canadians to “make every effort to advance those efforts to ensure that we are being the best Canadians we can be in every facet of our lives.”

The government appointed Brodie to lead the vaccination campaign on Monday after the general who previously oversaw the effort, Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, was abruptly sidelined on Friday.

Military police have since confirmed that they have been investigation an allegation of sexual misconduct involving Fortin, with the Quebec prosecution service currently deliberating on whether to lay charges.

Fortin’s lawyer has said that his client categorically denies any wrongdoing.

Brodie has served 32 years in uniform, including stints in Croatia, Bosnia and Afghanistan, and has extensive logistics experience.

She previously worked with Fortin on the vaccination campaign after he was assigned to the job in November, but had left for another job earlier this year before being enlisted to take over from him.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 20, 2021.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press