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Sajjan directed navy to offer him with aide in Vancouver: paperwork

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan advised the navy to create a place ultimately stuffed by a reserve officer from his outdated unit who had been ordered suspended from the Vancouver police for an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, in accordance with newly launched briefing notes.

Sajjan additionally needed the navy to improve the place lower than two months after Maj. Greg McCullough was employed as a result of the minister needed much more assist in his residence using in Vancouver, in accordance with the notes, although that request didn’t change into actuality.

The briefing be aware comes amid lingering questions over how and why McCullough ended up within the distinctive place earlier than his removing final month following revelations concerning the criticism and disciplinary motion taken in opposition to him whereas he was a sergeant within the Vancouver police.

It additionally follows opposition requires Sajjan to resign over his dealing with of sexual misconduct allegations involving senior navy commanders, and amid issues about an “Previous Boys community” that protects the highest brass from repercussions.

McCullough was employed to assist Sajjan in March 2020 regardless of an exterior investigation that discovered him responsible in 2018 of two counts of misconduct for his relationship with Const. Nicole Chan, who later took her personal life in January 2019.

Sajjan’s workplace has acknowledged the minister and McCullough knew one another as officers within the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Personal) and that they each served on the similar time with the Vancouver Police Division.

But it surely says the navy was answerable for the method that led to McCullough’s hiring, and that neither the minister nor his employees had been conscious of the criticism and disciplinary motion taken in opposition to him whereas he was a sergeant within the Vancouver police.

The Division of Nationwide Defence introduced final month that McCullough was now not working as Sajjan’s aide, although he does stay a member of the Canadian Military reserve.

Ready for then-chief of defence employees Jonathan Vance dated Could 6, 2020, the briefing be aware obtained by The Canadian Press by way of entry to info doesn’t point out McCullough by title however does present the minister personally led the cost for a brand new assistant in Vancouver.

Whereas Sajjan on the time already had 4 navy assistants in Ottawa, and the Defence Division says it has no information of such a place being created exterior the capital, the be aware says: “The minister decided that extra full-time assist is required whereas he’s in Vancouver.”

It goes on to say an “applicable candidate” was chosen in March 2020 and was at the moment working with the minister, however that “based mostly on the minister’s current course,” Sajjan would want much more assist and thus the place needs to be upgraded from a part-time to full-time function.

Such an improve would have represented a major pay enhance for whoever was within the function.

The briefing be aware recommends the place be upgraded and stuffed by way of “an open, honest and equitable” competitors, although Defence Division spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier mentioned the improve didn’t occur as a result of such full-time positions are just for distinctive circumstances.

Sajjan’s spokesman Daniel Minden defended the creation of the navy assistant place in Vancouver, saying in an electronic mail: “So as to keep away from the excessive prices of journey by Ottawa-based navy employees to Vancouver, a Vancouver-based navy assistant place was created.

“Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister Sajjan has spent a part of the previous yr working remotely from his using in Vancouver, the place this assist was much more essential.”

The pandemic will not be talked about within the briefing be aware.

Le Bouthillier mentioned the place stays unfilled.

“Army assistants from Ottawa are travelling to Vancouver as required to hold out these duties,” he added in an electronic mail.

“The perform continues to be required however an up to date evaluation of feasibility and effectivity (after a number of months of COVID-19 restrictions) is being carried out by the Canadian Armed Forces to decide on how greatest to construction the navy assistant’s workplace.”

Reached by phone on Thursday, McCullough declined to remark, saying he acquired in bother for beforehand talking to The Canadian Press and was not licensed to talk additional.

“Minister Sajjan had nothing to do with my hiring course of,” he mentioned final month. “He required a navy assistant on the West Coast due to the period of time that he spends right here, and that is it. I did not converse with Minister Sajjan about this course of, and I serve the Canadian Armed Forces.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has insisted Sajjan, who has served as Canada’s solely defence minister for the reason that Liberals first took workplace in late 2015, is the precise particular person to steer the cost in relation to altering the navy’s tradition and eradicating sexual misconduct and hate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed July 22, 2021.

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