Canada taps woman general as new head of COVID-19 vaccine campaign

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Coordination of Canada’s coronavirus vaccination campaign is set to be taken over by another army general, the public health agency said Monday, after a probe into allegations of sexual misconduct sidelined her predecessor.

Brigadier General Krista Brodie, a logistic expert who served in the Balkans and Afghanistan, is to replace General Dany Fortin, who was dismissed due to a military investigation into what media reports said involved allegations of sexual misconduct dating back some 30 years, a charge which he has strongly denied.

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Brodie had already been working on vaccine coordination within the team led by her predecessor, as part of a partnership between the army and public health authorities set up last November.

The appointment came three days after the announcement that Fortin was being sidelined from his post of coordinator “pending the results of a military investigation,” according to the Ministry of Defense.

The departure of Fortin, a respected soldier who notably led the NATO mission in Iraq, is a further blow to the Canadian army, which has been shaken for months by a series of investigations into high-ranking officials suspected of sexual misconduct, including the former chief of the defense staff, retired General Jonathan Vance.

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Vance retired earlier this year before the allegations were made public. His successor, Admiral Art McDonald, also left office a few weeks after his appointment after an investigation was opened into similar charges.

At the end of April, Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan instructed Louise Arbor, a former prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, to conduct an independent investigation into the handling of cases of sexual harassment within the Canadian army.

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