Canada’s New chief of defence staff, Admiral Art McDonald, has voluntarily resigned at a time he is facing an investigation into misconduct allegations.
McDonald’s resignation was announced by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan via a statement.
In the statement, Sajjan said: “As I have stated, I take all allegations of misconduct seriously and continue to take strong action on any allegation of misconduct that is brought forward. No matter the rank, no matter the position.”
Sajjan has appointed Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, the commander of the army, as acting chief of the defence staff and disclosed he would not comment further about the investigation.
McDonald commanded the Royal Canadian Navy between 2019 and 2021. He was named chief of defence staff on December 23.
On January 4, he assumed command by succeeding Jonathan Vance, who disclosed last July that he would retire.
During his swearing in, McDonald apologized to military members that encountered harassment and discrimination while during service.
McDonald said: “I apologize to you, my teammates, our teammates, who have experienced racism, discriminatory behaviour and or hateful conduct. I’m deeply sorry.”
He tendered another apology when a public backlash brewed after he states the need for more diversity recently by tweeting his image with seven other male senior officers around a conference table.
McDonald tweeted: “It’s true: the leadership of the CAF is, and historically has been, predominantly male and white. That needs to change.
“We need to reflect Canada’s diversity at all levels. We must work to eliminate systemic racism and dismantle the barriers to career advancement that exist. We are there in mindset but know there is still a lot of work to do, and we are committed to doing it.”