The opposition parties in Ottawa have voted for a politically motivated censure and are demanding the resignation of Canada’s defence minister Harjit Sajjan. The opposition parties are complaining that he has not done enough about the senior staff of the military having or wanting to have sex. To his credit, it would seem that Mr. Sajjan is not interested nor involved in the sex lives of Canada’s generals and admirals.
And, frankly, everyone in parliament should follow Mr. Sajjan’s example. They should realize that that celibacy is not required in our armed forces. We have a military that is made up of Canadians looking for travel, organization in their lives and a reliable paycheque. The military houses them, feeds them, clothes them and looks after their health. They lead a nice life and rarely go in harms way. And if you get some sex occasionally, life can be even better.
But, as in any organization, there are restrictions on the sex. The boys have to stay out of the girls’ barracks and the girls have to stay out of the boys’ barracks. And, like in many organizations, men and women with authority over another person cannot demand sexual favours from the people who report to them. In the military, this is considered an offence under the Queen’s Regulations for the particular military service. And, as each military service has its own quasi police force, offenses that become known are handled, so to speak, and disciplined within the service.
There is more of a problem when you hear of complaints within the ranks of generals and admirals. These are the people who make the rules and it is very awkward when they break them. The problem is that people of this rank are expected to know when to defend themselves and when to capitulate.
People who rise to this level in the services are expected to know when a person of sexual interest to them has said yes, no or maybe. They are also required to know when the relationship could be considered improper.
The only body that can deal effectively with indiscretions at this level is the general staff of the military. The defence minister has to accept the decision of the general staff or appoint a new general staff.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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