On Thursday, 17 November 2022, the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS) issued CANFORGEN 164/22 – which can more accurately be characterized as the ‘Fortin CANFORGEN’. Let’s face it: the 3,000 kg rhino is the room is that the CANFORGEN was clearly issued because Major-General (MGen) Dany Fortin wore his Canadian Forces (CF) uniform (specifically, his Distinctive Environmental Uniform (DEU) 3) to his trial before a civil court of criminal jurisdiction. He did so to answer allegations arising within his service and which were investigated by Military Police. Certain people complained vociferously.
This development was reported broadly in the Canadian news media, including by Canadian Press reporter, Lee Berthiaume: “Military bans uniforms from civilian trials following Fortin criticism”, Lee Berthiaume, Canadian Press, Globe and Mail online.
As I have discussed previously, it is open to the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), or one of the CDS’ subordinates, to issue direction regarding whether a CF member may wear CF uniform in certain circumstances. Indeed, there were long-standing gaps in the CF Dress Instructions and other policy direction regarding the wearing of CF uniforms.
However, there are pertinent issues that should be addressed, including: (1) whether a CANFORGEN is the appropriate policy instrument; and, (2) whether there are any problematic provisos in the CANFORGEN that the VCDS purports to use as a policy instrument.
I expand upon these issues in the Blog post hyperlinked below. Specifically, I explain (for what seems like the hundredth time) that CANFORGEN are not proper policy instruments for the governance of the Canadian Forces. I also highlight some problematic provisions in the CANFORGEN, within the context of ongoing problematic policy initiatives brought by the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Anita Anand.
“The Fortin CANFORGEN”, Rory Fowler, online: Law Office of
Rory G Fowler