Ottawa: The Canadian government made a long-awaited official apology to victims of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Canadian Defence Minister, Anita Anand on Monday said that successive governments have failed to stamp out sexual harassment, sexual assault, or discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation in the military, Xinhua news agency reported.
Streamed online from Canadian Defence Ministry headquarters in Ottawa, Anand added, "I apologise to the thousands of Canadians who were harmed because your government did not protect you, nor did we ensure that the right systems were in place to ensure justice and accountability."
"For far too long, your government failed to dedicate enough time, money, personnel and effort to deal with sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination based on sex, gender identity and sexual orientation in the military and the department," she said.
Countless lives have been harmed by that inaction and systemic failure over the years, she added, a legacy the Canadian Armed Forces, the Defence Ministry and the Canadian government will carry for a long time.
The apology came as the Canadian government and military leadership face questions and criticism over their perceived failure to address allegations of inappropriate -- and criminal -- sexual misconduct among some of the military's top leaders.
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