A group representing survivors of military sexual assault is expressing outrage after a senior officer who wrote a reference for a convicted sex offender was quietly reassigned to a new job — one related to military policy on sexual misconduct.
Maj.-Gen. Peter Dawe was relieved of his command as head of Canada’s special forces in the spring when it was revealed he had written a character reference four years earlier for a soldier convicted of sexually assaulting a comrade’s wife.
Acting defence chief Gen. Wayne Eyre said at the time of Dawe’s suspension that he would take a “deliberate” approach to decide his future.
The Department of National Defence now says Dawe has been tasked with collecting and reviewing recommendations from three former Supreme Court justices, two of which specifically deal with sexual misconduct in the military.
News of Dawe’s reappointment has sparked anger from It’s Not Just 700, a support group set up to help current and former military members traumatized by sexual misconduct while serving in uniform.
It’s Not Just 700 spokesperson Sam Samplonius says Dawe’s reassignment raises even more questions about the military’s ability and commitment to addressing sexual misconduct in the ranks.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2021.