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Top general to release report on suicide, sexual misconduct at Royal Military College

A report on suicide and sexual harassment at the Royal Military College of Canada will be released this afternoon by Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance.

CBC will live stream Vance’s news conference, expected to begin at 1 p.m. ET.

The report was commissioned in November following a number of suspected suicides and allegations of sexual misconduct at the prestigious institution located in Kingston, Ont., where the military grooms future officers.

An eight-member team of current and former military officers has been put in charge of examining all aspects of the college, from the institution’s climate and culture to its academic programs and infrastructure.

The review is expected to focus on the mental state of the college’s approximately 1,000 full- and part-time student cadets by looking at stress levels and available support, as well as overall morale levels.

It will also look at how staff are selected and whether they have the right training and qualifications to be working at the college, as well as the structure of the programs.

Top general releases Royal Military College report LIVE0:00

Investigation searches for causes

The report was commissioned by Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who was the military’s second-highest ranking officer at the time, but is now suspended while an investigation takes place.

Norman would not provide specifics about what triggered the investigation, but at the time there were several reports of sexual misconduct going back to 2013.

In one case, a lecturer was verbally abused while giving a presentation on sexual assault prevention.

In another, court martial documents show Officer Cadet J.C. Scott received a severe reprimand and a $ 2,000 fine in May 2015 after pleading guilty to a charge of assault after touching a fellow cadet without her consent on several occasions in March 2013.

Following her year-long investigation into sexual misconduct in the military, retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps reported last year that sexual harassment was considered a rite of passage at the college, and sexual assault was an “ever-present risk.”

The military is also still investigating the sudden deaths of three Royal Military College cadets between May and August of 2016. Harrison Kelertas, 22, and Brett Cameron, 20, died on campus within days of each other, while Matthew Sullivan,19, died in August in Saint John.

CBC | Politics News