After two weeks of consideration, Canada’s acting top soldier, Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre has decided that Vice-Admiral Craig Baines will continue to lead the navy, despite criticism over his decision to participate in a contentious golf tournament. Eyre said in a memo to military members today that the golf game shown “poor judgment,” but he believes Baines can learn from his mistake and become a stronger leader as a result.
Baines officially apologized earlier this month and announced a leave of absence after it was disclosed that he played golf with retired general Jonathan Vance, the former chief of defense staff. Vance is being investigated by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) on allegations of inappropriate behavior with female subordinates, which he denies.
Some military sexual trauma sufferers were offended by Baines‘ initial apology, claiming it was intended to show public support for Vance rather than victims. While Baines is staying, the military’s second-in-command lost his job because of a round of golf. After admitting he scheduled the golf game with Vance when he was the boss of the Canadian Forces provost marshal, to whom the CFNIS reports directly, Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau faced harsh criticism for his judgment.
Over the last six months, ten senior officials have been swept up in the sexual misconduct scandal and have resigned from their positions. They are either on paid leave while military police conduct investigations or have retired. Eyre claimed that he conferred with victims and survivors, sailors, military personnel, academics, and top government officials about whether Baines should continue in his position. “There is no ideal option,” he said, “and I recognize that not everyone will agree regardless of the conclusion.”