Trudeau claims he was made aware of the Fortin investigation “a few weeks ago.”

Justin Trudeau
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On Friday, Fortin resigned as head of Canada’s vaccine logistics, and the Department of National Defence released a three-line statement saying he was being investigated.

A sexual assault complaint against Fortin had been made, according to sources, and it predated the launch of Operation Honour in 2015, the military’s now-defunct effort to root out abusive behavior in the ranks.

The essence of the accusation was not specified by the confidential sources, who could not talk publicly due to the confidentiality of the file. However, CTV News claimed on Sunday that the accusation stemmed from a charge of indecent exposure made more than 30 years ago, when Fortin was a student at the Royal Military College in St-Jean, Quebec.

Trudeau said on Tuesday that he heard about the Fortin inquiry “a few weeks ago,” but he wasn’t told the specifics of the allegations.

According to his office, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan learned about it around the same time as the Prime Minister.

Cmdr. Marc Létourneau, Fortin’s lawyer, said his client only learned of the details of the complaint over the weekend and that he would contest the lawsuit.

Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, the acting top military officer, was first briefed on the inquiry into Fortin in mid-March, according to a senior government official speaking on the condition of anonymity.

According to the confidential source, who was not allowed to talk publicly due to the confidentiality of the file, Eyre made a command decision to keep Fortin in his position after weighing the risks.

According to the source, senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office were informed of the investigation and that Fortin would remain in his position for the time being.

According to the source, the investigation is nearing its conclusion, and a decision on the case’s course is expected soon. According to the source, this appears to have caused Fortin’s unexpected departure on Friday.

The fact that the prime minister was aware of the Fortin investigation weeks earlier — and that Fortin was allowed to keep his job while under investigation — is a political gold mine for opposition parties, who are now demanding that parliamentary inquiries into the Liberal government’s handling of the military sexual assault scandal be reopened.

The Conservatives introduced a motion calling for a summons to testify to be served on a former senior advisor to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.