Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin is difficult a Federal Courtroom choose’s ruling that struck down his request for reinstatement as head of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution marketing campaign.
The senior navy officer’s authorized crew filed a discover of attraction on Friday, arguing Justice Ann Marie McDonald erred in her ruling final week that Fortin wanted to submit a criticism to the navy earlier than bringing his case to court docket.
“The choose made quite a few and grave authorized errors in her determination, which Maj.-Gen. Fortin is asking the Federal Courtroom of Attraction to overturn,” lawyer Natalia Rodriguez stated in an announcement.
Fortin has been combating for reinstatement after he was abruptly eliminated as head of the vaccine rollout effort in Could, 5 days earlier than navy police introduced that they had referred an investigation of alleged sexual misconduct to Quebec’s prosecution service.
The senior navy officer, who beforehand served in Afghanistan and commanded a NATO coaching mission in Iraq earlier than being assigned final November to steer the federal authorities’s vaccine rollout effort, was formally charged with one depend of sexual assault in August.
That case, which pertains to an alleged incident courting from 1988, is due again in a Quebec court docket Nov. 5.
Fortin has maintained his innocence and, in difficult his elimination in Federal Courtroom, accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and different senior members of the Liberal authorities of getting turfed him from the vaccine marketing campaign for purely political causes.
Throughout two days of court docket hearings final month, Fortin’s authorized crew argued that the navy’s grievance system was the incorrect venue for deciding whether or not his elimination was acceptable, given the political nature of the choice.
His attorneys additionally raised considerations in regards to the navy grievance system, citing a current overview by retired Supreme Courtroom justice Morris Fish that discovered lengthy delays and in the end described the whole system as “damaged” and in want of pressing reforms.
However McDonald rejected these arguments, writing: “In my opinion, the high-profile nature of Maj.-Gen. Fortin’s place and the allegations of political interference will not be distinctive circumstances that permit him to bypass the interior grievance course of.”
As for considerations in regards to the grievance system, McDonald famous appearing defence chief Gen. Wayne Eyre had instituted new orders to deal with the issues recognized in Fish’s report, including any considerations about pointless delays had been “purely speculative.”
In difficult McDonald’s determination on the Federal Courtroom of Attraction, Fortin’s attorneys argue the choose made a number of errors in figuring out the grievance system was the suitable discussion board for listening to the case.
Amongst their arguments is that the grievance system was not designed to deal with choices made exterior the navy’s chain of command, on this case by politicians. In addition they say the choose didn’t absolutely respect the time sensitivities across the case.
Fortin’s attorneys are asking that the case be despatched again to the Federal Courtroom for a distinct choose to listen to.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s workplace declined to remark.