February 11, 2022
The Canadian Armed Forces says it is investigating after one of its officers appeared in a video speaking out against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Maj. Stephen Chledowski is the latest serving member of the Canadian military to have spoken out against government-ordered mandates and restrictions intended to curb the spread and severity of COVID-19.
A video of Chledowski in uniform appeared on social media Thursday, as hundreds of anti-vaccine protesters continue to occupy parts of downtown Ottawa and block border crossings in other parts of the country.
It also came as hundreds of serving military personnel face the threat of forced removal from the Armed Forces for refusing to get their shots.
Defence Department spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier confirmed Friday morning that the military was aware of the video and that what he described as “appropriate action” would be taken.
Le Bouthillier did not say what that appropriate action might be, including whether criminal charges could be laid.
“We are investigating the incident and will be taking appropriate action,” Le Bouthillier said in a statement, which was shared with Global News.
“These are difficult and stressful times for our country and the Canadian Armed Forces is not immune to these stressors; however, a hallmark of our democracy is the principle that the military is accountable to our duly elected officials.”
Le Bouthillier said that “those who disregard these principles undermine the very foundation of our institution,” and “we all must be trusted to serve.”
“Any member of the armed forces who brings discredit to the CAF through either conduct or performance deficiencies, be it through actions or words, will be held accountable,” he added.
The military last year charged another officer with mutiny after he allegedly urged other members of the Canadian Armed Forces not to help with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.