Advertisement
News by VICE

The Canadian Military Won’t Stand for Any Racism Against New Defense Minister

Harjit Sajjan has gained worldwide notice since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed him defense minister, in part thanks to an image of the former soldier in army fatigues.

by Justin Ling
Nov 11 2015, 11:10pm

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

It didn't take long for the Canadian military to come down on one of its own after they reportedly posted racist comments against Defense Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan.

A Facebook post in French made inappropriate comments about Sajjan's ethnic background, according to the Globe and Mail.

Sajjan was the first-ever Sikh commander in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and recently became Canada's first Sikh defense minister.

The post was quickly pulled and the military says they are investigating the individual.

"We are very much aware of an incident in which a CAF member wrote inappropriate comments on social media about the new [Minister]," the Department of National Defense said in a statement Wednesday. "Racist attitudes are not compatible with military ethos and with effective military service. Any conduct that reflects such attitudes will not be tolerated."

The statement reiterated language from the Forces' new leadership: "bullies have no place in the organization."

The Forces refused to go into further detail on the post, and the exact language of what was said about Sajjan hasn't been made public. It appears as though the comment was taken down before it was picked up more widely.

Sajjan has proven popular worldwide for looking like a "badass." He now faces the difficult task of withdrawing Canada's military assets from the fight against the Islamic State, which the department confirmed on Wednesday would be happening in the near future.

Follow Justin Ling on Twitter: @justin_ling