Statement – Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command
“Following several incidents onboard HMCS Halifax during Operation REASSURANCE, Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command, has temporarily relieved the Commanding Officer of HMCS Halifax of his duties so that an investigation into the details of the incidents may take place.
This investigation is in relation to incidents that took place onboard the ship during a port visit in Swinoujscie, Poland, while deployed on Operation REASSURANCE. These incidents do not concern any sexual misconduct, harmful or inappropriate sexual behaviour.
This measure was deemed necessary to ensure the investigation can unfold while HMCS Halifax continues its deployment with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1.
Commander Paul Mountford, an experienced naval officer and Commanding Officer of HMCS Charlottetown, has assumed command in the interim. He will continue Halifax’s deployment until the end of the deployment, with the ship scheduled to return home to Halifax, N.S. in mid-July. The ship’s company has been informed of this decision.
The relieved CO of HMCS Halifax will serve in other roles within Maritime Forces Atlantic Headquarters in Canada until the conclusion of the investigation. All individuals are presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Procedural fairness remains a priority and is respected throughout all Canadian Armed Forces investigations and administrative processes.”