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Lt.-Gen. Lanthier named as new vice chief, more generals promoted

Lt.-Gen. Jean–Marc Lanthier is shown in this photo at a VIP reception during his role as Commander of the Canadian Army.
Lt.-Gen. Jean–Marc Lanthier is shown in this photo at a VIP reception during his role as Commander of the Canadian Army.
OTTAWA, Ont. —

The head of the Canadian Army will take over as vice chief of the defence staff, the six such officer to have the job since 2015.

Lt.-Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier will be appointed as vice chief of the defence staff, the second highest position in the Canadian Forces, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance announced Friday. Lanthier replaces Lt.-Gen. Wynnyk who resigned Tuesday.

The ongoing shuffling of senior staff in the Canadian Forces is the result of the fallout of the failed legal case against Vice Adm. Mark Norman.

Vance removed Norman as vice chief in January 2017 after the RCMP alleged he had leaked information about a Liberal government plan to put on hold a project to convert a commercial vessel into a supply ship for the Royal Canadian Navy.

Norman was charged with one count of breach of trust in 2018. Norman continually denied he did anything wrong and on May 8 the case against him collapsed, with the Crown citing new evidence it could not publicly discuss.

Vance and Norman had been in discussions for him to return to the vice chief job. But on June 26 Norman and the Department of National Defence announced a settlement had been reached and Norman would retire. Neither Norman or the department will discuss the details of the settlement or the reasons for it.

Since Norman’s suspension, three other officers have filled in as vice chief although two were seen as temporary. In 2018 Wynnyk was originally asked to stay on beyond his retirement to fill Norman’s job for two years.

But after the court case against Norman collapsed, Vance told Wynnyk May 13 that he was putting the vice admiral back into his old job and Wynnyk’s “continued service as the VCDS was no longer in the best interests of the CAF,” according to Wynnyk’s resignation letter provided to Postmedia.

But when Norman, who determined he couldn’t work in what was essentially a poisoned work environment, decided not to return to his old job, Vance then turned again to Wynnyk on June 26 and told him that he could continue to serve as vice chief for another year.

Wynnyk declined.

Lanthier’s appointment Friday brings the number of officers who have held the vice chief job since 2015 to six.

There is no date on when Lanthier will take over as vice chief. However, his appointment has also prompted a shuffling in other areas of headquarters. Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre will be appointed as commander of the Canadian Army, replacing Lanthier. Rear-Adm. H.C. Edmundson will be promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral and will be appointed commander of Military Personnel Command, replacing Eyre.

Maj.-Gen. S.J.R. Whelan will be appointed deputy commander Military Personnel Command, replacing Edmundson. Brig.-Gen. J.R.M. Gagne will be promoted to major-general and will be appointed Chief Military Personnel Strategic Programs, replacing Whelan. Col. F.G. Carpentier will be promoted acting brigadier general and appointed as Commander 2 Canadian Division and Joint Task Force (East), in Montreal, replacing Brig.-Gen. M.A.J. Carignan.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019


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