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i*l Chief of the Defence Staff Chef d’état-major de la Défense Natonal Defence Quarter général do Headquarters a Défense nationale Ottawa, Ontario Ottawa (Ontario) KIAOK2 ——_KIAOK2 25 April 2019 Gina M. Simon Box 478 Wawa, Ontario POS 1KO Dear Gina M. Simon, The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is an organization that welcomes all Canadians regardless of gender, race or sexual expression in its ranks. As they constitute the armed forces of Canada, it is vital that the people serving the population represent its diverse nature and enable our proud institution to embrace our cherished national values of openness, respect and integration. Only by embodying the same values and beliefs as the society we serve can we say that we truly represent and defend Canada on the world’s stage. A strong military ethos of duty, loyalty, integrity and courage is the only way to truly be combat ready and it is at the core of this letter. Unfortunately, in the past, members of the LGBTQ2 community were harassed, subjected to investigation and interrogation, humiliated and forced out of the military because of their sexual orientation. What happened was wrong! Recently, the Prime Minister apologized publicly for the historical, unjust treatment of LGBTQ? federal public servants, including those of the CAF and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This apology was the apology of the Government of Canada for its overarching role in this regrettable segment in our nation’s history. The CAF also played an active, possibly the most active, role in the implementation of this wrongful policy. For this reason, | believe itis important that I, as the most senior member of the CAF, acknowledge the role that we played and indicate that the former policy was wrong and that we do understand the importance of our members of the LGBTQ2 community in our military. Let me assure you that the CAF are now fully committed to creating an environment that is entirely inclusive of all our members, regardless of gender, race or sexual expression. Having already greatly improved over the years, we remain committed to enhancing the CAF environment so as to ensure that no A National Défense Canada Defence nationale 12 current member or future recruit has to endure a treatment similar to the one that you had to go through. | would like to commend you for the courage that you have demonstrated in coming forward and taking part in this cause. Your perseverance has highlighted to us our past mistakes and is helping us correct them. Future generations of serving military members will owe you an environment that is more welcoming to all individuals. On behalf of the CAF, | thank you for your service and apologize sincerely and completely for the manner in which you were treated. Despite not being able to change what has been done to you in the past, | hope that these words will help you, your family, your friends, and any other individuals who were hurt by these past policies to turn the page on these events. | wish you all the best in your future endeavors, and do, please, wear your insignia with military pride! Sincerely, J.H. Vance: General 22