OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces has issued new orders to military personnel as senior commanders seek to address allegations of having been soft on hate in the ranks.
The orders aim to take a harder line on “hateful conduct” following a rash of high-profile incidents involving military members being publicly linked to hateful actions or groups.
They also come as the military is actively working to recruit more women, visible minorities and Indigenous people to ensure it reflects Canadian society and is able to better operate in diverse theatres.
The new orders aim to leave no doubt about what constitutes “hateful conduct” by banning anything — words, images or symbols — that encourages, justifies or promotes violence or hatred against individuals or groups.
Troops are required to report any and all incidents while military commanders are expected to take action when incidents are brought to their attention.
Canadian Anti-Hate Network chair Bernie Farber welcomes the new orders but says only time will tell whether the military follows through in truly cracking down on hate in the ranks.