MPs shoot down Conservative motion to fire PM’s adviser over military misconduct scandal

A Conservative motion aimed at unseating the prime minister’s top adviser over how the Liberal government has handled the sexual misconduct crisis in the military was defeated easily in the House of Commons today.

The Bloc Québécois sided with most government MPs in voting down the non-binding motion that called for the dismissal of Katie Telford, the prime minister’s chief of staff. The final vote tally was 209 to 122.

One Liberal MP — Bob Bratina of Hamilton East-Stoney Creek — sided with the Conservatives on the vote, which followed a day-long debate on Tuesday.

The outcome was a foregone conclusion because the Bloc released a statement saying they would stand with the Liberal government on this matter.

The political manoeuvring is the latest episode in a military leadership crisis that erupted three months ago when allegations of inappropriate behaviour involving the country’s former top military commander — now-retired general Jonathan Vance — were published in the media.

An informal allegation of misconduct against Vance was flagged to both the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office in early 2018.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has acknowledged his staff were aware of the 2018 allegation but has insisted he was not privy to the details until the reports surfaced publicly. More recently, he said that Telford was not aware that it was a “#MeToo” allegation.

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