Fortin replaced as head of Canada’s vaccine rollout following sexual misconduct claim

An army logistics officer who’s spent more than 30 years in uniform has been named the military officer in charge of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s vaccine rollout.

PHAC announced today the appointment of Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie following the sudden departure of Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who left the post on Friday after an allegation of sexual misconduct was raised.

At one point in her career, Brodie commanded 1 Service Battalion, one of the military’s largest units. She has also served in overseas deployments in Croatia, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

Since the military was brought in last year to help with the planning and logistics of vaccine distribution and to keep the supply chain safe from cyber attacks, Brodie has been a key member of the team led by Fortin.

She returned briefly to the Department of National Defence but will now move back to oversee the vaccine distribution drive.

Iain Stewart, president of the public health agency, said putting Brodie in charge “allows for a seamless transition.” Fortin had been the public face of the vaccine distribution drive — a calm, reassuring presence throughout many televised events.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin responds to a question on COVID vaccines during a news conference on January 14, 2021 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Sources told CBC News on Friday that the sexual misconduct allegation against Fortin predated 2015 and the start of Operation Honour, the military’s now-defunct campaign to stamp out inappropriate behaviour in the ranks.

The confidential sources, who could not speak publicly because of the sensitivity of the file, would not specify the nature of the allegation.

Fortin joins a list of half-a-dozen military leaders who have come under fire for alleged sexual misconduct.

His departure came about suddenly. As late as Friday morning, Fortin was listed as being seconded to PHAC in a Department of National Defence statement involving the assignments of general officers.

CBC News reached out to Fortin for comment, but he declined and has referred questions to the Department of National Defence.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tasked Fortin with leading Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort in the fall. 

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