Canada’s new military chief: Veteran General Jonathan Vance to retire in January


OTTAWA – Trudeau government is firing the country’s top military officer and has made the top soldier his replacement.

The prime minister says General Jonathan Vance will become Canada’s next chief of defence staff, effective Jan. 2.

The prime minister’s office says the government has also made Air Force Lt.-Gen. Perry Constable an acting deputy chief.

Vance, who’s served in the Canadian Forces for 34 years, has been in charge of the Canadian military since September 2016.

A prime ministerial statement notes Vance is retiring and calls him an inspiration to all Canadians who wear the uniform.

Trudeau says the appointment of Constable comes after a rigorous national search process and is an acknowledgment of his service and capability.

Vance, a former chief of staff to then-prime minister Stephen Harper, is credited with a number of other achievements in the military, including leading Canada’s largest combat operation since the Second World War, the 2009 deployment to Afghanistan.

The Montreal native also co-led the senior Canadian Armed Forces leadership team for Operation Honour, the Afghanistan combat mission and contributed to several major campaigns in Canada, including the 2003 bombing of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq and the 2011 deployment to Libya.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has also lauded Constable’s “ability to maintain the highest level of professional excellence” and “the value he places on diversity of thought and culture.”

Colonist is a native of London, Ont., and former instructor at the Royal Military College of Canada.

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