Major-Gen. Dany Fortin is unable to regain his old job as the leader of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine launch because it no longer exists, and therefore the appeal of its removal must be dismissed, the federal government argues in court documents.
Fortin has also been in a position in the Canadian Armed Forces that is in line with his rank since August, making his appeal moot, government attorneys say in written arguments filed in the Federal Court of Appeals on Nov. 29. .
Fortin denies this, saying in an affidavit filed with the court that the position is not commensurate with his rank and that he has had no real role at CAF since he was removed as head of the vaccine launch in May.
Fortin was removed just days before military police forwarded the results of an investigation to Quebec prosecutors. He was subsequently charged with sexual assault in August, in connection with an accusation dating back to 1988. He has denied any crime.
Citing political interference in the decision to remove him, Fortin took his case to Federal Court, arguing that he should get his job back or receive a position commensurate with his rank.
A Federal Court judge ruled in October that he had to go through the army’s internal complaints process first, prompting Fortin to appeal to the Federal Court of Appeals.
The government has filed a motion to quash the appeal.
In an affidavit filed last Thursday, Fortin says his current position as Senior Advisor to the Commander of Canada’s Joint Operations Command is temporary, while saying that a job commensurate with his rank would be permanent, and was created primarily to fulfill CAF rules that all serving members be assigned to a position.
“To date, and in the almost seven months since May 14, 2021, I have not performed a single task for the CAF,” he says in the affidavit.
“I have not been ordered to report to any workplace. I have not been required to generate or deliver any work products in any stated period of time. From all points of view, this is a placeholder position to guarantee compliance with CAF’s administrative protocols ”.
Although he received a list of projects in November, “there is no expectation that he will start working on these in the immediate future,” Fortin says in his affidavit.
Fortin alleges in his affidavit that the temporary position was created so that the government “could affirm that I have a position commensurate with my rank.”
Fortin’s successor as head of the vaccine launch, Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie, completed her assignment on August 31 and returned to her previous CAF duties, and the Public Health Agency of Canada officially confirmed that the request for military assistance on deployment was closed on October 29, according to government documents. .
The government argues that Fortín “cannot be sent to a non-existent position,” and If you are not satisfied with your current position, you can assume it through the internal complaint process.
“It is clear and obvious that due to relevant developments since the application was submitted, this appeal is debatable and there are no exceptional circumstances that justify hearing the appeal,” argue the government’s attorneys.
It is now up to the court to decide whether to annul the appeal based on the written arguments. No date has been set for that decision.
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