Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 22, 2010 16:03 ET

Russell Williams' Commission Revoked

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 22, 2010) - Upon the recommendation of General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, has signed the documents revoking the commission of Russell Williams and approved his release from the Canadian Forces (CF).

"Mr. Williams committed horrific crimes against citizens that the Canadian Forces swear to protect, and he is not worthy of the oath he took to serve Canadians as an officer of the Canadian Forces," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "The Canadian Forces have undertaken all available actions to ensure that all possible sanctions are imposed against Mr. Williams and all possible benefits will be withdrawn from Mr. Williams, starting with the Governor General's revocation of his commission this morning."

"All Canadians have been stunned by the tragic events that led to the sentencing of Mr. Williams," said General Natynczyk. "His actions have constituted a fundamental breach of trust, duty and valour, upon which the commission is based. The removal of his commission and release from the CF is an important step towards closure for the CF community and Canadians alike. We will not forget Corporal Marie-France Comeau, Jessica Lloyd and the other victims and their families."

As a consequence of the revocation of Mr. Williams' commission, he no longer possesses a rank as a member of the CF. The administrative process to release Mr. Williams from the CF is now being finalized, including the following actions that are now being taken:

  • stripping Mr. Williams of his medals;

  • termination and recovery of his pay from the date of arrest;

  • denial of severance pay; and

  • his prompt release from the CF under "service misconduct" – which is the most serious release item possible.

The governor general is commander-in-chief of Canada. As such, the governor general plays a major role in recognizing the importance of Canada's military at home and abroad. Among these duties, the governor general signs Commissioning Scrolls. Every officer, for the discharge of his or her duties, holds a commission granted by the governor general on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and countersigned by the Minister of National Defence. Along with the authority to grant such commissions is the authority of the governor general to revoke them.

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