Fortin's lawsuit over removal from vaccine post now pointless, federal lawyers argue

OTTAWA — Federal lawyers argue Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin's lawsuit over his removal as head of Canada's vaccine distribution campaign is now moot because the job no longer exists.

In a newly filed Federal Court submission, government lawyers say that since it is no longer possible for Fortin to be returned to the vaccine post, there's no reason for the court to review the matter.

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The Department of National Defence announced in a terse statement on May 14 that Fortin was stepping down from his position at the Public Health Agency of Canada, which he had held since November.

Military police referred his case to the Quebec prosecutor's office five days later.

Fortin's lawyers allege the decision to remove him was unreasonable, lacked procedural fairness and involved Liberal government interference in the military chain of command.

Fortin was formally charged in Gatineau, Que., on Aug. 18 with one count of sexual assault dating back to 1988. He has denied any wrongdoing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 17, 2021.

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