Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announces investigation into Chief of Defence Staff Art McDonald

Admiral McDonald has voluntarily stepped aside while the probe is underway

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      There's been a bombshell announcement from Canada's defence minister.

      Last night, Harjit Sajjan disclosed that Admiral Art McDonald has voluntarily stepped aside as Canada's chief of defence staff.

      It came as the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service conducts a probe into his actions.

      Sajjan's statement did not reveal the nature of any allegation against McDonald.

      CBC News, however, reported this morning that the investigation concerns McDonald's interactions with a female subordinate in the Arctic in 2010 when he held the rank of captain.

      "As I have stated, I take all allegations of misconduct seriously and continue to take strong action on any allegation of misconduct that is brought forward. No matter the rank, no matter the position," Sajjan said.

      The Vancouver South Liberal MP and defence minister has appointed Lieut.-Gen. Wayne Eyre as the acting chief of the defence staff.

      Vance is also being investigated

      McDonald was sworn into his position in mid-January following the resignation of his predecessor, Gen. Jonathan Vance.

      Global News has reported that Vance is being investigated by military police in connection with allegations of inappropriate behaviour by two female members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

      One of them, Maj. Kellie Brennan, went public with her claim of a long-term sexual relationship with Vance during an interview with The West Block host Mercedes Stephenson. Vance has denied the allegations against him.

      Video: Watch Maj. Kellie Brennan's interview with Mercedes Stephenson on The West Block.

      The controversy has raised questions when Sajjan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first heard allegations against Vance—and if so, what did they do in response.

      According to Global News, Sajjan said he always forwards allegations to "appropriate authorities".

      As chief of the defence staff, Vance vigorously promoted "Operation HONOUR", which encourages victims of sexual misconduct to file reports and obtain health care and counselling services.