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Top Canadian officer relieved of duty in Haiti

From Greg Morrison, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Officials investigate conduct of top-ranking Canadian military official
  • Col. Bernard Ouellette was in charge of morale, administration and discipline
  • Canadian authorities are investigating allegations about his administration
  • Chief of Canadian military in Afghanistan was also relieved of duty in May

(CNN) -- A top-ranking Canadian military official serving with the United Nation's mission in Haiti has been relieved of duty while officials investigate allegations about his administration of a small unit.

Col. Bernard Ouellette's commander has started an investigation, Canadian forces spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Lemay said. But he declined to provide specifics about the allegations.

Ouellette was in charge of morale, administration and discipline for a 10-person unit in Haiti, Lemay said.

He was at home on leave this week when he was informed that he was being relieved of duty, according to Lemay.

Ouellette had been assigned to the U.N. Mission since July 2009 and was present in Haiti when a massive earthquake rolled through Port-au-Prince on January 12.

He is credited with mobilizing his unit and rescuing several U.N. staffers who were trapped in the wreckage.

In May, the chief of the Canadian military in Afghanistan was relieved of duty following allegations of an inappropriate relationship.

The Canadian military has a strict nonfraternization policy. And Brig. Gen. Daniel Menard's alleged relationship caused the military to "lose confidence" in his ability to command, the National Defence and the Canadian forces said in a statement.