Senior Canada military officer suspended from duty, no reason given

Canada's Chief of Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance takes part in a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 22, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s second most powerful military officer has been suspended from duty, defense officials said on Monday, but gave no reason for the unexpected decision.

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, vice chief of the defense staff, was relieved of his duties “effective immediately and until further notice,” according to a Jan. 13 order from General Jonathan Vance, chief of the defense staff.

Vance is Canada’s top soldier in uniform and commands the military. His letter did not say why Norman had been removed from his post.

Jason Proulx, a spokesman for Vance, said the move was temporary but declined to give more details.

Norman, who has served in the armed force for more than 30 years, only took up his post last August. One of his responsibilities is defense security.

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a statement he fully supported the decision. Sajjan’s spokeswoman Jordan Owens declined to give more details.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chris Reese