It seems that conspiracy theories about the vaccine run rampant in the military as well. Vaccine hesitancy has delayed the efforts of many countries to administer and vaccinate their people. Many rallies opposing the vaccine and even the lockdown are taking place everywhere. And now a Canadian soldier is being punished for inciting people to not take the vaccine.
This might be the first time in decades that a Canadian soldier has been charged with mutiny but the cause is different in the 21st century. Canadian soldier officer cadet Ladislas Kenderesi has been charged with mutiny for refusing to help with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and even inciting others to do the same. The charges were laid on 12th May by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.
Kenderesi was a member of the Reserve Cadet Instructor Cadre in Borden. He appeared at an anti-lockdown rally clad in his Canadian Forces uniform. He spoke about the COVID-19 vaccine and claimed that it was a killer. He said that “I’m asking military, right now serving, truck drivers, medical, engineers, whatever you are, do not take this unlawful order (for) the distribution of this vaccine”. A video of his speech was posted on YouTube.
He urged military personnel to not be a part of the government’s plans to distribute the vaccine. He even went as far as saying that “I might get in a lot of shit for doing this, but I don’t care anymore”. And that he did. Kenderesi has since been relieved of his military duties.
Dan Le Bouthillier, the spokesperson for the Department of National Defence, said that the charges on Kenderesi would proceed through the military justice system. He said that “OCdt Kenderesi was removed from performance of military duties following December 2020, incident”.
Laying mutiny charges in modern times might the most unusual thing about this incident, although no court-martial has been scheduled, this must the first mutiny charge in the Canadian military for decades. Michel Drapeau, a retired colonel from Ottawa, said that “You would likely have to go back to the late 1940s in the Royal Canadian Navy for anything that might be similar”. Drapeau specializes in military law.
The outcome of the charges against Kenderesi are still pending, we’ll continue to monitor the situation closely. The incident clearly shows that vaccine hesitation is high, even within the ranks of the military.