B.C. reservist pleads guilty to 2 charges related to criticism of Armed Forces vaccine mandate

A Canadian soldier has pleaded guilty to two counts of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline in relation to videos posted on social media that criticized vaccine requirements for military personnel.

Warrant Officer James Topp, who faces a maximum punishment of dismissal with disgrace, told the start of his court martial in New Westminster, B.C., that he’s making his guilty pleas voluntarily.

The Armed Forces reservist from Vancouver had faced six charges under the National Defence Act over the videos posted in February last year in which he criticized COVID-19 vaccine requirements for military personnel and federal employees.

About 100 Canadian Forces troops have left the military voluntarily over the rules, while hundreds of others have had permanent censures put on their files.

Topp, who served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, pleaded not guilty to charges of wearing a uniform incorrectly, and the prosecution told the hearing that those charges will be dropped.

He appeared in the videos in a uniform for the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, in which he had previously served.

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