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Top soldier acknowledges handling of Afghan memorial 'hit a nerve;' vows access

Last Updated May 22, 2019 at 1:20 pm EDT

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance takes part in a press conference in the foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 19, 2018. The man who leads the Canadian Armed Forces says the military has failed to adequately integrate women and minorities, but Gen. Jonathan Vance says the Forces are working hard to adapt and change. Speaking at a defence and security conference in Halifax, the chief of defence staff, says the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing -- fast. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada’s top soldier acknowledges that last week’s unveiling of the Kandahar memorial without the families of dead soldiers present hit a nerve.

Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, tells The Canadian Press no insult or disrespect was intended.

Decisions around the opening and severely restricted access to the site have come under attack from Afghan war veterans and families of those killed there.

Vance says he has asked his team to come up with plans to allow access to anyone who wants it.

He also says the fragile memorial needs to be inside, and the Department of National Defence headquarters in Ottawa was chosen as the best place.

In Vancouver, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he is looking into the situation.