I finally finished with my submissions to the Military Police Complaints Commission. This time around I hope that things work out a little different.
My first tango with the MPCC back in 2012 was the first time ever that I had dealt with an agency such as the MPCC. I had no lawyer, and no legal advice. I went I completely naive expecting the MPCC to agree that an investigation that couldn’t bring charges against a person with already numerous charges for child sexual abuse had to have been flawed.
Flawed it was, but I had absolutely no access to any of the paperwork from the CFNIS investigation. I had no idea that the Provost Marshal could determine which documents were sent to the MPCC and which documents were withheld from the MPCC.
I also had no idea that CFNIS investigator participation in a MPCC review is strictly voluntary, and that the MPCC investigations can take flights of fancy with their statements to the MPCC as their statements are not taken under oath.
The Military Police Complaints Commission was created by an act of Parliament with extensive input from agencies such as the Department of Justice, and the Department of National Defence. You just know the rules are stacked against you from the word go.
What I find the most disappointing about agencies such as the MPCC is that they aren’t structured at all to assist the complaintant.
To make a successful complaint against the military police, one would need to have access to the investigation paperwork.
However, the MPCC is not set up to be able to assist a person with obtaining the paperwork for the police investigation that they would like to complain against.
In 2018, as soon as I heard that the Alberta Crown was again declining to reccomend charges against P.S., I filed an Access to Information Request with the Department of National Defence to get the paperwork from the CFNIS investigation.
This request was filed on July 27th, 2018. DND acknowledged the receipt of this request on July 30th, 2018. On September 5th, 2018 I filed a complaint with the Military Police Complaints Commission in regard to the second portion of CFNIS GO# 2011-5754.
I made it specifically clear in my complaint that I was awaiting the paperwork from the investigation before I would be able to clearly state my concerns. I explained that as the CFNIS investigator who had been working on the second portion of my case would not give me a firm date as to when the investigation had ended, that I was filing my second MPCC complaint as a way to ensure that the deadline for my filing a complaint didn’t expire.
You only have one year from the date of the end of the investigation to make a complaint.
I recevied the investigation paperwork on Februaty 5th, 2020. This is over 7 months past the one year deadline for filing.
And I only received the documents after the involvement of the Office of the Information Commmisioner of Canada. The OIC stated that my complaint against DND for “deemed refusal” was “Well Founded” and will be officially recorded as such.
Deemed refusal is a term of the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada. It means that while the agency responsible for releasing the information being requested has agreed to the request, they are intentionally dragging their heels in an attempt to deny a person access to the information that they have requested.
Needless to say, had I waited until I received the paperwork from the investigation before I made my complaint, I would have been well past the deadline for filing a complaint.
The paperwork that I received was redacted to the nth degree. There is a lot of good information contained in the documents, but a lot is missing as well.
I know for example that two different investigators spoke with Fred Cunningham during the second portion of the CFNIS investigation. I know that Fred was refusing to be interviewed if the interview was recorded. He also didn’t seem to want to attend the CFNIS detachment on base.
I also know that the CFNIS basically regurgitated the 2011 CFNIS investigation and fed that back to the Alberta Crown again. It became very apparent that no matter how many other witnesses came forward with complaints against P.S., the the CFNIS were going to keep all of our complaints separate.
You do have to understand, the CFNIS and the Provost Marshal are not protecting P.S.. The CFNIS and the Provost Marshal are doing everything within their power to ensure that the Canadian Public never discover that the Canadian Armed Forces were having the exact same problem with their Catholic clergy that the various civilian archdiocese were having. Captain McRae wasn’t the only service member charged with sexual acts involving children in the Catholic clergy in the Canadian Forces. Canadian Armed Forces Corporal Donald Joseph Sullivan was another, along with Canadian Armed Forces officer Brigadier General Roger Bazin.
And there are probably many more who were never charged due to the 3 year time bar in the pre-1998 National Defence Act, or the summary investigation flaw that also existed in the pre-1998 National Defence Act.
There is one aspect of my current complaint that concerns me is that most of the personnel involved with the investigation of my complaint against P.S. have moved on to other endeavours. Some have been “released” while some have “retired”.