I received a letter today from the Military Police Complaits Commission dated June 19, 2020.
The letter informs me that the MPCC issued their interim report to the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal on June 17th, 2020 and that they are now awaiting the response from the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal.
How much hope am I holding out for this investigation?
Not much really.
The process that enables the Military Police Complaints Commission is contained within the National Defence Act.
This is similiar in a way to the school yard bully whose parents also happen to be the Principal and Vice Principal.
Sure, they may not outright vindicate their son, but they’re going to do everything they can to make sure that everyone understands that you were just as guilty as their son when their son beats you up and steals your lunch money.
The MPCC was created in the days of the fallout created by the release of the final report of the Somalia Inquiry.
An MPCC review is nothing more than a feel good exercise in futility. As I’ve mentioned before, during a review the complainant has absolutely no access to the documents placed before the MPCC by the Provost Marshal, so the complainant has no idea of the tale the Provost Marshal is feeding to the MPCC.
During an MPCC review the complainant has no access to the paperwork related to the investigation. The complainant is required to file an access to information request to get these documents.
Also, during a complaint review the MPCC cannot administer oaths, nor can the MPCC demand documents.
In otherwords, the complainant is at a severe disadvantage when making a complaint. This facet isn’t unique to the Military Police Complaints Commission though, most police review boards are designed to be like this.
What is problematic though with the MPCC is that the Department of National Defence is very resistant to Access to Information and Freedom of Information requests. Ottawa Citizen writer David Pugliese is very familiar with the delays one can face when requesting documents from DND and the Canadian Forces.
In my case, it took over 20 months for me to get my hands on the paperwork for the 2015 to 2018 portion of CFNIS investigation 2011-5754.
You have 12 months to request a MPCC review after the conclusion of a CFNIS investigation. 20 months is 8 months after this deadline.
It’s not that easy to request an extension.
And the slap in the face was the documents that the DND Access to Information office released to me were far more censored than the documents the Alberta Criminal Injuries Review Board released to me.
It was the documents from the Alberta Criminal Injuries Review Board that allowed me to see that the CFNIS in 2018 basically resubmitted the 2011 investigation to the Alberta Crown.
The CFNIS didn’t submit anything new to the Alberta Crown this time around.
What you really want to have is an MPCC inquiry. Only an inquiry has the ability to give a complainant equal footing with the CFNIS and the Provost Marshal.
Sadly, about the only way the an MPCC Inquiry can be initiated is by way of the Minister of National Defence. And Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan has already told me he considers my complaint regarding the sexual abuse I endured on CFB Namao as being nothing more than a “game”, and an “angle”.
So it’s safe to say that Minister Sajjan will not be requesting that the MPCC conduct an inquiry.
Another stumbling block with an MPCC investigation is that the MPCC only hires retired police officers to conduct the investigations. This alone has been flagged by numerous inquiries and commissions as being a bad move as the retired police investigator often views complainants as “trouble makers” and often views the officer that is the subject of the complaint as being a “brother in arms”.
The Provost Marshal has already let slip that he believes that my complaint is only about Sgt. Tenaschuk refusing to provide to me in writing a letter stating that the investigation was concluded.
This is not what my complaint was about.
My complaint was about the obvious and apparent overall interference in the investigation by the chain of command and that a significant conflict of interest existed by allowing the subordinates of the Minister of National Defence to investigate a matter that has the ability to find the Mininster of National Defence liable for civil damages.
Do I really expect anything different this time around?
In fact, this time around the MPCC has already skipped the interview phase and has already tabled their report and is now waiting to see if the Provost Marshal agrees with the findings of the MPCC.
What are the findings of the MPCC?
I don’t know. I haven’t been informed.
Will the MPCC find in my favour?
Not likely. Remember, according to an August 2015 interview with Glenn Stannard, the fomer chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission stated that the MPCC really doesn’t understand the military police or the CFNIS.
How can an organization have the proper ability to investigate a particular agency if it doesn’t fully understand how that agency works?