Will it be business as usual or will there be meaningful change?
So Canada now has its second ever female Minister of National Defence.
The first ever female Minister of National Defence was Kim Campbell back in 1993. She wasn’t the Minister of National Defence for long as she went on to become Canada’s first female Prime Minister when Brian Mulroney, facing massive backlash for matters such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, decided to resign from politics.
Canada’s newest Minister of National Defence is Anita Anand. She has an extensive resume as a lawyer and as a law instructor. She was also the Minister of Public Services and Procurement since 2019. So she’s not exactly green behind the ears. And more importantly she has absolutely no connection to the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence.
Will she be able to bring change to the Department of National Defence? When I first heard that Harjit Sajjan had been designated as the Minister of National Defence in 2015 after the Liberals won the election I thought for sure that he would be able to bring meaningful change to DND and the CF as he was a soldier that actually had done tours in Afghanistan and he used to be a detective with the Vancouver Police Department. I couldn’t have been more wrong about Sajjan. So I’m not holding my breath with Anand. She is a corporate lawyer, so she might understand the legal threat that examining historical child sexual abuse might prove to be for the Government of Canada.
Minister Anand has two choices.
She can use her legal background for the greater good.
Or she can use her legal background to erect walls and barricades around DND and the CF.
Yesterday I received a phone call from my lawyer who is representing me in my class action against the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence.
The Department of Justice has responded and has agreed to take the matter before a case management judge.
My lawyer expects the judge to agree to allow this matter to proceed as a class action.
This should occur around October.
If everything goes as planned, the real action will start in the spring of 2022.
This case won’t be a slam dunk.
You can bet that the Department of Justice, the Canadian Forces, the Department of National Defence, and the office of the Minister of National Defence will do everything in their power to portray myself and all of the other class members as money hungry liars out to squeeze the poor military for a quick buck.
The Department of Justice will also do everything in their power to keep this matter hushed. My matter only deals with Captain Father Angus McRae who served on four different Canadian Forces Base and Stations from 1973 until 1980. At the time the Canadian Forces had over 60 defence establishments in Canada. Each with its own Catholic chapel. Granted, not all chaplains were sexually attracted to children. But let’s say that 10 to 15 percent of all military chaplains molested children during their service careers between the 1950s and 1998. That’s potentially a lot of sexually abused children. And that’s potentially a lot of other class action lawsuits.
How many members of the Canadian Armed Forces involved with the Catholic Chapels am I aware of that were investigated for sexually abusing children?
Captain Father Angus McRae; Brigadier General Roger Bazin; Corporal Donald Joseph Sullivan.
Corporal Donald Joseph Sullivan was the member of the Canadian Forces who had been booted out of the military in 1985 for molesting a group of early teens on CFB Gagetown. The problem with Sullivan is that he was being actively investigated in the 1970s for molesting young boys in the Ottawa area when he was involved with the Boy Scouts. How did Sullivan join the military if he had been under investigation? Your guess is as good as mine. Sullivan was convicted and sentenced to prison in 2019 for molesting the kids in the 1970s. The Ontario Crown prosecutor knew nothing about Sullivan’s conviction in a court martial for the molestation of the teens on CFB Gagetown. Sullivan’s convictions in 1984 were removed from his service record by the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada due to technicalities with the case, not because he was innocent.
How many other child molesters joined the Canadian Armed Forces bypassing the military’s obviously lax background checks?
Alexander Kalichuk comes to mind.
Military children whom had been sexually abused on base by either service personal or other military dependents had to depend on a defective “disciplinary ” system for justice. A system that had some very horrific flaws. These children would sometimes end up in the care of the Canadian Forces military social workers much like I did.
In my case it turns out that the Chain of Command on CFB Namao decided to not call in the RCMP because amongst other issues, they believed that my babysitter, P.S., was only 12 years old in 1980. P.S. was born in June of 1965.
And don’t forget, rank very much carries a lot of privilege in an organization such as the Canadian Armed Forces. No private or corporal is going to make allegations against a master warrant officer for molesting their kid. No master corporal or sergeant is going to make allegations against a captain or lieutenant colonel for molesting their kid. No commanding officer is going to allow a “flirtatious or promiscuous” 12 year old to ruin the military career of his outstanding master warrant office. And these were all well documented flaws known to exist prior to major amendments to the National Defence Act which occurred in December of 1998.
How many military parents would have allowed their male children to be involved with any child sexual abuse investigation if it meant that their son or sons were going to be tarred with the brush of “homosexuality”? That’s what the Canadian Armed Forces termed male child sexual abuse to be when the abuser was also a male. “Acts of homosexuality “. It also didn’t help the matter much the the Criminal Code offence of “Buggery” (anal intercourse) was considered to be a victimless offence with both parties equally to blame.
With the military police unwilling to investigate my matter, and with the civilian police unwilling to investigate my matter, and with my care at the hands of the military social worker burnt into my mind, and with my father’s opinions of the abuse burnt into my mind, I kept my mouth shut until 2011.
How many other former military dependents kept quiet over the years? I’d say there’s quite a few. I have spoken personally with some former dependents who are still terrified all these years later of anyone discovering that they had been sexually abused on base. Sadly, all of this silence has worked to the advantage of the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence.
When my father was interviewed by the CFNIS in 2011 he gave a statement to the CFNIS that was so devoid of reality that it wasn’t funny. Was he coached or coaxed into giving his statement? Did the Canadian Forces threaten his pension or his medical plan? Did he make a deal with the military back in 1980 that in trade for his silence in the P.S. / McRae matter that he’d receive a favour in kind? Is that why his statement is so easily torn asunder by various legal records? And let’s be clear, he didn’t just make one or two misstatements. He practically gave the CFNIS everything they would’ve asked for.
Fred Cunningham was very concerned in 2011 that I not tell anyone what he had told me. He seemed to be implying that there would be very serious consequences if anyone found out what he had told me.
Why would the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service be instructed to conduct such a weak investigation into the criminal actions of P.S. which P.S. committed on CFB Namao between June 20th, 1979 and June of 1980?
It’s not like P.S. would see any serious form of punishment if he were to have been charged in the present day for the crimes he had committed while he was subject to the Juvenile Delinquents Act.
P.S. was born on June 20th, 1965. As of June 20th, 1979 P.S. would have been fully culpable for any Criminal Code offence that he had committed. This would have included having had any type of sexual relation with a minor under the age of 12. The fact that he was acting as the babysitter for many of these children would have compounded his problems. The law at the time would not have looked to kindly upon him for having anal and vaginal intercourse with children as young as four years of age or demanding oral sex from those same children.
The Juvenile Delinquents Act was in force from 1908 until April 2nd, 1984. Prior to the Juvenile Delinquents Act of 1908, children of any age were treated similar to adults. In Ontario in 1850 a nine year old boy was sentenced to hang for the murder of a four year old girl. Children were often sent to prison for petty crimes. And while awaiting trial, children were often housed in the same cells as adults.
The goal of the Juvenile Delinquents Act was reformation instead of incarceration. It was thought that the child could become a productive member of society if they simply received the proper manner of reformation. Typically this would have been accomplished by counselling, or in the more serious cases, “reform school” otherwise known as “industrial school”.
Under the Juvenile Delinquents Act children who reached the day of their 14th birthday could be found guilty of committing Criminal Code offences. Actually, children as young as seven could be found guilty so long as the police and prosecutor could convince the courts that the child ought to have known right from wrong.
The actual age limits of the Juvenile Delinquents Act are set by the Criminal Code of Canada.
The above simply means that a 14 year old hasn’t reached 14 years of age until the expiration of their birthday anniversary. A child would be 13 years old until the day of their 14th birthday has been fully completed.
The upper age limit of the Juvenile Delinquents Act was set by the Juvenile Delinquents Act itself.
Under the Juvenile Delinquents Act, children as young as 14 could still be executed, but to do so their case would have had to have been moved to adult court. Steven Truscott serves as an example of this. At the age of 14 Steven Truscott had been sentenced to hang for the murder of Lynne Harper. A conviction that was very dubious in nature considering the presence of Royal Canadian Air Force Sgt. Alexander Kalichuk.
However, in the case of P.S., I don’t think that he would have faced any serious sanctions under the Juvenile Delinquents Act.
When I spoke with Fred Cunningham on November 27th, 2011, he stated that during the Captain McRae investigation that the “brass” prevented both the CFSIU and the base military police from calling in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to deal with P.S. for the crimes he had committed between June 20th, 1979 and June of 1980.
Who this brass is is anyone’s guess.
According to the findings of the Somalia Commission of Inquiry, base commanders were known to have an undue amount of influence over military police and CFSIU investigations. And in the case of Captain Father Angus McRae, the base commander was Captain McRae’s commanding officer.
Who was the base commander?
According to the Department of National Defence, <retired>Colonel Dan Munro was the base commander of Canadian Forces Base Namao at the time. The Canadian Armed Forces have also confirmed that <retired>Colonel Dan Munro was Captain McRae’s immediate superior.
What information could <retired>Colonel Dan Munro shed on the events and decisions of 1980? No one knows at this point in time as Sgt Damon Tenaschuk’s legal advisor in Ottawa would not allow Munro to be investigated due to the 3-year time bar that existed prior to 1998.
It must be remembered though that base commanders have to follow the orders of their superiors.
Without speaking to anyone associated with the Canadian Forces senior leadership from back then, I don’t think we will ever know the true reasons as to why the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were never called in to deal with P.S..
I have one very damning hypothesis supported by not only the actions of the Canadian Forces moving Captain McRae’s court martial “in-camera”, but also by curious language contained within the Juvenile Delinquents Act.
A summary conviction requires far less evidence for a conviction to be secured than an indictable offence. Captain McRae was charged and convicted for committing “Acts of Homosexuality” with P.S.. As P.S. was 14 years of age as of June 20th, 1979, P.S. could have been charged and convicted for committing sexual acts against children between the ages of 4 and 12 had the Royal Canadian Mounted Police been informed of his deviant behaviour. This meant that Canadian Armed Forces officer Captain Father Angus McRae would have more than likely been found guilty upon summary conviction in Juvenile Delinquents Court of having contributed to the delinquency that P.S. was exhibiting when P.S. molested the children for which he would have been convicted had someone not prevented the RCMP from being called in.
Why was this done?
Was this done to protect P.S.?
From what I’ve been told by some of the former brats that lived on the base at the time, due to the number of children that P.S. abused there were plans afoot in the Junior Ranks mess to lynch P.S..
By not handing P.S. over to the RCMP for investigation, did the Canadian Forces chain of command believe that they were diffusing a bad situation.
Or, was there something else afoot in the decision to not call in the RCMP to deal with P.S..
I think this had everything to do with legal liability.
Had P.S. been handed over to the RCMP, and had the RCMP charged P.S. for the sexual acts he had committed with children as young as four years of age, and had the Crown prosecuted P.S. and secured convictions, Captain McRae could have been summarily convicted in Juvenile Delinquents Court for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
By convicting Captain McRae of contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence, being the employer of Captain McRae, could have been found liable for the actions of their employee.
In 2011, when I made my complaint to the Edmonton Police Service Angus McRae was alive and well.
The Canadian Forces knew right from the start of the connection between P.S. and Angus McRae.
The Canadian Forces knew that if the CFNIS brought charges against P.S., these charges would have to be brought under the Juvenile Delinquents Act as P.S. had committed these offences while the Juvenile Delinquents Act was in power.
This means that Angus McRae could also be charged under the Juvenile Delinquents Act for contributing to the Delinquency of a minor.
The fact that Angus McRae died over three months after the start of the investigation into my complaint against P.S. is of little concern as Angus McRae plead guilty before a courts martial on July 18th, 1980 to having committed “Acts of Homosexuality” with P.S..
In November of 2008 the Canadian Forces Director of Claims and Civil Litigation accepted General Legal Liability for the personal damages P.S. suffered at the hands of Angus McRae while Angus McRae held the rank of Captain and was an employee of the Canadian Forces.
I think what the Canadian Forces have feared all along is the liability.
Under the Juvenile Delinquents Act, the concept of an adult being responsible for the delinquency of a minor was well established.
This one fact alone poses a problem for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. Even though Angus McRae had been mentally incompetent since June of 2007 and obviously couldn’t be prosecuted, DND and the CF had a problem.
McRae already plead guilty of his own free will on July 18th, 1980.
Captain McRae admitted to committing the exact same offences against P.S., that P.S. in turn committed against us much younger children. Acts such as Indecent Assault( sexual touching of the private areas), Gross Indecency(non-penetrating sexual acts between males, i.e. masturbation), and Buggery( anal intercourse).
So as long as P.S. had at least been charged, with or without a conviction, a civil action could have been commenced against the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.
And considering that Canadian laws at the time provided the ability to hold an adult responsible for the delinquency of a minor, I think that the victims of P.S. and McRae would have had success in obtaining compensation in court.
For further proof of the issue of liability, look no further than the matter of Earl Ray Stevens, the commissioner from my time when I was enrolled with the Sea Cadets at the Denison Armouries in North York, Ontario.
I was first interviewed by the CFNIS on April 11th, 2017 at the Vancouver Police Department Headquarters. By June the CFNIS had handed the case over to a detective with the Toronto Police Service. Through June and July I had some telephone conversations with this detective.
On August 14th, 2017 I was informed by the Toronto Police Service that Earl Ray Stevens had been arrested and charged with 6 counts of Sexual Assault.
On August 21st and 22nd 2018 I participated in the preliminary hearing. During the preliminary hearing the Crown Prosecutor laid out the charges against Earl. Earl’s defence attorney was allowed to examine me and ask me questions. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing the justice overseeing the preliminary hearing ruled that there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
Unfortunately Earl died of bladder cancer before we could get to trial.
So, why did the Canadian Forces allow me to get Earl and not Peter.
Again, it’s liability.
The Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence are not legally responsible for cadets, even if those cadets are participating in a cadet parade night in a building that is owned and operated by the Department of National Defence.
If you want proof of this, look no further than the cadets from CFB Valcartier in 1974.
In 1974 a group of army cadets were at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier for their summer training course. One day the cadets were in one of the barracks receiving safety training for live munitions. This was not so they could handle live munitions, but so that when they were out on the training ranges, they could recognize live munitions and safely stay away from them.
The instructor for the course, a Captain with the regular forces, brought a case of dummy grenades into the class. Amongst the dummy grenades was an actual live grenade. To this day, no one has ever established how the live grenade got into the class. According to witness testimony, one of the boys picked up the real grenade and asked the instructor if the grenade was real, the instructor assured the cadet that the grenade was not real. The cadet then pulled the pin out of the grenade and released the fuse handle while holding on to the grenade. The cadet and 5 other boys between the ages of 13 and 15 were killed immediately when the grenade exploded. 155 other cadets that were in the room suffered various physical and mental injuries.
It wasn’t until March of 2017 that the Department of National Defence agreed to compensate the families of the boys who had been killed by offering each family $100,000.00. The survivors or their families will be eligible for $42,000.00. They will also be allowed to apply for up to an additional $310,000.00 for pain and suffering.
For forty years the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces fought paying the families any manner of compensation even though the deaths and injuries were caused by a military grenade, on a military base, while a bunch of children between the ages of 13 to 18 were under the control of a member of the regular forces.
Under no circumstance would I ever be able to seek compensation from the Department of National Defence for the abuse I endured at the hands of Earl Ray Stevens.
To further insulate the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence from any type of civil action is the fact that Earl Ray Stevens was not an employee of either the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Armed Forces. Earl Ray Stevens worked for an outside contractor that provided security services at the Denison Armouries.
The Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence could allow me to have Earl Ray Stevens as Earl Ray Stevens presented absolutely no legal risk to either the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Armed Forces.
P.S. is a problem for the Canadian Armed Forces.
P.S. is a path of direct liability.
In 2008, the Department of National Defence admitted to full legal liability for the personal injuries that P.S. suffered at the hands of Captain McRae.
The Department of National Defence paid P.S. compensation.
On July 18th 1980, in Court Martial CM62, Canadian Armed Forces Officer Captain Father Angus McRae plead guilty to all of the charges that he had been charged with in relation to the crimes he had perpetrated against P.S.
The Juvenile Delinquents Act at the time said that adults could be held directly responsible for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Whether or not Angus McRae is alive or dead is a moot point.
Yes, he cannot be charged criminally.
However, Angus McRae already plead guilty.
The victims of P.S. only needed P.S. to be charged and convicted for the door of civil liability to be flung wide open.
This is something that the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces were not going to allow.
If the Canadian Forces could be held liable in a civil damages trial for the matter of Captain McRae, how many other victims of sexual assault on the many different bases would also be able to sue?
P.S. isn’t some random guy that I picked out of the phone book. I suffered for over a year at his hands, as did my brother, and four other kids that I know of.
P.S. had his first criminal conviction for child molestation just four years after he had been caught buggering me in his bedroom in May of 1980. In 1984 P.S. was charged and convicted with molesting an eight-year-old boy on a Canadian Forces Base in Manitoba.
In 1985, after his family had been posted back to CFB Edmonton from CFB Petawawa, he was arrested and charged with molesting a nine-year-old boy on CFB Namao. As a result of this the Canadian Forces kicked P.S. off the base. J.S., the father of P.S. rented P.S. an apartment in the west end of Edmonton. P.S. lured a thirteen-year-old newspaper boy into his apartment and molested the boy. In August of 1985 P.S. was convicted on both counts.
According to an RCMP constable who had run a CPIC check on P.S., P.S. had many more charges between 1985 and 2000. Most charges were for sexual assaults, some charges were for assault, and a few charges were for robbery. Most charges ended up with convictions, and some charges were stayed or dismissed.
So, when Petty Officer Morris told me on November 4th, 2011 that the CFNIS just couldn’t find anything to indicate that P.S. was capable of the crimes that I had accused him of, I immediately knew there was something else at play.
That something at play was the desire to avoid liability.
No charges against P.S. = no connection to Captain McRae.
No connection to Captain McRae = No liability for the Canadian Force or DND.
And this is one of the many “conflict of interest” scenarios that should have seen the CFNIS recuse themselves from this matter. The CFNIS, as per Canadian Forces Provost Marshal policy CFMP 2120-4-0, should have offered this matter to the outside civilian authorities having jurisdiction.
P.S. was at the time of the commissions of his crimes from June 20th, 1979 onward, a civilian with absolutely no connection to the Canadian Forces.
CFPM Directive 2120-4-0 clearly stipulates that these matters are to be offered to the outside civilian agencies first.
The CFNIS didn’t do that for investigation GO 2011-5754.
The CFNIS did however follow this proceedure in the matter of Earl Stevens when they offered the case to the Toronto Police Service and the TPS accepted the case.
Liability is what it all boils down to.
It has nothing to do with protecting P.S.
P.S. would have faced almost nothing in consequences as he would have had to be dealt with under the Juvenile Delinquents Act. Any loss of liberty, P.S. has already endured as a result of his convictions from 1984 onward.
The only agency with anything to lose is the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence.
And it just so happens that the police agency that would have to bring charges against P.S. just also happens to be within the chain of command of the organization that would suffer civil action should charges be brought against P.S.
Not really too much independence from the Canadian Forces chain of command, is there.
The VCDS is the Vice Chief of Defence Staff.
The CFPM is the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal
The CO CFNIS is the commanding officer for the entire CFNIS division.
The CFNIS Regional Commanders are the Officers Commanding for the different divisions such as CFNIS Pacific Region, CFNIS Western Region, CFNIS Central Region, etc.
The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff reports directly to the Chief of Defence Staff.
The Chief of Defence Staff in turn reports directly to the Minister of National Defence.
In total the CFNIS investigator is 5 steps removed from the Minister of National Defence.
Section 83 of the National Defence Act states that all subordinates must obey the lawful commands of their superiors.
You can hopefully understand why I think something stinks about this whole matter.
If somebody wanted to initiate a civil action for damages they endured at the hands of a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, they’d have to name the Minister of National Defence.
Here is the request for payment after the Department of National Defence agreed to accept General Legal Liability for the personal damages that P.S. endured.
Shortly after this request being issued the lawyer for P.S. filed a motion for a discontinuance.
I’m still really curious as to what is was that the military “handled” for P.S.. But in the end, I don’t believe that this was the reason the CFNIS in 2011 conducted such a laughable investigation.
I believe that the reason the CFNIS conducted such a soft investigation in 2011 was due to a chain of command desire to prevent further settlement payments to in the matter of P.S. & Captain Father Angus McRae.
I believe that the 2015 restart of the 2011 CFNIS investigation was just a worthless “Dog and Pony show” to try to put a positive spin on what had been a really bad investigation.
And I honestly believe that the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence are very well aware of the problems they were having with the Catholic Clergy on the bases in Canada. Hence why in the 1980s they shut down the rectories on all the bases.
And if liability wasn’t a concern, what’s this about then?
If you think that the Canadian Forces made it harder to obtain baptismal records because they want to “respect the Federal Privacy Act and to alleviate identity fraud”, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell to you. If you can’t prove that you were baptized in the Catholic faith, then it’s even harder for you to prove that you had any legitimate reason to be at the base chapel.