I can only imagine how terrified the brass within the Canadian Armed Forces were at the prospect of the Canadian public discovering that the military couldn’t protect children living on secure military establishments.
Just imagine for a minute that you’re Colonel Dan Munro, and that you’re the base commander of Canadian Forces Base Namao. Imagine that you have been informed by the base military police that a military dependant living on the base has just implicated your direct subordinate in a child sexual abuse scandal.
Imagine that you have to instruct your other subordinate, Captain David Pilling, to instruct Acting Section Commander Warrant Officer Fred Cunningham, to investigate your direct subordinate, Captain Father Angus McRae, for having committed “acts of homosexuality” with teenage boys on the the base that you command. These are the children of the men and women ultimately under your command.
I wonder if Munro went over to the Lamplighter Pub to down a few good stiff ones first before he made that dreaded phone call to Ottawa.
Now imagine that you’re in Ottawa, and you’re on the other end of that phone call. Can you imagine what it was like inside the hallowed halls of the Major-General George R Pearkes building in Ottawa to discover than an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces was molesting children on a defence establishment. And not just one or two children, we’re talking 25 children.
This must have activated the damage control machinery at National Defence Head Quarters. Captain Jim Grey seems to have been the media spokesperson designated to deal with the media on this matter.
I can only wonder what the Chaplaincy branch was doing. After all, as it turns out, the Catholic church was well aware of what its priests were up to during the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. And if the Catholic church was aware, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Canadian Forces Chaplaincy branch was well aware. This probably explains why DND removed all of the rectories from the base chapels in the late ’80s.
The first thing DND did back then was to “throw a wall of secrecy” around the entire Captain McRae matter. This was unusual because court martial hearings were supposed to be open to the public. Sure, the court martial occurred on a defence establishment, and DND could control access to the court martial by controlling access to the defence establishment. But the public were supposed to be admitted to the court martial. Yes, P.S. was a juvenile, but there were ways that his identity could have been shielded from the public and the media. This was a common occurrence during public trials which involved children.
This wouldn’t be the only time that DND and the CF hauled out the P.R. machinery in relation to this matter.
In January of 2000, P.S. tried to commit suicide. It was after this that P.S. realized that the abuse he suffered at the hands of Captain McRae might have been at the root of all of the legal problems that P.S. was enduring up to that point in time.
P.S. contacted a lawyer in Edmonton, AB. This is because you have to sue in the jurisdiction that the crimes occurred in. This alone probably explains why more military dependants haven’t ever tried to sue their abusers.
In March of 2001, Mr. R.P. Lee, on behalf of P.S. initiated a $4.3 million dollar action against the Minister of National Defence et. al. in the Alberta Court of Queens Bench.
The Department of Justice automatically springs into action whenever and type of action is taken against any department of the Federal Government.
This means that the Government of Canada is able to use tax payer money to bury people like me. The only reason P.S. was successful in his action against the Minister of National Defence et. al., is that he was anointed as the sole victim of Captain McRae by both the base military police and the Canadian Forces Special Investigations Unit in the spring of 1980.
The pages below come from the paperwork from the Department of Justice. It should be noted that almost all of the paperwork in the DOJ file is redacted. Out of close to 6,000 pages released, I think that less than 200 pages were un-redacted.
The first thing that the Canadian Forces Director Public Affairs Planning and Operations did was to remove the names of the Criminal Code offences from the press release. Why would they do this? Simple. To sanitize the crimes and to minimize triggering anyone else coming forward.
Unless you love reading through the various acts, you would never know what sections 155, 156, and 157 were, would you? Most people without a legal background would have easily understood that buggery meant anal intercourse, or more specifically that a 50 something year old Captain in the Canadian Forces placed his penis inside the rectum of a 14 year old boy. Gross indecency and indecent assault may not have been well known, but there were more than likely enough Canadians who would have known that basically Captain McRae was giving and receiving oral sex to and from a 14 year old boy.
Where as, if you strip away the descriptions of the offences and just tell Canadians that Angus McRae committed the indictable offences of 155, 156, and 157, then it doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
So, here is the “cleaned up” version that was released to the Canadian Media. Did you happen to notice that the Canadian Armed Forces give no indication of the age of the victim? For that matter, they also don’t mention the age of Captain Father Angus McRae. Nor do they mention that Captain McRae outranked each and every parent of the children he had abused. And unlike during the original CFSIU investigation in 1980, this press release makes no mention that Captain McRae was convicted for committing homosexual acts with teenage boys.
We know from the findings of the External Review which was conducted by Madame Marie Deschamps that the Canadian Forces never really took sexual assaults seriously, let alone accusations of sexual assault. So I have to chuckle at the insistence in the press release that the military “takes all allegations of sexual assault very seriously”.
They forget to mention that Captain McRae was sentenced to four years in prison, but that his sentence kept getting cut down to the point he actually served less than ten months total.
The Canadian Forces also forgot to mention that Captain McRae had gone on to molest more children after he left the Canadian Forces.
When I spoke to Fred Cunningham back on November 27th, 2011 he said that the base military police tried to call in the RCMP to deal with P.S., but the the “brass” wouldn’t allow for that.
If you remember from my earlier posts, unlike what Lt. Col. Gilles Sansterre tried telling me in January of 2012, Fred Cunningham wasn’t just some schmuck telling me incorrect 2nd hand news. Warrant Officer Fred R. Cunningham was the acting section commander of the Canadian Forces Special Investigations Unit at CFB Edmonton, and as I would learn from CFSIU investigation report DS-120-10-80, W/O Cunningham had been not only tasked by the base security officer, Captain David Pilling, with investigating Captain McRae, W/O Cunningham had also been involved in the interrogation and arrest of Captain McRae.
Both Fred Cunningham in 2011 and J.S. in 2015 stated that the whole investigation into Captain McRae came about because of the base military police being alerted to the fact that P.S. was having sex with young children on the base and that other parents had complained.
I have established that P.S. was born on June 20th, 1965. This was verified by an RCMP officer as well as two newspaper articles. One newspaper article was from August 1985 which said that P.S. was 20 years old. Another newspaper article from February 2015 stated that P.S. was 49 years old. If his birthday is in June of the year, both of those ages work out with 1965 being his birth year.
Under the Juvenile Delinquents Act, P.S. would have been criminally liable for any criminal code offence that he committed as of the day of his 14th birthday. Remember how desperate Sgt. Christian Cyr was to get me to believe that P.S. was only 13 when he was found buggering me in the spring of 1980? That wasn’t accidental. Anyone who hadn’t yet attained the day of their 14th birthday could not be held criminally responsible for their criminal code offences.
Why did the “brass” not want the base military police calling in the RCMP to deal with P.S.? It wasn’t because they felt sorry for P.S.. It was something much more devious and sinister.
Back when I started on this journey in 2012 I thought that it was possible that P.S. never got in trouble becuase his father had rank. And by rank I mean captain and above. As it turns out, J.S. was only a Sgt.in 1980. That wasn’t nearly high enough to get much in the way of a favour out of the chain of command.
All that J.S. being a Sgt in 1980 meant is that when P.S. beat me up behind the rec centre in the spring of 1980 and told me that his father outranked my father and that if I told anyone about what P.S. had done to me sexually that his father would have mine thrown out of the military, he wasn’t completely full of bluster. I’m sure that Sgt. J.S. could have caused problems for Cpl. Gill if he wanted too.
The Canadian Forces had a problem on their hands. And they wanted it to go away with as little public knowledge as possible.
Captain McRae was apparently the first person with an officer’s rank in the military that had been convicted of “homosexual acts” with children. Think about that for a minute. We’re not talking about some lowly corporal who had sex with the neighbour’s 13-year old daughter while he was drunk. No. We’re talking about a Captain molesting over 25 male children on a secure defence establishment.
You can bet your bottom dollar that NDHQ in Ottawa was calling the shots and was deciding what would happen.
The Canadian Forces had three reasons in the National Defence Act that would allow them to move a courts martial “in-camera” and out of the public eye.
Reason 1: Public Safety. Reason 2: Defence. Reason 3: Public Morals.
None of these reasons involve protecting the identities of the children. As can be seen from this snippet of Donald Joseph Sullivan’s CMAC appeal, the courts can easily protect the identities of the victims by simply removing all identifying information.
So, what does this have to do with the “brass” not allowing the RCMP to be called in to deal with P.S.?
If the RCMP had arrested and charged P.S. with molesting the number of children that he did, he would have been dealt with under the Juvenile Delinquents Act. This would have posed a very significant problem for the Canadian Forces and their goal of keeping the details of Captain McRae’s crimes out of the public eye.
And yes, the Criminal Code of Canada that was in force at the time said that those who had attained their 14th birthday could be convicted of an offence. It should also be noted that the prosecution of children under the age of 14 wasn’t impossible, just the prosecution had to prove that the child was “competent to know the nature and consequences of his conduct and to appreciate that it was wrong”.
Section 33 of the Juvenile Delinquents Act makes it a crime for any adult to contribute to the delinquency of a minor.
The adult who was responsible for the delinquency of a minor could be fined and sentenced by the Juvenile courts. This in turn meant that any details that didn’t directly identfy P.S. could be made public. And this is specifically what DND didn’t want. The Canadian Forces and DND wanted none of this to be made public.
The Juvenile Delinquents Act only required the name and other means of identifying the child be withheld from publication.
The Canadian Forces would have been pilloried in the eye of the public had the press learnt that a 50 something year old officer in the Canadian Armed Forces was not only committing “homosexual acts” with boys as young as 6 on the base, the public would have been equally appalled to learn that Captain McRae had been “training” P.S. in the fine art of child molestation.
And then there’s the whole question of the “working” relationship between P.S. and Captain McRae. I can clearly remember 5 different visits in which P.S. took me over to the base chapel to see Captain McRae, or ‘father’ as my grandmother would allow me to call him. These visits always occurred on days when P.S. wasn’t babysitting. P.S. would usually find me playing somewhere on base and insist that I come to the chapel with him. On one of these occasions, I had been with my father as my father worked on his motorcycle at the storage unit by the telephone exchange.
P.S. came right up to my father asked my father if my father wanted P.S. to look after me. My father told me to go with P.S. on this visit.
I just thought of something as I typed this. Is this why Richard feigned ignorance about P.S. whenever anyone asked him about what happened on CFB Namao?
When the whole Captain Father Angus McRae fiasco blew up in June of 1980, did my father realize what he had done?
This would have been quite the thing to admit, that you sent your own son over to visit with a kiddie diddler. It would have been very hard for my father to have not known about this. CFB Namao was an isolated community north of Edmonton. 25 children had been molested by McRae. An untold number of children had been molested by P.S.. P.S. getting caught molesting children is what triggered the investigation into McRae. Everyone on that base would have known something.
The visits to McRae were almost identical. We’d play board games for a short while. We might watch some TV or listen to some records. Then Captain McRae would tell P.S. to get the grape juice. That’s what he called it, “grape juice”. I always remember it as being really sickly sweet. Sickly sweet grape juice. Almost like really sweet cough medicine. I never remember anything after this. I always remember becoming “aware” at other places on the base, usually the rec centre. On one of these occasions somebody called my grandmother to come and get me. She was furious. She wanted me to tell her who the kids were that gave me the alcohol. I was terrified. If you ever saw my grandmother in one of her rages, you’d understand. She then accused me of stealing her booze. She must have counted her flats of beer and her empties a few times before she realized that I didn’t take her beer.
In a way I’m thankful for the “grape juice” or as James Paluck informed me, the “Manischewitz wine”. I can’t honestly remember anything from the visits to the chapel and what occurred after the wine. I know I had rectal bleeding back then, and I had always assumed that was from P.S.. But yeah, I’d have to be pretty fucking naive to think that nothing was occurring in the rectory attached to the chapel when I was in the presence of two prolific kiddie diddlers.
I remember a good dozen times in the year and a half that P.S. was our babysitter in which he abused me and my brother together down in the basement on our uncle Doug’s cot. P.S. wasn’t subtle in his abuse either. He could get quite physical. I guess he was taking everything that Captain McRae was doing to him out on us. He almost always molested my brother and I together as it was easier for him to keep an eye on the two of us least one of us go off and babble to someone else about what P.S. was doing. P.S. loved digital penetration. I know he attempted anal with me a few times and actually succeeded on the day we were caught in his bedroom.
I saw P.S. have intercourse with a girl younger than I was. All I really remember about her is she wore a white dress, and had blond hair in pig tails. I would have been between 7 and 8 at the time. P.S. would have been older than his 14th birthday. P.S. had her over by the curling club and the Canex. She really didn’t want to be there. I wasn’t with P.S. that day. It was summer time. I think I was heading over to the arena for who knows what reasons. They were behind the Canex building towards the arena. She screamed. I still cringe thinking about that. There were four other boys I was aware of that P.S. abused. I didn’t know them that well. One kid left the base in the summer of 1979. I don’t know where his father was posted to. One of the other boys arrived in the summer of 1979. One of the other boys were long term on that base. All I remember about this last boy is that he was in my Red Cross swimming classes at the base pool. My family was punted off that base in October of 1980. No matter how hard I try, I can’t remember their names.
And Captain McRae wasn’t the only adult that P.S. was involved with on CFB Namao. As I described to Sgt. Tenaschuk during the 2015 to 2018 portion of CFNIS investigation GO 2011-5754, P.S. had cornered me at one of the public swims at the base pool. P.S. directed me into the sauna. There was an older man in the sauna sitting at the far end. P.S. escorted me over and told this man what my name was. This older man smiled at me and he put his hand on my shoulder and said that I was really cute. He asked me if I knew how to give a good blow job. P.S. replied that I was a really good. P.S. then went over and stood watch at the door. All I really remember about this old guy is he was a little on the pudgy side and he had a very close shaved white beard. I gave this man the blow job he wanted. As I’m typing this, I’m actually amazed at how many blowjobs I gave out on that base.
Guy with white beard = 1; P.S. = alot; Captain McRae = only P.S. would know.
Another former dependant from CFB Namao contacted me in the summer of 2012. James had his own list of names of children that P.S. had abused.
So, it’s quite clear that we’re not talking about P.S. inappropriately touching a single kid out of “childhood curiosity and experimentation”. He had access to numerous children under the age of 10 on that base. P.S. definitely should have been prosecuted. He would have probably received the help that he so desperately needed. But, I digress.
From what both retired Warrant Officer Fred Cunningham and Sgt. J.S. have stated, there were well over 25 children from CFB Namao that were caught up in the McRae / P.S. affair. I spoke to the younger brother of a trio of boys from the same family. Two boys were in the Canadian Forces later in life. The eldest boy never joined. The eldest boy killed himself just a few years ago. The younger brother blames the sexual abuse on CFB Namao and their dealings with the military social worker when their family was posted to CFB Borden in Ontario. I’m just wondering how many other kids involved with the Captain McRae child sex scandal from CFB Namao committed suicide or had lingering problems not only from the abuse but from the manner in which the military dealt with the victims.
6 – 9 is far short of 25. But you have to realize that Captain McRae was being investigated for “Acts of Homosexuality” by the dread CFSIU. The CFSIU were responsible for enforcing CFAO 19-20
If you were a service member of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1980, would you want it to be known that your son was participating in “Acts of Homosexuality”? Nope, didn’t think so. So, I think a lot of serving parents wouldn’t let their kids be interviewed by the CFSIU out of fear of their sons being listed as being engaged in homosexual behaviour.
So, back to the question posed at the start of this post.
Q: Why weren’t the Queen’s Cowboys called in?
A: Fear of the public discovering that DND and the CF couldn’t protect children living on the bases in Canada.