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?
It’s amazing and somewhat disturbing how the Department of National Defence still gloats about the findings of the Military Police Complaints Commission.
If one wishes to make a complaint against the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, one does so at their own risk.
This risk is especially true for a civilian with no connection to the Canadian Forces as the civilian receives none of the assistance that a service member would receive whilst making a complaint against the military police or the CFNIS.
You would think that a person wishing to make a complaint against the CFNIS would be granted access to the CFNIS investigation paperwork so that one could indicate to the MPCC exactly what the issue is.
However, there exists no mechanism within the Military Police Complaints Commission guidelines that require or even allow for the complainant to view the military police / CFNIS paperwork.
And as former MPCC chairman Glenn Stannard told the Globe and Mail in 2015, the MPCC has never been given the full and complete set of documents that detail how the military police operate and function. According to Stannard, this means that the Military Police Complaints Commission has no idea of what documents to request from the Provost Marshal during a review.
So, if the MPCC doesn’t even truly understand how the Military Police Group works, how the hell is a civilian such as myself supposed to know how the Military Police Group operates?
The only way a person can obtain copies of the CFNIS investigation paperwork is to file an Access to Information request for the documents.
The delay between requesting the documents and receiving the documents can be quite substantial. For example, when I submutted my request in 2018 for the CFNIS investigation paperwork it was 20 months before I received the records.
The complaint to the MPCC is supposed to be made within one year of the event that gave rise to the complaint. 20 months is well outside of that 12 month window.
I even had to enlist the help of the Information Commissioner of Canada to give DND a swift kick in the ass to get DND to release the requested documents.
The OIC did find that my complaint of “Deemed refusal” was valid. “Deemed refusal” means that the party that is supposed to supply the documents is using delay as a tactic in the hopes that you will simply give up and abandone your request
DND acknowledged my original request on July 30, 2018.
DND finally released the documents to me on February 6th, 2020 I received the documents.
It must be remembered that by MPCC rules, you only have ONE year from the date of the matter you are complaining about to file a complaint with the MPCC.
The documents that I received are redacted almost to the point of being useless.
For example, completely missing from the CFNIS records that I requested is the brief sent to the Alberta Crown in 2018. Lucky for me, I already had made a complaint to the Alberta Criminal Injury Review Board in relation to a decision by the Alberta Victims of Crime Board. As a result of this complaint, the ACIRB released to me the documents that had been supplied to the AVCB. In this release of documents was the 2018 CFNIS investigation submission to the Alberta Crown. The CFNIS in 2018 basically just refiled the 2011 Crown Briefing which included my father’s faulty statement. The CFNIS did not make any attempt to clarify that other agencies had information that indicated what my father stated to the CFNIS in 2011 was not actually truthful. The CFNIS made no mention of the other victims of P.S. that came forward as a result of the Crime Stoppers Appeal. The CFNIS also made no mention of the other victims that I had placed in contact with the CFNIS in 2015 and 2016.
It was, as Sgt. Tenaschuk told me, that my complaint against P.S. was limited to only the one day in particular in the spring of 1980 when P.S. had been discovered buggering me in his bedroom of PMQ #26 – 12th Street.
Sgt. Tenaschuk had stated that his superiors had determined that my complaint was going to have to stand on it’s own merit. The statement given by P.G., another victim of P.S., was not going to be included in my complaint as determined by CFNIS brass.
Reading the CFNIS investigation paperwork I have no idea if Sgt. Damon Tenaschuk re-interviewed my father to ascertain the large discrepancies between my father’s statement to the CFNIS in 2011, and my foster care records from Alberta Social Service.
During the 2015 interview when I was interviewed by RCMP Major Crimes investigator Akrum Ghadban I supplied Mr. Ghadban with the relevant sections of my foster care records along with my father’s sworn statement that was entered into Federal Court in 2013.
These are the same foster care records that I supplied to the CFNIS in 2011 and which I would discover in 2013 that the CFNIS had excluded from the investigation.
Some examples of these descripancies:
In 2011 my father stated to the CFNIS that his mother only looked after my brother and I for a very short period of time, stating that grandma stopped looking after my brother and I after Andy died hinting that Andy shortly after he slipped in the bath tub in our house on Canadian Forces Base Namao.
Andy lingered in the Mewburn nursing home at the University of Alberta until he died just before the summer of 1985.
The reality is that our grandmother raised my brother and I from the spring of 1977 until the summer of 1981.
My father told the CFNIS in 2011 that we never had a babysitter in the house.
The problem with that statement is that from the summer of 1978 until the spring / summer of 1979 my father had been dating a woman named Vicki in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. In the summer of 1979 he briefly saw another woman before he started dating Sue. This woman was in the Canadian Forces and lived on CFB Griesbach in the row house PMQs on the north side of the base. My father started dating Sue shortly after he broke up with the woman from Griesbach. From the summer of 1979 until the summer of 1980, Sue lived in an apartment building over by Londonderry Mall in Edmonton. In August of 1980, Sue moved into our house on CFB Namao.
While Richard was dating these women, he’d often stay at their place. This was especially true when he was dating Vicki who lived in Wetaskiwin which is a town south of Edmonton.
Richard would also often go away on training exercises. These exercises were sometimes as long as 6 to 8 weeks. I know my father did Arctic training in the winter of ’79 and the winter of ’80.
So, if our mother “abandoned” the family in 1977 and Sue didn’t move into our house on CFB Namao until 1980, who was looking after my brother and I.
Now, you might ask why I didn’t raise these points during the 2012 MPCC investigation.
Remember, the MPCC is not required to allow the complainant to view the evidence and documents that the CFNIS had submitted to the MPCC.
I only discovered my father’s horrific statement to the CFNIS in 2013 when I received the certified tribunal records from the MPCC. However, by this time it is far too late to contest anything erroneous that was discovered as any documents entered into court to prove these errors will not be allowed as this is now considered to be “New Evidence” and will not be allowed into federal court.
Even when I examined my father by legal order in 2013, his answers were a stark difference to what he had stated to the CFNIS in 2011.
Why, yes, our grandmother did live with us.
Yes, there was a babysitter.
No, he didn’t actually have legal custody of my brother and I.
Sgt. Christain Cyr had drastically altered what I had discussed with him on May 3rd, 2011 and had even told the MPCC that he had flown out to Victoria BC and met with me in person. The problem with Sgt. Cyr flying out to Victoria to meet with me is that I have never met Sgt. Cyr in person.
On May 3rd, Sgt. Cyr asked me if I remembered anything about the base chaplain having been charged with molesting children during the same time period that I was aledging that P.S. abused me, my brother, and four other children.
I told Sgt. Cyr that I remembered going on five different visits to the rectory at the base chapel, that we’d play board games, watch TV, listen to records in the Padre’s “stereo chair”, and that I could never remember anything after I was given a “sickly sweet grape juice”.
Sgt. Cyr wrote in his notes that when he asked me about Captain McRae, that I remembered going to the chapel with P.S., but that nothing sexual ever occurred.
That’s not what I said.
Even the next day, when I sent emails to Sgt. Cyr indicating which chapel it was that P.S. had taken me to, Sgt. Cyr called me back and told me that I had to have been mistaken as the chapel that I indicated on the maps I drew was a new building that didn’t exist in 1980 when I lived on the base.
I tried to introduce these emails into Federal Court, but the Attorney General demanded that they be struck as I hadn’t provided these emails to the MPCC during their investigation. The problem was that during the MPCC investigation I had no idea that Sgt. Cyr had failed to make mention of these emails in his police reports so therefore I had no reason to introduce these emails to the MPCC.
I also obtained from the Department of National Defence a copy of the blueprints for ” Our Lady of Loretto” chapel that showed the chapel was built in the 1950s. These were struck from the federal court as well.
If you go to the MPCCs website and look at previous REVIEWS (not inquiries, inquiries are completely different) you’ll find that reviews almost always find in favour of the Military Police.
This is not an accident.
As was discovered in the civilian world, the majority of these police review boards are stacked against the complainant and are biased in favour of the police.
Take for example the fact that the MPCC can only hire retired police officers to be investigators. Many inquiries into civilian police review boards have found that these investigators almost always have a bias against the complainants. It’s part of the “Us vs Them” mentality that permeates police departments across North America.
The rules that the Military Police Complaints Commission works under are biased against the complainant as well.
The MPCC cannot share any of the information that the Provost Marshal has provided to the MPCC to the complainant so that the complainant can advance their complaint against the military police and the CFNIS.
The MPCC cannot even ask the complainant questions based upon the documents supplied to the MPCC by the Provost Marshal.
An MPCC review is seriously nothing more than a fell good exercise practically designed by the agency that it is supposed to oversee.
During an MPCC review, the MPCC cannot administer oaths, the MPCC cannot subpeona documents or witnesses.
During an MPCC review, the complainant cannot examine the military police or the CFNIS.
An MPCC review is easily controlled by the Provost Marshal as the Provost Marshal can determine which documents are and which documents are not issued to the Military Police Complaints Commission.
It’s almost as if the MPCC was set up specifically to hide the defects of the military disciplinary system from the eyes of the general public.
And considering that it is the National Defence Act that establishes the Military Police Complaints Commission I think it’s pretty obvious that the MPCC isn’t designed to benefit the complainant.
The MPCC investigation into my complaint against the CFNIS is still ongoing. Unlike last time around, I was able to file an Access to Information request prior to making my final submission to the MPCC.
What this means is that unlike my previous complaint to the MPCC, I have all of the paperwork from the 2015 to 2018 portion of CFNIS investigation GO# 2011-5754.
This helped a lot as I was able to confirm what the CFNIS did and didn’t do in the second portion of the investigation into my complaint against P.S.
We still have to remember that the Provost Marshal holds all of the cards in a MPCC review.
I’ll admit that I was pretty naive the last time I made a complaint to the MPCC.
Dealing with the CFNIS in 2011 was really my first time ever having any dealings with any type of police agency. And during my dealings with the CFNIS I honestly had no idea of the historic issues facing the military police within the Canadian Forces. I also had absolutely no knowledge of the historical flaws in the National Defence Act. I just thought that it was so cool after having twice before been told that the military police couldn’t investigate P.S. because he was a military dependant that all of a sudden, here was the CFNIS ready and willing to investigate P.S.
But when Sgt. Cyr opened his mouth on May 3rd, 2011 and spilt the beans about the sordid details from back in 1980, I realized that the justice train had come off the rails before it even left the station.
I knew on November 4th, 2011 when PO Morris told me that the CFNIS couldn’t find any evidence to indicate that P.S. was capable of the crimes I had accused him of, that something had really gone wrong with the investigation.
The statement PO Morris made to me on November 4th, 2011 became all the more laughable in August of 2012 when I came across the Edmonton Journal article that detailed P.S.’s three criminal convictions for child sexual assault prior to September of 1985.
When RCMP Inspector Akrum Ghadban recommended that the CFNIS re-open the 2011 investigation and concentrate of four areas that he thought needed improvement I decided to keep detailed notes and records right from the word go.
All of these records and details were submitted to the MPCC.
So, we’ll have to sit back and see where this goes.
As I said at the start, I fully realize that the MPCC doesn’t have a lot of investigative powers during a review. The MPCC can’t subpoena documents or witnesses during a review. The MPCC can’t administer oaths during a review. The MPCC pretty well has to function with what the Provost Marshal gives to them.
I know the Provost Marshal has a very dim view of my request for a review of the CFNIS investigation. The Provost Marshal has already informed me that he considers my complaint to be baseless. The Provost Marshal has also stated that he considers the 2012 MPCC review to be sufficient and that he doesn’t believe that a second review of the same investigation needs to be undertaken. What the Provost Marshal is ignoring is that the 2011 portion of GO #2011-5754 is very distinctly different from the 2015 to 2018 portion of GO #2011-5754. The Provost Marshal even stated that he refused to review the video of my statement that I gave to RCMP Inspector Akrum Ghadban in September of 2015.
So, here’s hoping that things are different this time around.
One lesson that I did learn from my previous trip to Federal Court is that you can’t introduce “new evidence” into a hearing for judicial review. What is “new evidence”? New evidence is anything that wasn’t before the Military Police Complaints Commission during the review of a complaint against the military police.
And believe me, I am fully aware that not everything that was before the CFNIS manages to make it to the MPCC.
I think I know how the Provost Marshal and the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) intend to play the game this time around.
I gained that insight with a question the registrar of the MPCC recently asked me. The registrar asked me if I had disclosed the documents and informations that I recently shared with the MPCC to the Provost Marshal as well.
This seems to indicate that maybe the Provost Marshal didn’t release all of the documents to the Military Police Complaints Commission.
This is pretty well the same way I got played by the Provost Marshal the last time.
Let me explain.
During my previous involvement with the MPCC it was only after I had made my application to Federal Court for judicial review that I was able to see the documents that the Provost Marshal had supplied to the Military Police Complaints Commission for the MPCC to review.
The Provost Marshal excluded quite a bit of information and many documents from their submission to the MPCC.
During the last MPCC review, it became apparent that the CFNIS spent pretty well the entire 2011 portion of CFNIS investigation GO 2011-5754 trying to make me out to be the bad guy.
According to the CFNIS, I was a societal malcontent with an axe to grind against the Canadian Forces who couldn’t hold down a job, and who was only going after P.S. for money.
The CFNIS excluded any mention of Captain Father Angus McRae from the investigation paperwork. The CFNIS excluded any mention of the well known connection between P.S. and Captain McRae. The CFNIS also steered very clear of any mention of my foster care / social service records which highlighted issues with my father, and which also indicated that our grandmother was living in our house. The CFNIS also didn’t mention to the MPCC that P.S. had sued the Minister of National Defence and that the Minister of National Defence had settled out of court with P.S. in November of 2008.
As I learnt during my last appearance in Federal Court, by the time a person makes an application for judicial review in Federal Court it is too late to introduce “new” documents or informations as evidence as these documents and informations will be struck from the proceedings as being “new” evidence that wasn’t before the commission you are seeking judicial review of.
Yes, you read that right.
If the Provost Marshal has documents in its possession, and it fails to give those documents to the MPCC during the MPCC review, and the MPCC finds in favour of the Provost Marshal, you as the applicant cannot introduce those same documents into the Federal Court.
The documents and informations that were struck from my last application for judicial review were documents and informations that were in the possession of the CFNIS and the Provost Marshal.
The Department of Justice was able to have the justice reviewing my application for judicial review strike most of my evidence because the Department of Justice lawyer was able to argue that these documents weren’t brought before the MPCC.
And why weren’t these documents brought before the MPCC?
Because the Provost Marshal controlled which documents were and weren’t released to the MPCC. Sure, I probably could have submitted the documents and informations that I had in my possession to the MPCC the last time during the previous MPCC review, but I had no idea how the MPCC worked or how the review process worked either. At the time I had assumed that the MPCC would be reviewing the entire investigation from start to finish. At the time I didn’t realize that the MPCC only reviews the documents supplied to it by the Provost Marshal.
And besides, as I’ve previously stated. The investigators that came to interview me really weren’t interested in what I had to say. They had already sided with the Provost Marshal.
Neat how that works, isn’t it?
It’s almost as if the MPCC is designed to be a feel good exercise in futility.
And I have no doubt that this is the game the Provost Marshal will play. Because I didn’t “disclose” to the Provost Marshal documents that the Provost Marshal already had, I wasn’t following “due process” and therefore I wasn’t being fair to the Provost Marshal.
The CFNIS had collected these documents and informations from me as part of CFNIS investigation GO 2011-5754.
However, I think that the Provost Marshal neglected to pass these documents on to the MPCC. Hence why the MPCC asked me recently if I had disclosed these documents to the Provost Marshal.
And this folks is how the Provost Marshal is able to play the MPCC like a cheap violin.
The Provost Marshal had access to all of these documents and informations as they reside on DND’s servers and other computer infrastructure. The existence and the content of these documents and informations should have been documented and recorded in the SAMPIS record system employed by the military police group which includes the CFNIS.
By wilfully neglecting to release these documents, the Provost Marshal is able to set the narative to a narative that portrays the CFNIS in a very positive light.
The Provost Marshal is fully aware, as is the Judge Advocate General, that the MPCC does not have the legal authority to compel the Provost Marshal to turn over documents to the MPCC during a review.
During a review, the MPCC can only ask the Provost Marshal for documents. It is only during a Public Interest Hearing that the MPCC has the legal authority to subpoena documents and witnesses.
And as former chairperson Glenn Stannard said during an interview which occurred in 2015, the MPCC has never been given access to the manuals that dictate how the CFNIS operate, and as such the MPCC doesn’t know what documents that it should be requesting from the Provost Marshal during a review.
Does the MPCC fully understand the implications that Section 83 of the National Defence Act has for the supposed independence of the CFNIS investigators from Chain of Command influence?
Does the MPCC fully understand the organizational structure of the Canadian Armed Forces?
Minister of National Defence -> Chief of Defence Staff -> Vice Chief of Defence Staff -> Provost Marshal -> Divisional Officer Commanding CFNIS -> Detachment Officer Commanding -> Investigator Supervisor -> CFNIS Investigator.
P.S. sued the Minister of National Defence in March of 2001 for $4.3 million dollars. The Canadian Forces Director of Civil Claims and Liabilities settled with P.S. for an undisclosed sum of money in November of 2008.
As of right now, myself and the other victims of P.S. and Captain Father Angus McRae have no avenue to seek compensation from the Minister of National Defence due the the CFNIS being unable to find any evidence to bring against P.S..
And the flawed 1980 CFSIU investigation into Captain McRae not only minimized the true number of sexual assault victims on the base, it also anointed P.S. as being the sole victim of Captain McRae, hence why he has been the only person to date who was able to sue the Minister of National Defence.
Yes, I have said time and time again that I do not want to sue for money. But it’s not that simple. There were over 25 other kids the military police knew of in 1980. I can’t promise the Mininster of National Defence that they won’t sue.
P.S. also lived on CFB Petawawa from the summer of 1980 until sometime around 1984. How many children did P.S. molest on CFB Petawawa? If those kids found out that P.S. had been corrupted by Captain McRae, could these kids in turn sue the Minister of National Defence for damages should the CFNIS be able to prove that P.S. molested children on CFB Petawawa?
You can bet your bottom dollar the the Department of Justice and the Judge Advocate General have informed the Minister of National Defence that by agreeing to settle out of court with P.S. that the Canadian Forces Director of Civil Claims and Liabilities has set precedent for any other child who had been sexually abused on a Canadian Forces base by a member subject to the Code of Service Discipline or who was sexually abused by another military dependant so long as there was a connection to someone who was subject to the Code of Service Discipline..
Yes, some of the 25 children from CFB Namao may have only been abused by P.S. and not by Captain McRae. However, I don’t think that any lawyer worth their salt would have any trouble at all linking the sexual deviancy exhibited by P.S. as being caused by Captain McRae.
Even the Juvenile Delinquents Act made the adult responsible for a child’s delinquencies legally culpable for those delinquencies
How hard would it be for the Minister of National Defence to make it known via the Chain of Command that he does not wish for his office to be sued, or for the reputation of the Canadian Forces to be tarnished? Very easy. The MoD makes the rules.
Under section 83 of the National Defence Act, ALL subordinates must obey the lawful commands of their superiors.
And yes, there is a stark difference between the word legal and the word lawful.
A commanding officer has the authority to issue any command they see fit to their subordinate. The subordinate is required to obey that command. However, the subordinate is placed in a precarious position. The subordinate has the legal and moral responsibility to ignore commands that are obviously illegal, such as opening fire on unarmed civilians or killing unarmed prisoners of war. For anything else though, the subordinate is expected to follow the lawful commands of their superior without question. How well do you think the Canadian Forces would function if subordinates were consulting legal officers at the office of the Judge Advocate General every time a commanding officer issued a lawful command?
During the Fynes Public Interest Hearing, the Fynes argued that the CFNIS were biased in favour of the CF and conducted the investigation in such a manner as to protect the CF’s institutional reputation or interests.
This is not what I am alleging.
I am alleging that the Chain of Command, starting with the office of the Minister of National Defence, has run this investigation in such a manner as to avoid raising the spectre of historical child sexual abuse which occurred on the bases in Canada prior to the passage of Bill C-28 in 1998 prior to which the National Defence Act contained two outrageous flaws which allowed child sexual abuse to be minimized and hidden on the bases.
It must be remembered at all time that the investigators with the CFNIS do not “own” the investigations they are charged with investigating. The investigation “belongs” to the chain of command. The chain of command will determine the scope and directions of a CFNIS investigation. The chain of command will determine who is interviewed and who isn’t. The chain of command will determine what evidence is collected and what evidence is discarded.
The fact that CFNIS investigators don’t “own” their investigations serves to illustrate why interferance complaints are unheard of. There can be no interferance if the investigation isn’t yours to run as you see fit.
During the Fynes Public Interest Hearing, the lawyer employed by the Fynes was able to access critical documents and witnesses as this lawyer was a former Judge Advocate General in the Canadian Forces and knew how the military police operated.
Because of this we know that the SAMPIS record system is not all that secure and can be edited at anytime and that there is no record of the changes made.
We know that the superiors of one investigator involved in the investigation of Cpl. Langridge’s suicide “edited” the investigator’s final report for “clarity” while coincidentally removing any mention of “suicide watch”. The investigator was told to place his signature upon the “clarified” version of his final report.
We also know due to the Fynes Public Interest Hearing that the supervisors and superiors of the CFNIS investigators were calling the shots during the investigation, but they lacked the necessary training and experience required to make the proper and correct decisions during the investigation.
Are the limitations of the MPCC fixable. No, they’re probably not. The MPCC was created by an Act of Parliament. The committee that drafted the bill that created the MPCC probably consulted and listened to those involved in law enforcement as government mucky-mucks tend to believe that only the police can oversee the police. The Department of National Defence would have also had a significant amount of input into the creation of the MPCC as who else could be trusted to better understand the unique needs of the military.
The fact that the MPCC is required to hire retired police officers to act as investigators shows that the entire MPCC Review process is prone to being captured by those with a bias towards law enforcement.
I honestly don’t know how this review will work out this time around.
I don’t even want to guess.
I know that the Provost Marshal is dead set against this review as he responded to me that the MPCC had already reviewed the 2011 portion of GO 2011-5754 and that no further review was require and to that extent he didn’t bother to review the video interview that was conducted in September of 2015 at the UBC RCMP detachment.
I’m just waiting to see exactly how the Provost Marshal, the Judge Advocate General, or even the Department of Justice spring into action to stop or curtail the current MPCC review.
It should be no secret that I’ve already filed a complaint with the Military Police Complaints Commission, which I’ll refer to as the MPCC from here on in. This complaint is for the 2015 through 2018 portion of CFNIS investigation GO 2011-5754.
Yes, the MPCC is supposed to be an “arm’s length” agency, but bear in mind that all employees of the MPCC are government employees who may wish to move upwards in the governmental hierarchy, and who will more often than not act in such a manner as to not jeopardize their ascension up the ranks.
The Military Police Complaints Commission is charged with reviewing military police investigations. Generally the MPCC may conduct two styles of investigation. The MPCC may conduct a “Review” or the MPCC may conduct a “Public Interest Hearing”. For now I’ll talk about a “review” and in a subsequent posting I’ll talk about a “Public Interest Hearing”
An MPCC REVIEW
The first style of investigation the MPCC may conduct is a “Review”.
Due to the design of the review process, findings against the military police are very rare.
During a “Review” the MPCC can only review the documents supplied to it by the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal.
During a review, the MPCC cannot administer oaths. There is no risk of penalty for uttering false statements to the MPCC.
During a review, the MPCC cannot subpoena documents or witnesses. This means that during a review, the MPCC can only take what the Provost Marshal has decided to give to the MPCC. Also, because witnesses cannot be forced to talk to the MPCC during a review the MPCC may find itself unable to interview key personnel.
During a review, the complainant cannot cross examine the witnesses.
During a “Review”, the MPCC does not “test” the evidence to see if it was possible to come to a different conclusion, thereby calling into question the investigative ability of the investigator or the supervisory ability of the investigator’s chain of command. All the MPCC does during a review is a basic check list.
Did Mr. Bees make a complaint?
Was the complaint investigated?
Did the investigator reach a conclusion that was within a range of resonable conclusions?
The Provost Marshal knows exactly what your complaint is about as you have to first submit your complaint to the Provost Marshal.
It can be seen then that the Provost Marshal can submit favourable documents to the MPCC that paint the CFNIS in a very favourable light. You as the complainant will have absolutely no access to any of these documents until AFTER the MPCC have rendered their final decision.
The biggest flaw with this is that any evidence that you intend to introduce at the Federal Court level in an application for Judicial Review is considered “New Evidence” and will be struck from the Judicial Review.
It’s almost as if the Canadian Forces created the MPCC and the review process to be defective by design.
Yes, Parliament would have crafted the legislation which created the MPCC, however, the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Forces, the Provost Marshal, and the Judge Advocate General would have had their input into the design of the MPCC. There would have been no representation from parties from which complaints could be expected to be received.
In the summer of 2015, MPCC chairman Glenn Stannard told the Globe and Mail during an interview that the MPCC has never been given the documents required to truly understand how the Canadian Forces Military Police and the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service operate. Mr. Stannard said during this interview that without those documents, the MPCC doesn’t even know what it should be requesting from the Provost Marshal.
Yeah, and about the findings of the MPCC. The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal can still tell the MPCC to go piss up a rope if it doesn’t like the findings of a review. Reviews are non-binding and have no legal weight.
During a review, the MPCC cannot subpoena witnesses, the MPCC cannot subpoena documents, and the MPCC cannot administer oaths. The fact that statements given to the MPCC are not taken under oath means that there is no threat of consequences for perjury.
During an MPCC review, participation is voluntary.
Access to Investigation Paperwork
It would seem that it would make common sense for a complainant to have access to the paperwork from their investigation. This is apparently not how it works in Canada. Very few police review boards require that the complainant have access to documents that would be critical for the success of a complaint.
During an MPCC review, the complainant is not given access to the investigation documents, nor is the complainant given access to copies of the documents that the Provost Marshal submitted to the MPCC.
Yes, one could submit an Access to Information Request for copies of the documents and files related to a CFNIS investigation. I did. I submitted an ATI back in July of 2018.
Why is access to the CFNIS investigation documents necessary?
It allows the complainant to counter statements in the CFNIS investigation and prove errors committed during the investigation.
Did Sgt. Cyr fly down to Victoria, BC and meet with me personally to discuss this investigation as he told the MPCC investigators? No he didn’t.
Did “some lady from across the street” keep an eye on my brother and I from time to time? No.
Was I expelled from school in the spring of 1983 or was I kept at home to avoid being apprehended by Alberta Social Services for my father’s non-compliance with the family counselling program? It was the latter, which was all contained in the social service documents.
Did Sgt. Cyr properly record into his occurrence reports the details of our conversation on May 3rd, 2011. No he did not. Me telling him that I can remember P.S. taking me on 5 different visits to the chapel but that I can’t remember anything after being given “sickly sweet grape juice” is definitely not that same as “Mr. Bees stated that he remembered going to the church with P.S. but that nothing ever happened”. In fact being given the part about the “sickly sweet grape juice” isn’t in his occurrence report.
When Sgt. Robert Jon Hancock submitted his case summary to the Alberta Crown, why did Sgt. Hancock see fit to remove “anything he had been involved in as a youth has already been handled by the military” from the record of P.S.’s phone call to Sgt. Hancock in August of 2011. Why didn’t the MPCC pick up on this detail?
All of these issues I could have easily raised with the MPCC during my interview had I been given access to the CFNIS investigation paperwork. But I wasn’t. And as such when I went before the Federal Court with my application for judicial review, all of the copies of telephone bills and copies of emails between myself and Sgt. Cyr were struck from the proceedings as being “new evidence”.
The MPCC Investigators
The investigators conducting the MPCC review are retired police officers, which means that there is a serious bias from the get go. The thin blue line is not an urban legend. It’s a well known phenomenon that exists within police culture.
In my teens I worked for three Metropolitan Toronto Police officers that owned a amusement machine company as a side business. From dealing with these three I learnt quickly that police see themselves as being different from the civilians they protect. It’s bound to happen in organizations like the police.
Out here in Vancouver during the late ’90s we had a serial killer that was preying on women from the Downtown East Side. The serial killer was Robert Pickton.
As Inquiry Commissioner Wally Oppal concluded, the police didn’t really put any effort into protecting the women of the DTES because the police, both the RCMP and the VPD, viewed these women as “throwaways – unstable, unreliable.”
Wally Oppal was never a police officer. Wally Oppal had been a judge for most of his life. He then became the Attorney General for the province of BC. He was never tainted by the thin blue line. Which explains why he had no qualms about letting both the VPD and the RCMP wear the shame of the Pickton fiasco.
A few year ago, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP looked at the desirability of police investigating police.
I was interviewed by the MPCC on July 19th, 2012. I left the interview stunned and nauseated. I was so stunned in fact that I went for a walk and just kept walking. I didn’t stop walking until just after midnight. The two investigators didn’t really listen to what I had to say, they already had their mind made up that the CFNIS investigators had gone above and beyond their requirements and conducted a stellar investigation.
Even back in 2012, I was still able to amass sufficient documentation to show that the 2011 CFNIS investigation left a lot to be desired.
The investigators with the MPCC referred to my documents as if they were trivial in nature and of dubious quality. The investigators with the MPCC even outright ignored the Social Service observations of my father.
Take for example where the MPCC investigators noted that my father told the CFNIS investigators that my grandmother only looked after my brother and I until her husband died. The CFNIS recorded my father’s statement in such a manner that it made it sound as if my grandmother only looked after my brother and I for a very brief point in time on CFB Namao and that “some lady from across the street would keep an eye on my brother and I from time to time”. My grandmother raised my brother and I from the spring of 1977 until about the spring of 1981. Her husband, Andy Anderson, didn’t die until sometime around 1985. Except for a very brief period of time in the spring of 1978 our grandmother was our primary care giver and raised my brother and I for just over four years.
In 2006, when I talked to my father about what had happened on CFB Namao, my father named the babysitter himself. I didn’t have to tell my father the babysitter’s name. My father blamed my grandmother for hiring the babysitter even going so far as saying that he warned my grandmother not to hire him. He also said that I should have told someone what the babysitter was doing and that it was partially my fault that it went on for so long and that I had no business allowing the babysitter to mess with my younger brother.
During my interview with the MPCC investigators, I made sure that the MPCC investigators understood the significance of my family’s social service records, especially the part where the psychologist hired by the Canadian Forces to interview my father determined that my father accepted no responsibility for his family, blamed others for problems with his family, expected others to solve the problems with his family. In turn the MPCC only recorded in their findings that my social service records indicated that I was depressed as a child.
There were other records that indicated that grandma was still living with us in 1981 and there were records that indicated that my father blamed grandma for issues that my brother and I were having.
Alberta Social Services indicate two key findings about my father. First, my father often told conflicting stories from one meeting to the next. Second, my father was found to tell people that he perceived to be in positions of authority what he thought they wanted to hear.
When I introduced my family’s social service records into Federal Court to dispute the observation of the CFNIS, this evidence was struck because it was “new evidence” that had not been before the MPCC during the review.
I believe that the inability of the two investigators assigned to the previous MPCC review to listen to what was being said was due to their police culture bias.
In my next blog entry I will discuss the “Public Interest Hearing” and how the Provost Marshal and the CFNIS are at a complete disadvantage.
I had a conversation with a lawyer a few days ago. Another one of these ex-JAG lawyer types.
I’ve had calls with these ex-JAG lawyers before. And this call, just like the others before it got off on the wrong foot.
See, Captain McRae was never supposed to have been given a courts martial for Gross Indecency, Indecent Assault, and Buggery. So, when someone like me calls up claiming that the military conducted a courts martial for a Captain charged with sexual crimes against children these ex-JAGs obviously think that I’m some fucking nut making bullshit claims against the Canadian Armed Forces.
And that’s more or less how this call went.
For the last eight years, all the way from Halifax N.S. to Victoria B.C., ex-JAG lawyers have basically given me the same brush off. Captain McRae could not have been prosecuted by Courts Martial as crimes such as rape, gross indecency, indecent assault, bugger, invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference, etc, were ALWAYS handled by the civilian courts, never the military tribunals.
And previously, all I ever had was newspaper stories referring to the courts martial. I never had anything in concrete.
Well know I have a copy of CFSIU investigation report DS-120-10-80 which clearly states that Captain McRae appeared before a courts martial to answer for the charges of Gross Indecency, Indecent Assault, and Buggery.
I have Department of Justice paperwork that clearly referres to the courts martial of Captain Father Angus McRae.
I also have copies of back and forth communications between the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada referring to the courts martial of Captain Father Angus McRae.
I sent copies of some of these documents off to the lawyer.
These documents changed things.
The lawyer’s reply back was probably the most detailed and concise response that I’ve had to date.
The lawyer explained that criminal case notwithstanding, my ability to make a civil claim against the babysitter, Mr. P.S. actually expired long ago. Criminal code matters have no “statute of limitations”. Civil claims do. My legal guardians, acting on my behalf, would have had to initiate a civil claim against Mr. P.S. years ago. I could have possibly argued in court using my social service records as evidence that my guardians at the time were unfit and were not acting with my best interests in mind. But the time frame for that claim would have been 2011 to 2013.
So far as initiating a civil claim against the Minister of National Defence. The Crown Liability and Proceedings Act has a limitation period of 6 years.
This is why when Mr. P.S. sued the Minister of National Defence in 2001 he had to state in his claim that “due to counselling, he had just become aware of the effect the abuse had on his life”. By making that statement in his claim, Mr. P.S. reset the countdown timer to March of 2001.
In 2011, I became aware of the effect that the abuse at the hands of Mr. P.S., and possibly Captain McRae had on my life, and the psychological scarring that I suffered due to the forced conversion therapy I endured at the hands of Canadian Armed Forces officer Captain Terry Totzke in the period of 1980 to 1983. Therefore the time for me to bring an action against the Minister of National Defence expired in 2017.
The lawyer did mention that those members of the Canadian Forces who were suspected of being homosexual and who were subsequently booted out of the military during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s would have run out of time to file a civil action against the military long ago. Moreover, those members of the Canadian Forces who were suspected of being homosexual and who were subsequently booted out of the military prior to 1985 could never bring a Section 15 charter challenge against the Canadian Forces as the Charter did not exist prior to 1985. Even though the government could have blocked the lawsuit, it didn’t. The lawyer said that this was more than likely for political reasons.
The lawyer did mention that I could approach the MPCC and ask for a review of the current CFNIS investigation.
This I actually did last year and the review is ongoing. Remember though that during a review the MPCC does not have the power to subpoena documents, nor does it have the power to subpoena witnesses, nor can it administer oaths. The MPCC can only accept documents from the CFNIS. The MPCC cannot question the veracity of those documents. And if the statement of former MPCC chairman Glenn Stannard is to be believed, the MPCC has never been given access to the policy guidelines or manuals that govern to operation of the Canadian Military Police Group and therefore the MPCC has no idea of the documents that it should be requesting.
Because of the shortcomings of an MPCC review, I did request that the MPCC conduct and inquiry into the CFNIS investigation. The MPCC declined this request.
It should be noted that the Deputy Commander, Colonel Martin Laflamme, of the Canadian Forces Military Police Group / Professional Standards refused to conduct a review as requested. In his reasoning for directing that no review be undertaken, Mr. Laflamme leans heavily upon the flawed 2011 MPCC review. The initial 2011 MPCC review found in favour of the CFNIS. However, bear in mind that I was unable to view any of the documentation that was supplied to the MPCC by the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal until AFTER the MPCC had reached its decision.
An interesting thing about Mr. Laflamme’s response to me is that my complaint was far more than just a complaint about a “verbal debrief”.
The lawyer suggested approaching the Canadian Forces Ombudsman. The lawyer did mention something that I’ve been aware of since 2012, and that is that the Ombudsman cannot review anything that occurred prior to 1998. 1998 is the date that the Canadian Forces Ombudsman was created. The lawyer explained that the Office of the CF Ombudsman was created by ministerial authority and not by statute like the Military Police Complaints Commission.
The Military Police Complaints Commission is unable to review any military police investigation that occurred prior to 1998. This I believe is for a few reasons. The first reason is that the MPCC was created in 1998. The second reason is the existence of both the “Summary Investigation Flaw” and the “3-year time bar flaw”. The third reason is that the military justice system as it was before the reforms of 1998 via Bill C-25 was so broken that the MPCC would be eternally bogged down reviewing each and every questionable decision made by the pre-1998 military justice system.
How broken was the military justice system prior to 1998? Look no further than the Somalia fiasco. Or look at the Captain Father Angus McRae fiasco. Same broken justice system.
The Minister of National Defence can request that the CF Ombudsman look into matters that occurred prior to 1998, but there are limitations to what the Ombudsman can do.
For example, the Ombudsman cannot investigate the military police or the military justice system. However, the Ombudsman could look at tangential issues.
I have contacted the Office of the CF Ombudsman numerous times since 2012, the most recent being June 22, 2019.
My complaint involves the Canadian Forces Military Police and the Canadian Forces Special Investigations Unit, therefore it cannot be looked at by the CF Ombudsman (nor by the MPCC for that matter). However, as the lawyer inferred, and as Mr. Lick has stated, the Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan, has always had the authority to request that the CF Ombudsman review any pre-mandate matter.
The problem with Harjit Sajjan is though, he was a career soldier. He’s not going to shit in the bed that he sleeps in considering that his military career launched his political career.
The CF Ombudsman is appointed by the Minister of National Defence. The Minister therefore may be inclined to appoint an Ombudsman whose ideology aligns with that of the Minister.
In 2013 the Ombudsman received numerous complaints about the 1974 Valcartier grenade incident in which 6 teenagers were killed and 62 more were injured due to the negligence of a member of the Canadian Armed Forces who allowed a live grenade to be handled by teenagers. The Minister of National Defence at the time was Rob Nicholson. Mr. Nicholson requested the CF Ombudsman review this matter, even though the matter fell far outside the legal mandate of the CF Ombudsman.
I have no doubt in my mind that the only reason why Mr. Nicholson called on the CF Ombudsman to review the Valcartier cadet matter is that Mr. Nicholson had no tangible connection to the Canadian Armed Forces.
The CF Ombudsman noted that the cadets fell into a “legal void”. As they weren’t members of the Regular Forces, and as they weren’t civilian employees, they were unable to receive any matter of compensation from the Canadian Forces or the Federal Government. What the CF Ombudsman found most alarming is that the members of the Canadian Forces who were wholly responsible for this incident did in fact receive compensation for their injuries related to this event.
The entire Ombudsman’s report can be downloaded here:
So, where does this leave me, or any other person who as a child was sexually abused on a military base in Canada?
Going through the courts would be an obvious waste of time. The Crown Liabilities and Proceedings Act pretty well slams the door shut. The fact that the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence have no culpability for anyone who was injured on a Defence Establishment if that person was not a civilian employee or a member of either the Regular force or the Reserve force also places any type of civil action outside the realm of possibility. I think that the inability to bring any manner of legal action against DND or the Government of Canada is the primary reason why child sexual abuse on the bases in Canada has been unheard of to date.
It’s not that child sexual abuse didn’t occur, it’s that the courts offer absolutely no remedy. Don’t forget, Mr. P.S. setteled with the Minister of National Defence. There was no court award. There never could be a court award. However, the Department of National Defence and the Department of Justice felt that it was better to settle with Mr. P.S. than to risk the public humilation of a trial where all of these shortcomings would be aired in public.
What would the public think if it became public knowledge that Angus Alexander McRae could not be sued by Mr. P.S. as Mr. McRae was an employee of the Department of National Defence at the time?
What would the public think if it became public knowledge that the Department of National Defence could not be sued for the actions of one of its employees which occured in military housing on a military base?
So a settlement was reached, DND admitted no guilt, Mr. P.S. walked away with some cash, and everything went away.
Public attention is about the only way that the Government of Canada or the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence are ever going to be coerced into owning up to what happened.
The real question is, will the media get on board, or will the media sit back and wait for the Minister of National Defence or one of their minions to announce that there was in fact a problem?