Conduct Case MPCC‑2018‑012 Summary

The incident giving rise to the complaint occurred on October 10, 2017, in the vicinity of a Canadian Forces Base, where the complainant served as a Military Police (MP) member. That evening, the complainant sent Facebook messages to a young woman (age 20) who worked at the local McDonald’s, as well as to some of her colleagues from the restaurant. He was somewhat acquainted with the woman, as she and her mother had communicated with him on a few occasions about Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) recruiting procedures.

The complainant had used his work phone (albeit through his residential Wi-Fi internet connection) to send the messages through his personal Facebook account. According to the complainant, there was no issue with the content of his messages, but one of the employees reported the incident to their manager because she objected to his Facebook profile name (which was sexually suggestive and crude). The McDonald’s manager reported the incident to the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) detachment (the restaurant was off the base), who in turn called the MP Detachment Commander, the complainant’s superior.

The next day, the Detachment Commander, accompanied by the complainant, attended the local RCMP Detachment. The RCMP determined that no offence had been committed, but at the request of the McDonald’s manager, served the complainant with a notice under the provincial property protection legislation, banning the complainant from the restaurant.

Subsequently, a Unit Disciplinary Investigation (UDI) was conducted into the complainant’s actions. An Air Force MP Group Master Warrant Officer from a different MP unit was assigned to conduct the investigation. In the end, the UDI did not recommend any charges under the Code of Service Discipline.

Nonetheless, the complainant filed a complaint about the conduct of the UDI and certain related actions by members of his detachment chain of command. His complaint alleged violations of his privacy rights and other human rights, such as, for example: seizing and searching his smartphone (CAF issued); seeking access to his psychotherapy and other medical records; inappropriately disclosing his personal information.

The Deputy Commander (DComd) of the Canadian Forces MP Group, responsible for MP Professional Standards (PS), declined to order an investigation, as the allegations did not relate to the performance of “policing duties or functions.”

The complainant requested that the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) review the decision of the DComd not to investigate the matter.

After reviewing the substantial documentation provided by the complainant and the disclosure provided by PS, the MPCC found that it was in agreement with the CF MP Gp Deputy Commander that the complainant’s allegations related to internal administrative matters, rather than the performance of “policing duties or functions,” on which MP conduct complaints must be based.

While a UDI may result in recommendations for the charging of service offences, such investigations may be conducted by any CAF unit, and so do not implicate MPs’ special policing duties.

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