Conduct Case MPCC‑2019‑038 Summary

The complainant alleged that, in the course of attempting to stop someone from causing damage to a golf course, his life was threatened. Since he was allegedly threatened by a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, he asked that the Military Police be called. When members of the Military Police arrived at the golf course, the complainant alleges that they did not take a statement from him concerning the threat to his life. He alleges that this failure is related to a bias against him held by some members of the Military Police. He further alleges that he was addressed by a member of the Military Police in a condescending manner and that he was not asked to come to the Military Police Detachment to make a statement about being threatened.

The conduct complaint was dealt with in the first instance by the Professional Standards (PS) Branch of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) as per subsection 250.26(1) of the National Defence Act. PS found the complaint to be unsubstantiated and so the complainant referred it to the Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada (MPCC) for review.

Upon receipt of the complaint, the MPCC requested disclosure of all relevant Military Police file materials from the CFPM. The MPCC conducted a detailed review of the materials received from the CFPM, in order to assess whether the MPCC needed to take additional investigative steps. The MPCC determined that further investigation was necessary, including interviews of the complainant and some subjects. The MPCC identified six subjects of the conduct complaint. At the time the complaint was submitted, they were all Military Police members.

The MPCC found that the complainant did not mention being threatened to the Military Police members called to the golf course, despite having a number of opportunities to do so. It also found that any possible bias against the complainant had no effect on the actions of the Military Police, nor was he addressed in a condescending manner. The MPCC further found that the complainant did not mention being threatened to a more senior Military Police member at the Detachment until the end of their communications, by which time he said that he would be pursuing the matter by means of a private legal action. All the allegations made by the complainant, therefore, were found to be unsubstantiated.

The MPCC made one observation concerning the consideration of supervisory personnel as subjects of complaints. It considers it to be a “policing duty or function” to respond to a complaint, whatever the rank or position of the Military Police member may be. The MPCC encouraged PS to reconsider its exclusion of supervisory personnel as subjects, especially when they are specifically named in complaints and they are representing the Military Police to the public. In response to the Commission’s Interim Report, the CFPM accepted the Commission’s findings and partially accepted the observation in this matter.

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