Interference Case MPCC‑2019‑023 Summary

The complainant alleged that a senior officer brought a halt to an investigation of a failure by members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to report an incident of significance to the Military Police (MP). This was alleged to be improper interference in a MP investigation.

Upon receipt of the complaint, the Military Police Complaints Commission’s (MPCC) requested disclosure of all relevant Military Police file materials from the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (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 witnesses.

The MPCC identified one subject of the interference complaint. At the time the complaint was submitted, he was a Military Police member, serving in the 2 Military Police Regiment.

The MPCC found that there was no duty imposed upon members of the CAF to report this matter to the Military Police in these circumstances. The MPCC also found that, even if there were such a duty, it was met in this instance as notice was provided to the Military Police. The allegation made by the complainant, therefore, was found to be unsubstantiated.

The MPCC made two recommendations. While the subject of this complaint had the authority to bring the failure to report inquiry to an end, the exercise of that authority was not properly documented. The MPCC recommended that those with the authority to direct investigations ensure that the reasons for their decisions are recorded. The MPCC also recommended that measures be taken to ensure there is a strong liaison between the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) and the Military Police Kingston Detachment. Such a liaison would help ensure the prompt reporting to the Military Police of offences allegedly committed at the RMC, along with any concerns about staff and student safety and security.

On March 22, 2022, the MPCC received a Notice of Action by the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) in response to the MPCC’s September 16, 2021 Interim Report. The CDS noted that the two MPCC recommendations related to policing matters and referred them to the CFPM for consideration. The CFPM responded to the MPCC recommendations in a letter dated May 5, 2022. The CFPM took steps to ensure that MPs were aware of their obligations under MP Orders to document their exercise of discretion in the conduct of MP investigations. The CFPM also directed steps to ensure effective liaison between the Kingston MP Detachment and the Royal Military College.

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