Fortin Public Interest Investigation (MPCC‑2023‑006) – Decision to Continue Public Interest Investigation Despite Withdrawal of the Complaint by the Complainant


On April 20, 2023, I decided, as Chairperson of the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC), to conduct a public interest investigation into the conduct complaint filed by Major‑General Dany Fortin (the Complainant) in January 2023.1

On October 13, 2023, the Complainant formally withdrew his complaint through a letter from his legal counsel.

For the reasons that follow, I have decided that the MPCC will continue its public interest investigation into the above‑referenced conduct complaint, despite the withdrawal of the complaint by the Complainant.


The complaint is about the handling of a Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) investigation of a sexual assault involving the Complainant, who was the subject of the investigation.

In March 2023, the Complainant filed a statement of claim in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice naming several senior officials and military officers, including the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal, as defendants following his acquittal of the sexual assault charge at his trial in December 2022.

On October 13, 2023, the MPCC received a letter signed by the Complainant’s counsel, Thomas G. Conway, advising the MPCC that the Complainant and the Department of National Defence issued a joint statement on October 12, 2023, which states, “[t]he legal proceedings commenced by Major-General Fortin have been resolved. The parties will have no further comment on the matter.”2

The letter indicates that “given the circumstances,” the Complainant “must” withdraw his complaint. The letter notes, however, that should I decide that the public interest investigation must continue despite the Complainant’s withdrawal of the complaint, the Complainant will fully participate in the process.

Consideration and Decision

Under the National Defence Act, I may cause an investigation to be held in respect to a complaint even if it has been withdrawn.3

A number of important considerations led to my April 20, 2023, decision to declare a public interest investigation: the seriousness of the allegations; the alleged involvement of senior officials and military police members; and the public interest issues raised by the complaint. These considerations are still present and have not been diminished, nor have the allegations at the heart of this complaint lodged with the MPCC been resolved or rendered moot by the termination of the civil proceedings initiated by the Complainant.

Accordingly, I have decided that the MPCC will continue its public interest investigation into the above-referenced conduct complaint.

Updates on the progress of the investigation will be posted in the "Timeline" on the MPCC’s website on this public interest investigation.

SIGNED in Ottawa, Ontario, on this 24th day of October 2023.

Original signed by:

Me Tammy Tremblay, MSMCDLLM

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