Registrar Public Interest Investigation into Military Police Investigations into Incidents at the Royal Military College of Canada (MPCC‑2020‑013) - Homepage
Military Police Complaints Commission makes 15 recommendations in a Public Interest Investigation into incidents at the Royal Military College of Canada
Ottawa May 31, 2022 – In its Final Report into a Public Interest Investigation (PII) publicly released today, the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) has called on the head of the Military Police to apologize to a female Officer Cadet and to the family of a male Officer Cadet for failures in its investigations into incidents involving criminal harassment and mental health issues which occurred at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC).
The PII was related to interactions between two Officer Cadets. In March 2019, a female Officer Cadet at RMC alleged that a male counterpart was harassing her. She told a member of the Military Police (MP) at the Kingston, Ontario, MP detachment that the male Officer Cadet had an obvious mental illness and that she feared for her safety.
Two months later, the male Officer Cadet alleged that he had given money to the female Officer Cadet, expecting a romantic relationship would develop, but that this had not happened. The MP member who interviewed him told him that he would “probably” face criminal charges for soliciting a sexual service. The male Officer Cadet subsequently attempted suicide. Following a second suicide attempt, he was put on life support. While he has been discharged, he remains medically compromised.
The Military Police did not lay any charges in connection with the incidents.
The case raised issues of such seriousness about the conduct of some Military Police members that the MPCC self-initiated a complaint for the first time in its history.
In initiating the complaint, the MPCC identified five issues of widespread public concern to guide its investigation. The MPCC’s Final Report identified serious deficiencies related to each of the five areas, and found that:
- The Military Police failed to take reasonable steps to address the mental health issues identified by the female Officer Cadet. The MPCC found that there was a “general lack of awareness of the mental health issue” by the investigating MP member and that the Military Police “inexplicably did not pursue even a rudimentary investigation.”
- The Military Police did not conduct a reasonable investigation into the allegations of criminal harassment. The Final Report notes that the investigating MP’s “lack of effort was […] perplexing,” and that his supervisor “closed the file without looking at the evidence that had been furnished by the female Officer Cadet.”
- The Military Police did not take reasonable steps after the female Officer Cadet told them that she feared for her safety. In its investigation the MPCC found that “the response to her concerns […] was to not speak with the individual allegedly putting the complainant at risk and to not undertake any other kind of investigation […] nor to undertake a risk assessment.”
- The Military Police did not conduct an appropriate investigation into the sexual offences allegedly committed by the female Officer Cadet. The Public Interest Investigation determined that the investigating MP member “was motivated by moral convictions as opposed to legal ones. He seems to have disapproved of the female Officer Cadet’s actions before his interview with her even started.”
- The Military Police failed to provide adequate oversight concerning the mental health and personal safety issues in both the criminal harassment and sexual offences investigations. The MPCC concluded that, “[t]he facts uncovered during this Public Interest Investigation have raised serious questions as to the presence of […] supervision within the Kingston detachment at that time.”
In its Final Report, the MPCC made 15 recommendations that address a wide range of issues identified in its investigation, including the need:
- To review Military Police training at all levels in the areas of victims’ rights and services,
- To put in place a risk management strategy to help protect persons who may be in a position of jeopardy,
- To add training on criminal harassment to the curriculum of the Military Police Academy, and
- For training to enhance and facilitate consultation with legal counsel by the Military Police.
The MPCC also recommended that the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (head of the Military Police) apologize on behalf of the Military Police to the female Officer Cadet and the family of the male Officer Cadet for the failures in the investigations related to the incidents that occurred between the two cadets.
The MPCC is pleased that the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal accepted all the MPCC’s findings and recommendations including the partially accepted recommendation. The MPCC is also satisfied with the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal’s responses and actions taken to implement the MPCC’s recommendations, most notably the issuance of the apology letters to the female and male Officer Cadets.
The Commission’s Final Report into the Public Interest Investigation is available on the MPCC website.
For information, please contact:Michael Tansey
Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada
|March 22, 2022||Final report issued following a public interest investigation (available in PDF format only, 1.72 MB)|
|September 29, 2021||Interim Report issued|
|July 21, 2021||Interviews concluded|
|January 21, 2021||Additional subject named by MPCC and notice sent out|
|December 18, 2020||Notification to subjects|
|November 30, 2020||Witness interviews commenced|
|October 20, 2020||Decision to Conduct a Public Interest Investigation|
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