Facts and Complaint
A civilian filed a conduct complaint against two members of the Military Police for alleged harassment and unfair care of an employee regarding the posting of his son to another military base.
The National Defence Act
Section 250.18(1) of the Act states that “
any person... may make a complaint... about the conduct of a member of the Military Police in the performance of any of the policing duties or functions that are prescribed for the purposes of this section in regulations...”. If it is determined that the actions that are the subject of this complaint are policing duties or functions, then the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal is mandated to deal with the complaint in the first instance. If, however, the actions of the subject members are not determined to be policing duties or functions, then the Complaints Commission has no jurisdiction to review the complaint.
Disposition by the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards
The Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards was of the opinion that the issues surrounding the complaint did not relate to a policing duty or function but rather to administrative issues within the chain of command. It was explained to the complainant that a duty or function performed by a member of the Military Police that relates to administration, training or military operations that result from established military custom or practice is not a policing duty or function. Therefore, the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards felt that it was not within her mandate to investigate and a Professional Standards investigation was not ordered. However, the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards did forward the complaint to the Assistant Deputy Minister - Human Resources for action.
Request for Review by the Complaints Commission
The complainant then filed a request for review with the Complaints Commission, as he was not satisfied with the disposition of the matter. After requesting and receiving from the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards the information relevant to the complaint, the Chairperson of the Complaints Commission delegated the responsibility for the handling of this file to a Member of the Complaints Commission.
Conclusion of the Member of the Complaints Commission
After reviewing the materials and information, the findings of the Complaints Commission Member were similar to the conclusions of the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards. The decision to post the Military Police member to another base was an administrative decision taken by the Base Military Police Officer. The posting of a Canadian Forces employee is not a policing duty or function but rather results from established military custom or practice. Therefore, it is not within the jurisdiction of the Complaints Commission to address the complaint. The proper forum for resolving such issues is by means of a grievance process or through the Ombudsman and/or the appropriate human resource coordinator. The complainant was referred to these services.
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