MPCC-2010-010

The complainant asked for assistance from the Military Police (MP) Detachment at a local military base with respect to alleged harassment related to a civilian tenancy dispute involving himself as landlord and a family which included a member of the Canadian Forces (CF). The former tenant family had left the rental property and were living at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Greenwood at the time of the relevant events. Although the assigned MP member informed all parties that this was a civil matter not within the jurisdiction of the MP, he involved himself as interlocutor to attempt to assist the parties.

It is alleged by the complainant that during a telephone conversation between him and the MP member, the MP member threatened to arrest, yelled at and berated the complainant. In addition, the complainant alleges that the MP member attempted to influence the outcome of the tenancy dispute before the Provincial Tenancy Board by telephoning the adjudicator in the matter. The MP member denied the allegations.

The telephone call between the complainant and the MP member was not recorded; however, the recording of the call to the adjudicator was available.

The Commission conducted its review and investigated the complaints. The Commission found that, while both parties raised their voices during the telephone call, the subject MP member did improperly order the complainant to retract a letter in which the MP’s role was misstated and left the impression with the complainant, directly or indirectly, that he would be subject to arrest if he failed to do so. Moreover, the contents of the letter over which the MP took issue, do not appear to disclose an offence, and certainly not one over which the MP would have had jurisdiction. There was, however, insufficient evidence to determine that the subject MP’s conduct amounted to yelling at and “berating” the complainant, although it is evident that the MP was displeased with the complainant’s actions in sending the letter and that he had developed a certain amount of animosity towards him by the time of the conversation in question.

With respect to the allegation that the MP member had attempted to influence the outcome of the tenancy dispute before the Provincial Tenancy Board, the Commission found that the call to the adjudicator was inappropriate and unnecessary. While the Commission found there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the specific motivation of the MP member was to influence the outcome of the dispute, the Commission did find that the MP member exceeded his policing authority and that his intervention constituted an inappropriate and unprofessional intervention.

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