MPCC-2012-010

The complainant is a former member of the Canadian Forces (CF). While posted at Canadian Forces Base in the 1980s he was involved in an altercation outside a local drinking establishment. He was seriously injured in this incident. The complainant alleges he received substandard care by military authorities following this incident and the Chain of Command prevented him from receiving proper care for his injuries. He believes the actions or lack of action on the part of the military following his injury amounted to Torture or another offence under the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC) or the National Defence Act (NDA).

In 2010, he made a verbal report to the RCMP regarding the incident. The RCMP notified the Canadian Forces National Investigative Service, Western Region (CFNIS WR), as the complaint fell under Military Police (MP) jurisdiction.

After reviewing the documentation provided by the complainant and interviewing numerous witnesses, including the complainant, the CFNIS finished its investigation in 2012, concluding there were no grounds to support the allegation of Torture as set out in s. 269.1 CCC or Negligent Performance of Duties as set out in s.124 of the NDA. It was also noted the latter charge under the NDA could not be pursued, as the limitation period applicable at the time of the alleged incident had long since expired.

In his complaint and his request for review, the complainant took issue with the adequacy of the CFNIS investigation, including an allegation that there were witnesses the CFNIS had failed either to interview or identify. He also alleged the inadequacy of the investigation was an attempt to cover up the facts of his case in order to hide the fact he was tortured.

Following its review and investigation of the complaint, the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) concluded the allegations were not substantiated. The MPCC noted that the MP investigators had interviewed a number of potentially relevant witnesses suggested by the complainant, and also reviewed the complainant's CF medical and training records. It was not necessary that the investigators interview all witnesses, or pursue all lines of inquiry, suggested by the complainant. In the MPCC's view, the MP investigators pursued the complainant's criminal complaint with reasonable diligence in the circumstances.

Indeed, the MPCC considers the CFNIS investigation continued long after the CFNIS had determined there was no viable charge. The MPCC recommended the CFPM initiate a review of the specific decisions related to this CFNIS investigation in order to examine why the investigation continued for so long after it was determined there was no viable charge to pursue.

As an observation, the MPCC noted there was an inordinate time-gap in communications between the CFNIS and the complainant at one point during the CFNIS investigation. The MPCC suggested that every 30 days would be a reasonable time frame for updating a complainant on the progress of an investigation.

Date modified: