Facts and complaint
Two parties had a signed contract for the provision of day care services and when a disagreement arose the day-care provider gave formal notice that the contract was being terminated. During the course of discussions over the payment of fees owed and the provision of a receipt for fees paid the client (a military police member) made certain statements, which the day care provider perceived to be threatening. Following this, the day-care provider lodged a complaint against the member with his Military Police unit. At the time the complainant stated that she wanted to have a record if the military police member initiated any follow-up on his statements. Subsequently, the military police member forwarded a letter to the local Children's Aid Society (CAS) alleging that he had some serious concerns with the day-care provider. His allegation initiated an investigation of the day-care provider by the Society; however, the CAS investigation concluded that there were no problems with the operation of the day care service.
At this point, the day-care provider filed a conduct complaint alleging that the military police member had:
- retaliated against a complainant,
- had knowingly misrepresented and falsified information in a report,
- had used his Military Police status for a private matter, and
- had engaged in conduct likely to discredit the military and call into question the Military Police member's impartiality when carrying out his duties.
A Professional Standards investigator was tasked to look into the allegations and prepare a report
Decision of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal
In her letter of final disposition further to the Professional Standards investigation the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards supported the allegation that the subject member had retaliated against the complainant and by doing so had engaged in conduct likely to discredit the Military Police. However, the investigation did not support the allegation that the subject member had knowingly falsified a report nor had he used his Military Police status for a non-work related matter.
The complainant was not satisfied with the disposition of his complaint and requested that the Complaints Commission conduct a review.
Findings of the Complaints Commission
The National Defence Act specifies that the Complaints Commission's mandate is to review the conduct of Military Police members in the performance of their policing duties or functions. The Acting Chairperson of the Complaints Commission reviewed the file and noted that the subject member was acting as a private citizen and not as a Military Police member. As such, the allegations against the subject member did not directly relate to the performance of policing duties and functions of Military Police members as prescribed in the regulations made under the National Defence Act and the Complaints Commission, therefore, did not have the mandate to address the allegations. The Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards, however, did have the mandate to investigate, as the Military Police Professional Code of Conduct includes behaviour both on duty and off duty. The Acting Chairperson agreed that the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards had used the correct process to deal with the allegations.
The Acting Chairperson also noted that, although he was precluded from making a determination in the matter, he was pleased to have had the opportunity to review the file.
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