Conduct Case Summary MPCC‑2017‑035
On August 25, 2017, a complaint was received by the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) regarding the conduct of a Military Police (MP) member. In her complaint, the complainant claimed that she was invited to attend the graduation ceremony of her son on August 17, 2017 at a Canadian Forces facility. At the ceremony, she says she was asked to step aside by the subject MP member. The complainant alleged that the subject informed her that she was not allowed to get near to her son and that she had “slipped through their security.” He gave two reasons for asking her to leave her son’s graduation ceremony. One was that she was in violation of a court order requiring her to refrain from contacting her son without the permission of the boy’s father. He also stated that the location of the ceremony was designated by regulation as a “controlled access area” and she had been specifically barred from it by the commanding officer (CO) prior to the events of August 17, 2017.
On August 30, 2017, the MPCC forwarded the complaint to the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) Military Police Group, Office of Professional Standards (PS) for investigation pursuant to subsection 250.26(1) of the National Defence Act (NDA). PS framed the allegations against the MP member as follows: One was that the MP member wrongly denied the complainant’s request to watch her son’s graduation parade; the second was that the MP member wrongly threatened to arrest the complainant if she did not leave the graduation parade.
On March 28, 2018, the then Deputy Commander (DComd) wrote to all parties that the complainant’s allegations had been found to be unsubstantiated. On April 19, 2018, the complainant requested that the MPCC review the PS decision pursuant to subsection 250.31(1) of the NDA. In her request for review, the complainant denied that any part of the family court order was violated. She also stated that she did not understand why she was threatened with arrest if she did not leave as she was not notified that she was not to attend at the location of the ceremony.
The MPCC derives its jurisdiction from subsection 250.18(1) of the NDA, which 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 th[a]t section in regulations made by the Governor in Council.”
The term “policing duties or functions” is then defined in section 2 of the Complaints About the Conduct of Members of the Military Police Regulations, (P.C. 1999‑2065) (the Regulations), enacted pursuant to the National Defence Act. The legislative definition provided in the Regulations is as follows:
“2. (1) For the purpose of subsection 250.18(1) of the Act, any of the following, if performed by a member of the military police, are policing duties or functions:
- the conduct of an investigation;
- the rendering of assistance to the public;
- the execution of a warrant or another judicial process;
- the handling of evidence;
- the laying of a charge;
- attendance at a judicial proceeding;
- the enforcement of laws;
- responding to a complaint; and
- the arrest or custody of a person.
(2) For greater certainty, 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.”
The MPCC concluded that the subject was carrying out a security duty, not a policing duty or function. He was seeing to the well-being of the complainant’s son and was also carrying out a security function in directing the complainant to leave the graduation ceremony. As such, the MPCC declined to assert jurisdiction over this complaint.
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