Beamish Public Interest Investigation (MPCC‑2016‑040) - Homepage

The Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada (MPCC) is conducting a public interest investigation (PII) into a historical complaint that alleges torture and abuse of former CAF members.

In December 2016, the MPCC received a complaint from counsel for Mr. Jeffrey Beamish, a former CAF member. The complaint relates to a CFNIS investigation into alleged torture during training exercises that occurred at the Infantry Battle School at CFB Wainwright between October 1983 and March 1984.

Mr. Beamish alleges that while participating in an exercise that included a Prisoner of War scenario, he and approximately 32 other recruits were stripped and placed in prison cells that were too small to allow them to move or sit. The complaint further alleges that, over the following 24 to 48 hours, the naked recruits were sprayed through the jail door bars with cold water from a hose while the windows were left open, letting in the outside air. It is alleged that the temperature outside was between -15°C and -30°C.

The complaint alleges that this exercise resulted in Mr. Beamish suffering from major depressive disorder, PTSD, night terrors, paranoia and adjustment issues.

Mr. Beamish made a complaint to the Military Police (MP), who referred the matter to the CFNIS. In August 2016, the CFNIS member in charge of conducting the investigation called the complainant to advise him that the investigation was closed.

The complaint is about the conduct and performance of the CFNIS investigator and specifically alleges “professional negligence, incompetence, and failing to investigate serious criminal allegations.”

On April 11, 2018, Hilary McCormack, Chairperson of the Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada, decided that the MPCC will conduct a public interest investigation into this complaint. She also noted that other CFNIS members were involved in the decision to close the CFNIS investigation, and identified them, as well as the CFNIS investigator, as subjects of the complaint.

Updates on the progress of the investigation will be posted in the "Timeline".

For information, please contact:

Michael Tansey
Communications Advisor
Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada
Telephone: 613-487-3765
Cell: 613-851-4587
commission@mpcc-cppm.gc.ca
www.mpcc-cppm.gc.ca

Timeline

Beamish Public Interest Investigation Timeline
Date Event
January 28, 2021 Chairperson approves Investigation Assessment Report. Drafting of the MPCC’s Interim Report commences.
November 9, 2020 Investigation Assessment Report submitted to the Commission Chairperson for review and deliberation, with a view to the preparation of the MPCC’s Interim Report to the CF Provost Marshal.
October 6, 2020 MPCC investigative team completes final witness interview. The team proceeds with the preparation of an Investigation Assessment Report.
July 20, 2020 Final response from CFPM to request for search for additional MP records initially requested on January 16, 2019: CFPM unable to access further such records
May 29, 2020 Letter sent to CFPM providing further details on request for search for additional MP records, further to previous letters of January 16, 2019, April 25, 2019 and January 27, 2020.
May 20, 2020 In-person witness interviews resume, with appropriate safety precautions in place
Mid-March 2020 With the implementation of emergency measures in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, some witness interviews which had been scheduled to be conducted in person had to be cancelled and rescheduled, due to restrictions on travel and on interpersonal contact. Other interviews proceeded by telephone. The emergency situation also slowed the processing of disclosure requests.
January 27, 2020 Letter sent to CFPM to narrow scope of search for additional MP records relative to disclosure request of January 16 and April 25, 2019
January 8, 2020 Response to disclosure request of December 16, 2019 received from Canadian Army Doctrine & Training Centre.
December 16, 2019 Request for disclosure of further information and materials sent to CFPM.
October 9, 2019 Disclosure of the information and documents requested on September 6, 2019 provided to the Commission by the CF MP Group
September 10, 2019 Portion of the materials requested in the Commission's January 16 and April 25, 2019 letters provided to the Commission by the CF MP Group. Information also provided to the Commission about searches being conducted to locate additional materials
September 6, 2019 Request sent to the CFPM for disclosure of additional information and materials
April 25, 2019 Letter sent to the CF MP Group reiterating the Commission’s January 16, 2019 request to have Military Police records searched to locate additional relevant materials
April 25, 2019 CFNIS member involved in supervising the CFNIS investigation identified as an additional subject of the complaint and notified by the Commission
April 5, 2019 Disclosure of a portion of the documents requested on January 16, 2019 provided to the Commission by the CF MP Group
April 1, 2019 Letter received from the CF MP Group advising that no records were found in response to the Commission’s disclosure request of December 13, 2018
March 29, 2019 Letter received from the CF MP Group providing information in response to the Commission’s January 17, 2019 request for disclosure
January 17, 2019 Request sent to the CFPM for disclosure of additional information and materials
January 16, 2019 Letter sent to the CF MP Group requesting that Military Police records be searched to locate additional relevant materials, further to the receipt by the Commission of documents provided by the complainant
January 11, 2019 Letter received from the CF MP Group advising that no records were found in response to the Commission’s disclosure request of December 10, 2018
December 20, 2018 Disclosure of the documents requested on December 4, 2018 provided to the Commission by the CAF
December 13, 2018 Request sent to the CFPM for disclosure of additional DND/CAF records believed to be relevant to the PII
December 10, 2018 Request sent to the CFPM for disclosure of additional Military Police records
December 4, 2018 Disclosure request sent to the CAF for access to documents relevant to the PII
November 28, 2018 Witness interviews begin
November 15, 2018 Disclosure of the documents requested on October 3, 2018 provided to the Commission by the CFPM
October 3, 2018 Request for additional disclosure sent to the CFPM
September 5, 2018 Investigative assessment and plan approved by the Commission Chairperson
April 11, 2018 Decision to conduct a public interest investigation
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