Sunday, November 26, 2017

Legislative Summary LS-311E

Cover Page of LS-311E
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History of LS-311E
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The scary language of LS-311E
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As a result of the Somalia Inquiry, Parliament in 1997 started down the road of fixing the National Defence Act via Bill C25 "An Act To Make Amendments To The National Defence Act".
Bill C25 was passed in 1998.

In November of 1997, commanding officers in the Canadian Armed Forces were required for the first time in the history of the Canadian military to obtain the opinion of a legal officer (military term for a lawyer) before dismissing charges that had been brought against their subordinate.

In December of 1998, with the passage of Bill C25, the requirement for commanding officers to conduct summary investigations AFTER the military police had laid charges was removed from the National Defence Act.

In a nutshell, what this means is that PRIOR to November of 1997, the commanding officer of an accused member of the Canadian Forces did NOT require the approval of a military lawyer prior to dismissing any charge that had been brought against their subordinate.

And this was not limited to charges of a military nature, the commanding officer could also summarily dismiss charges of a civilian nature that had been laid against their subordinate.

As Legislative Summary LS-311E explains, it was section 70 and section 130 that allowed for the Canadian Armed Forces to conduct service tribunals for "civilian" crimes under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Section 70 of the current National Defence Act allows the Canadian Armed Forces to conduct a service tribunal for all criminal code crimes EXCEPT to following:
(a) Murder
(b) Manslaughter
(c) Child kidnapping or abduction.

Prior to 1998 The Canadian Armed Forces were allowed to conduct a service tribunal for all criminal code crimes EXCEPT the following:
(a)Murder
(b)Manslaughter
(c) Sexual Assault.
(d) Sexual assault with a weapon
(e) Aggravated sexual assault
(f) Child kidnapping or abduction

And prior to 1985 under Section 60 of the 1970 National Defence Act the Canadian Armed Forces were allowed to conduct a service tribunal for all criminal code crimes EXCEPT the following:
(a) Murder
(b) Manslaughter
(c) Rape.

And remember, rape was not a crime that could be committed against a male. The language of the Criminal Code of Canada prior to 1985 made rape a crime that could only be committed by a male against a female. In 1985 rape ceased to be a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada. It was replaced by Sexual Assault. Sexual assault was then defined as a crime that could be perpetrated against a female or a male.

Because the Canadian Forces were prevented from conducting a service tribunal for the crime of "rape" prior to 1985, girls and women who were sexually assaulted on base by military personnel had their matters heard in a civilian court of law, that is if the commanding officer of the accused didn't summarily dismiss the charges that had been brought against their subordinate.

On the other hand, boys and men who had been buggered, or who had been the victims of gross indecency on a Canadian Forces Base by a member of the Canadian Forces would have their matter dealt with in a courts martial. Again that's if the commanding officer of the accused didn't summarily dismiss that charges brought against their subordinate.

So, prior to 1985, boys who were sexually assaulted on Canadian Forces Bases by military personnel were truly at the mercy of a defective and homophobic "justice" system.



Section 130 of the current National Defence Act reads as follows:

Service trial of civil offences

130. (1) An Act of Omission
(a) that takes place in Canada and is punishable under Part XII of this Act, the Criminal Code or any other Act of Parliament, or
(b) that takes place outside of Canada, and would, if it had taken place in Canada, be punishable under Part XII of this Act, the Criminal Code or any other Act of Parliament,
is an offence under this Part and every person convicted thereof is liable to suffer punishment as provided in subsection (2)

Section 130 in the current National Defence Act was Section 120 of the 1970 National Defence Act.


In the Canadian justice system, just as is the same in many other jurisdictions around the world, once charges have been dismissed against an accused, the concept of "Double Jeopardy" comes in to play, meaning that once a commanding officer in the Canadian Armed Forces dismissed rape, sexual assault, buggery or gross indecency charges that had been brought against their subordinate, those charges could never be brought against the accused at a later date no matter the age of the victim at the time or the severity of the crime.


Why would a commanding officer do such a thing?

Well, from first hand experience I now know that the Canadian Forces Military Police and the Canadian Forces Special Investigations Unit were well aware of the total number of victims that had been abused by Canadian Forces Officer Captain Father Angus McRae and his lead altar boy P.S..

In July of 2015, I had a telephone call with both the person who had been my babysitter on CFB Namao as well as his father. They both live together in a southern Ontario town.

In February of 2015, I had been notified of the arrest of the person who had been my babysitter. He had been arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement.

having confirmation of the whereabouts of the babysitter, I tried to contact him but instead I reached his father.

J.S. and I had an interesting telephone conversation, which I recorded.

According to J.S., the father of P.S., just after his son P.S. gave Captain Father Angus McRae's name to the military police as part of their investigation into the actions of P.S. with younger children on Canadian Forces Base Namao, a military police officer informed J.S. that they had the names of over 25 children that had been abused by Captain McRae.

Yet, according to J.S., in the aftermath of the Captain McRae fiasco, his family had been posted off CFB Namao and sent to CFB Petawawa in Ontario. Upon his family's arrival at CFB Petawawa, the Canadian Forces informed J.S. that his son was required to fly back to CFB Namao to testify against Captain McRae. As J.S. would discover, his son P.S. was the only boy out of 25 that was required to testify against McRae. No other charges had proceeded to court martial.

The fact that charges had been dropped had been mentioned to me back on November 27th, 2011  when I spoke to a man from St. Albert who had been a military police officer on CFB Namao and was very familiar with the Captain Father Angus McRae / P.S.. fiasco.

As it turns out, an Access to Information request that I had sent to the Department of National Defence had indicated that Captain Father Angus McRae's commanding officer was the Base Commander of Canadian Forces Base Namao, Colonel D. Munro.

Why were the charges against Captain McRae limited to just the crimes he committed against P.S.?
Saving face would be the best reason I could think of.
Can you imagine how embarrassing this would have been, not just for Colonel D. Munro, but for the Canadian Forces as well to have the public discover that children living on a military defence establishment were not safe from a pair of sexual predators within the defence community.
This would have been a scandal that the Canadian Forces would not have tolerated under any circumstance.
And you know that National Defence Head Quarters in Ottawa was in on this as according to a few newspaper articles that were written at the time, the court martial of Captain Father Angus McRae, which occurred on July 18th, 1980, had been moved "in camera" on orders from Ottawa.
And no, protecting the identities of Captain McRae's victims was not the goal of moving the court martial in-camera as the National Defence Act of the time only allowed court martial trials to be moved in-camera for "public safety, defence or public morals". This is via section 157 of the 1970 National Defence Act which reads:

Admission to Courts Martial
Trials Public
157(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), courts martial shall be public and, to the extent that accommodations permits, the public shall be admitted to the trial.
Exception
(2) Where the authority who convenes a court martial considers that it is expedient in the interests of public safety, defence or public morals that the public should be excluded during the whole or any part of the trials, either or them may make an order to that effect, and any such order shall be recorded in the minutes of the proceedings of the court martial.

It should also be pointed out that although Section 157 of the 1970 National Defence Act gives the public the right to attended a courts martial in reality these courts martial almost always took place on a Canadian Forces Base or other defence establishment. Access to the Canadian Forces Base or Defence Establishment was not always assured under the Defence Establishment Trespass Regulation.

Classic military catch 22, eh?


So, how many children were sexually abused on base and had their matters swept under the rug by defects in the National Defence Act?
No one knows.
And from the sounds of it, no one cares.