Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The state of "investigative journalism" in Canada.

In less than a month it will be the seven year anniversary since I sent my original email question to the Edmonton Police Service asking them how I could lay charges against my former babysitter, Mr. P.S..

It must be remembered that Mr. P.S. was convicted in 1984 for molesting an eight year old boy in Manitoba as well as in 1985 for molesting a nine year old boy on Canadian Forces Base Namao.

Shortly after the CFNIS closed  the investigation in 2011 with Petty Office Morris telling me via telephone call on November 4th, 2011 that the CFNIS "just couldn't find any evidence to indicate that Mr P.S. was capable of the crimes I accused him of", I started trying to contact the media.

The media in this country, I must say, just doesn't seem to have the appetite for investigative journalism. But then again, has it ever? The topic of sexual assault of women in the Canadian Armed Forces has been with us since the '80s. But coverage up until 2014 was usually just little "fluff" pieces of very little consequence.

And really, if you look at issues like the Catholic church, there were reports in the media going back to the '70s about "concerns" with some priests in the flock. Yet it wasn't until the late '90s that the number of cases coming forward were just too great for the media to ignore.

Or even look at the residential school fiasco in this country. The horrors of the residential school system had been known about since the mid 1900's. But, the media turned a blind eye to it because who was the media to question the Church.

I've been in contact with various reporters from various organizations, whom I will name and detail in future posts, but not a single one of them seem to be interested to stick their noses into the matter of child sexual abuse on Canadian Forces bases. The Canadian Forces couldn't receive a better free pass even if they asked for it.

The latest reporter that I had some invovlement with was Gloria Galloway of the Globe and Mail.

I first contacted Gloria on January 21st, 2018 in regard to her column titled "Canadian military makes headway on sex assault nearly three years after its #MeToo revelation" which is available at:

She wrote the column, so she should be well aware of how the military justice system worked or didn't work. And if she doesn't understand the shortcomings of the military justice system, then she should make every attempt to uncover those shortcomings and not just shrug and take the military at their word, or make faulty assumptions of how the military justice system works.

I'm going to share the contents of some of our emails, just so you can understand the wall of deafness that military dependants find themselves running up against. This will be broken up into three or four parts over the next couple of weeks.

My statements to her are underlined. Her replies are italicized.

1) Children lived in military communities located on Canadian Forces Bases. (vast majority of Canadian Public and journalists are unaware of this fact).

People may not be aware of that, but the fact that kids live on military bases is not news.

It should be news though. After seeing the military police dragged through the mud over the last few years for their ignorance and their incompetence, someone should be asking just who the hell is looking after the kids on the bases? If it's the same "solider first, police officer second" members of the CF Military Police and the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, someone should be asking how the hell we can trust them to properly investigate historical and current child sexual assault matters when the findings of the Fynes Inquiry shows quite clearly that the investigators in the CFNIS are still being ordered around like soldiers.
See Sgt. Matthew Ritco's testimony before the Fynes Inquiry.

2) Children were sometimes sexually abused on the bases by members of the military community or by other civilians living on the bases.

I agree that it is awful that kids were sexually abused on military bases – and your story is particularly awful – but we do know and have not proved that it was a systemic problem or that it is an ongoing problem. And it’s not like it has never been reported. McRae was charged and convicted and that was written about. It is likely true that you were just one of many, but we have not proved that a bunch of other kids were abused on military bases, or even just at Namao, and they are out there and still hurting. If we could prove that, I think we would have a story.

Her reply to my statement is actually pretty galling for a few reasons. I shared with her a copy of the recording I made of Mr. J.S.'s conversation with me in which he said that he never understood why his son, Mr. P.S., was the only boy required to testify against Captain McRae in 1980 and why none of the other 25 children the military police knew about on CFB Namao were required to testify. This, taken along with the contents of Legislative Summery LS-311E, which stated that commanding officers could summarily dismiss charges brought against their subordinates, often for very parochial reasons, should have raised some very serious concerns for her. I gave her a couple of newspaper articles from the time of the McRae court martial which lament the "wall of secrecy" that DND has thrown around the matter. I gave her the names of seven of the other children from CFB Namao that had been messed with by Captain Father Angus McRae and his lead altar boy Mr. P.S.. I even gave her the name of Brigadier General Roger Bazin as well as a Court Martial Appeal Court tribunal record in the matter of Regina vs. Sullivan. She never clued into the fact that three different men with connection to the Catholic Church,  on three different bases, in three different provinces, were accused, and in two cases convicted, of molesting male children of service members. It should be pointed out that all chaplains and priests in the Canadian Forces were officers and as such were members of the Canadian Forces. They all worked under the same chain of command.

I also shared with Ms. Galloway an email that I had received from the chaplaincy branch of the Canadian Forces stating that effective immediately (2006 was the date on the original email) the chaplaincy branch will only give out copies of baptismal papers for "legitimate needs". This, the email explains, was due to the number of lawsuits brought against the various archdioceses in Canada for sexual abuse.

In addition, I gave Gloria's contact information to two other former base brats who had been sexually abused on different bases as children. She promised one that she would set up an interview with her, but she never called her or even sent an email to apologize for missing the appointment. The other base brat was initially happy to have talked to Gloria, but now seems to have some reservations.

3) There is no victim support service in existence for adult survivors of military child sexual abuse. (the damage comes from more than just the abuse itself, also victims quite often reside in different provinces from where the crime occurred).

But there is support available for people who were abused as children, is there not? Why would it be necessary to have special support for kids abused on military bases – that is a real question, not rhetorical.

As I had explained to Gloria in a previous email. From October 1980 until April 1983, when I was 9 to 11 years old, I was having my brain literally fucked with by Canadian Forces Officer Captain Terry Totzke. Totzke was of the opinion that I liked what had happened on CFB Namao because I had allowed it to go on for so long without reporting it to anyone. Totzke told me that boys who like to be touched as I had been on CFB Namao or kiss other boys are mentally ill. Totzke also told me numerous times that he had the base military police watching me and that if they saw me kiss or touch another boy as I had been on CFB Namao, that I'd be sent off to the Alberta Hospital.
I explained to Gloria that Totzke would have been charged with evaluating soldiers ensnared within the homophobic policies as dictated by Canadian Forces Administrative Order 19-20 which dealt with the detection and disposal of homosexuals or others with sexual abnormalities and as such his reaction to me was obviously a result of him not being able to separate his work with soldiers from his work with children. The million dollar question is, how many other kids did Totzke screw with?

Also, having my own father bring the homophobic realities of the Canadian Forces into our house made dealing with the abuse from CFB Namao even that more difficult.
And, there was a reason why my family was moved 10km down the street from Canadian Forces Base Namao to Canadian Forces Base Greisbach, and it sure as hell wasn't because my father wanted to drive an extra 10km to and from the squadron every day. No, after I had been found being sexually abused by Mr. P.S. that one day in late May 1980, my life had become a living hell on CFB Namao. The only way the Canadian Forces felt they could deal with this was to move my family from CFB Namao to CFB Greisbach. If only things were that easy. As I explained to Gloria Galloway, the kids on CFB Greisbach knew who I was even before I got there as the grade 10 to grade 12 kids from both bases often took grade 10 and 12 classes at M.E. LaZerte, a public high school in Edmonton.

There is a reason why the Canadian Forces have specialized sexual trauma counselling available.

The military community often amplifies the effects of sexual abuse in ways in which the general public can't understand.

I have tried over the years to get counselling for what happened on CFB Namao as well as at the Denison Armoury in Toronto, but the counselling sessions usually come to a screeching halt when it's realized that unless the military aspect is dealt with, there never will be any progress on the sexual abuse side.

I will deal with more of Gloria Galloway's email in upcoming posts.

Other than dealing with Gloria Galloway, I probably won't be publishing too much  between now and August of 2018. But I will say that the 2015 re-activation of the failed 2011 CFNIS investigation into my allegations against a multi-time convicted child molester is "dead on arrival". I don't know why I placed any faith in Sgt. Tenaschuk. I should have known better. He's a soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces. And having grown up in the Canadian Forces, I should have known better, I really should have.

I followed the directions of the CFNIS Victim's Services Officer and I applied to the Alberta Victim's of Crime office to get funding to help with counselling. But the VOC office replied that they tried to communicate with the CFNIS and the CFNIS refused to provide them with any details. Seems that for whatever reason, the CFNIS refuses to go on record with any outside agency as saying that I was a victim of a multi-time convicted child molester on a Canadian Forces Base.


  1. Thank you Bobby Garnett Bees for your post. And yes I am a sexually assaulted base brat. I was 8 when I first noticed what was happening and 17 when it finally finished. But even though the abuse has stopped, the turmoil of the memories are with me daily. I understand your frustration with the Canadian Forces as I came forward with my report 20 years ago and nothing was done other than the inteview with the investigative military officers. And now there is Gloria. Will anything be achieved by us coming forward and exposing ourselves and if not why not is the question? So Bobbie again don't give up your right to speak the truth. I understand that truth and I also understand how our truth is falsified by the non recognition of the Canadian Forces to the crimes committed against us.

    1. Hi Anne, welcome to the club.
      If you came forward 20 years ago with your complaint, that would have been around 1997.
      This was right around the time of the Somalia Inquiry.
      The Somalia Inquiry had some very harsh language for the Canadian Forces Military Police and the Canadian Forces Special Investigation Unit.
      The Somalia Inquiry looked at the military justice system as it was back then and found that it was basically a joke. The Base Military Police were situated in the local chain of command, which is as bad as it sounds. The CFSIU really wasn't much better than the Base MPs were.

      The CFNIS was created in an attempt to clean up the military justice system, but things really haven't worked out as the CFNIS may be outside of the local chain of command, but the CFNIS are still in the chain of command starting with the Chief of Defence Staff. That's just the way the military works. And the investigators with the CFNIS are at all times "soldiers first, police officers second". There's simply no getting around the National Defence Act and the Queen's Regulations and Orders.