Military Police Complaints Commission

Military Police Complaints Commission

March 05, 2015 08:30 ET

Military Police Complaints Commission Challenges New DND Policy in Federal Court

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 5, 2015) - The Military Police Complaints Commission is challenging an initiative by the head of the Military Police to block publication of the Military Police's response to the Commission's Interim Report on a Public Interest Hearing (PIH) into complaints by the parents of Cpl Stuart Langridge, who committed suicide in 2008.

Cpl Langridge committed suicide at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton on March 15, 2008. His parents, Sheila and Shaun Fynes, filed a formal complaint with the Military Police Complaints Commission about investigations into matters related to his death conducted by the Canadian Forces National Investigations Service (CFNIS).

The Military Police Complaints Commission held a Public Interest Hearing (PIH) into the Fynes complaint that began on March 27, 2012, hearing evidence from 90 witnesses. The Commission submitted its Interim Report on the Fynes PIH to the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) on May 1, 2014, and is preparing to release its Final Report on March 10, 2015.

On December 16, 2014, the CFPM delivered to the Commission its Notice of Action (NOA) responding to the Interim Report on the Fynes PIH. The NOA represents the Military Police's position on the Commission's findings, whether they will be accepted, and its responses about how, if it all, it proposes to implement the Commission's recommendations.

In previous Public Interest Hearings, the Notice of Action has been included in the Commission's Final Report, however in this instance the Military Police has instituted a new policy initiative designed to prevent publication of the NOA. This initiative was accomplished by maintaining a security designation of "Protected B" for the NOA. "Protected B" is an internal Government of Canada designation intended to prevent the publication of sensitive personal, private or business information whose publication could result in "grave injury." A security designation of "Protected B" does not allow the Commission to release the NOA or to discuss the details of its contents publicly.

The Commission has filed an Application for Judicial Review with the Federal Court of Canada challenging the jurisdiction of the CFPM to prevent publication of the NOA.

The Commission's Application for Judicial Review asserts that the initiative to block publication is wrong in law and that publication of the NOA is important to ensure that the Parties and the public are aware of the Military Police's response to the Commission's findings and recommendations.

The Military Police Complaints Commission was established in 1999 by the Government of Canada to provide independent civilian oversight of the Canadian Forces Military Police. By reviewing and investigating complaints concerning Military Police conduct and by investigating allegations of interference in investigations, it promotes and ensures the highest standards of Military Police conduct and provides for greater public accountability by the Military Police and the Chain of Command.

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