2019 Annual Report | Two Decades of Oversight: Effecting Cultural Change in Policing
May 27, 2020 – Ottawa – Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada
The Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada (MPCC or Commission)’s 2019 Annual Report, tabled in Parliament today by the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, provides a retrospective of 20 years of civilian oversight into Canada’s Military Police.
The Commission’s 20th anniversary was the focus of a one-day symposium on December 3, 2019, which featured a panel discussion on the challenges of the future faced by both military and civilian police and civilian police oversight agencies. Panelists included Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Commissioner Brenda Lucki, Commodore Geneviève Bernatchez, Judge Advocate General (JAG), Brigadier-General Simon Trudeau, Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM), Brigadier-General (retired) Robert Delaney (former CFPM), and Professor Kent Roach from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Former MPCC Chairperson Glenn Stannard moderated the discussion.
Over the past year, the MPCC continued to make steady progress on two Public Interest Investigations (PII).
The Commission concluded witness and subject interviews, requested additional information and documents from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the MPCC’s investigators completed the Investigation Report in the PII into an anonymous complaint into the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan in 2010-11. The Commission Panel is currently drafting the Interim Report into the complaint.
Throughout 2019, Commission investigators made numerous requests for additional disclosure from the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) in the Beamish PII. The investigation, into the adequacy of a Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) investigation of a historical complaint about torture and abuse of CAF members during training, was launched in 2018. Since then, investigators have conducted 23 witness interviews. New witnesses and an additional subject of the complaint were identified in 2019 as the investigation progressed.
The 2019 Annual Report, Two Decades of Oversight: Effecting Cultural Change in Policing includes summaries of the Commission’s reviews and investigations of complaints, updates on financial management and Information Management/ Information Technology activities, and highlights the Commission’s commitment to the mental health and wellness of its staff. In addition, the Report provides a summary of Commission milestones over its first two decades of operations.
“One key challenge facing both military and civilian police services is how to determine where to set the bar for expectations about police response. This and other important questions will be the subject of study and discussions as we enter our third decade.”
Hilary C. McCormack
Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada
- The MPCC was created in 1999 as an independent civilian oversight of the Canadian Forces Military Police.
- During 2019, the MPCC opened 111 new files. The Commission dealt with a total of 166 complaints during the year and issued reports, decisions or rulings on 25 files, up from 23 in 2018.
- Over 91% of recommendations made by the MPCC to the Canadian Armed Forces over the last four years have been accepted. 100% of recommendations made by the MPCC to the Canadian Armed Forces were accepted in 2019.
- Annual visits to military locations across Canada increase awareness of the MPCC’s mandate and activities, build relationships with stakeholders and provide an opportunity to respond to questions and concerns about the complaints process.
- The Commission’s Outreach activities focussed on military bases in Ontario in 2019, with visits to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston, CFB North Bay, the Military Police (MP) detachment of the National Defence Headquarters Carling and the CFNIS in Ottawa, CFB Petawawa and CFB Toronto.
- Collaboration with the National Defence leadership, the CFPM, the military chain of command and the Military Police community help to make the complaints process more efficient and effective. In 2019, the MPCC Chairperson continued the practice of annual meetings with the CFPM.
- In September 2019, the Chairperson of the MPCC received an in-depth briefing on the curriculum of the Military Police Academy. The day-long session was very productive and informative and gave the Chairperson the opportunity to observe practical training scenarios.
- The mental health and wellness of staff is a priority for the MPCC. In 2019, the MPCC expanded its services for employees by holding mental wellness workshops, and highlighted key events such as the Bell Let’s Talk Day, Mental Health Week, the Mental Illness Awareness Week and the World Mental Health Day.
- The MPCC also continued to create an accessible work environment by addressing barriers and proactively addressing accommodation requirements to allow the full participation of its employees in the work environment.
Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada
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