ARCHIVED - Allegations Against the Canadian Forces - Appendix IV

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Appendix IV : Memorandum from Lieutenant-General William Leach

June 17, 1998

In his memorandum, Lieutenant-General Leach wrote to then Colonel Samson:


  1. I am writing this statement at 1330 hrs 17 jun 1998. I must get all my recollections and thoughts down quickly so this may appear to be rambling but speed is important now and neatness can come later. I will group the facts not chronologically by time but as this event has unfolded.
  2. Friday 12 Jun -1045 hrs Wednesday 17 Jun 
    1. A news conference on Gender Integration originally scheduled for 12 Jun was rescheduled for 17 Jun.
    2. On Friday I was told by my staff that Mr. Scott Taylor wanted to have a one-on-one with me. I assumed that it must have something to do with the issue at hand but no decision was made on meeting him.
    3. On Monday 15 Jun, I discussed the matter with my staff and it was decided that I should meet Mr. Taylor before the news conference.
    4. On Tuesday 16 Jun, I met alone with Mr. Taylor for 20-30 minutes. Initially I had one of my PA officers in the office with me but Mr. Taylor seemed reluctant to talk so I asked the PA officer to leave.
    5. Mr. Taylor asked me if I could recall a harassment case in Kingston in mid-1996b when I would have had responsibilities for Kingston as both the DCOMD for LFC and as Comd 1 CDN DIV. He offered more detail when I appeared confused and suggested that it would have involved a "senior officer" and it would have had to do with a happening on 3 May 96. When I still drew a blank he continued that something else had happened in Dec 95. We were going nowhere.
    6. I then told Mr. Taylor that I would do some searching when I was in Kingston in PM 17 Jun/18Jun. He told me that if he had anything to jog my memory he would fax it to my office. When we parted we agreed that I would get back to him early next week (22-23 Jun). As an aside, I told him that I might do something as simple as look through the log of CFB Kingston harassment investigations for 1996 to see If I could figure out what I was after.
  3. Wednesday 17 Jun 
    1. When I arrived in the office at 0740 hrs I was told that Mr. Taylor had called to say that he had made a mistake in referring to "RMC" and that he was really talking about CLFCSC. He also mentioned to my staff, although they did not tell me, that he was going to fax something to me before the 1000 hrs news conference.
    2. At approximately 1050 hrs, 10 minutes prior to my statement to the news conference, I was told that Mr. Taylor had delivered an envelope that he wanted me to read before my public statement -10 minutes remained. I said “no” to my staff and told them that I would look at it afterwards.
    3. Two things happened during the news conference. 
      1. During my statement Mr. Taylor walked up and placed folded papers on the table in front of me. I did not look at them until after I was out of the room after question period. The contents of the envelope from Mr. Taylor were not seen by me until I returned to my office. The item was a 2 page memo which I have enclosed here.
      2. The second item was when the last questioner was Michel Drapeau. He had been talking to both Scott Taylor and Art Hanger earlier and I sensed an ambush coming. He mentioned, in veiled speech, the visit of 16 Jun, wondered what my answer was and asked if I would commented (sic). I offered a generic response and said that there would be more to come.
    1. The memo given to me by Scott Taylor is enclosed. The hand-written notes on the top right of page and beside subpara 7.b. on page 2 must belong to Scott Taylor.
    2. I do not recall ever having seen the enclosed memo. I do recall some of the thoughts that are in it but in the context of another document that I will mention later.
    3. I note that the memo is dated 9 Jul 96. At the time LFC HQ in St-Hubert was in chaos, getting ready to close and relocate the HQ to NDHQ. I was working out of both ends (St-Hubert and NDHQ) because it had already been agreed that I would be the advance man in NDHQ. To this day I know that we probably dropped a few things in the move, but this memo rings no bells at all.
    4. Noting that the enclosed memo is signed by Capt B Poulin, I wish to recall three things with respect to Capt Poulin which I was personally handling. 
      1. His posting. There was a fight going on over whether he should go "back to the artillery" or to NDHQ where we wanted him to go. I became the mediator and he was posted to Ottawa -where he wanted to be.
      2. Education Reimbursement. There was a battle going on over the reimbursement for his post-graduate education. I got directly involved and this issue was not resolved until early 1998 -in his favourwith my involvement throughout.
      3. His Critique of his CLFCSC Course. Capt Poulin had attended the course and was not pleased with a number of aspects of it. I encouraged him to give me his critique because we were re-writing the course and all views were welcome. I recall that he had comments about not only the course content but about DS orientation and qualifications and about the leadership style and habits of the commandant Col Serge Labbé. I recall in the discussion we had that I admitted a frustration with the Labbé matter because of his part in the Somalia Inquiry and the fact that right or wrong, we could not prejudge him (he was entitled to due process) but that his departure from CLFCSC would allow us to address the role model issue. In my own mind I knew that the officer would be dealt with through the process but we had to let that work out.
      4. The harassment situation described in the enclosed memo is news to me and there is only one right thing to do -get it to the CFPM for NIS review soonest.
  5. It is now 1645 hrs and I am passing this hand-written note to the CFPM immediately. I will reflect tonight and if any other thoughts come to mind, I will add an addendum. 
  6. I saw the Acting CDS in the CDS office around 1300 to advise him of the situation and my intended course of action.
  7. For the CFPM, I request that you take whatever follow-up action is necessary, as soon as you can.

(signed W. Leach) LGen

P.S. The original copy of this handwritten memo is for the CFPM. I have retained a copy for myself. No other copies have been done.

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