ARCHIVED - Allegations against the Canadian Forces - Part Four

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PART FOUR: Other allegations of retaliation and reprisal

A. Allegation against Lieutenant-Commander Ed King

Allegation: Misleading Media Response Line concerning CFNIS investigation into circumstances surrounding July 9, 1996 memorandum

In his written complaint submitted to this Office, Captain Poulin states:
 

On or around June 23, 1998, I accidentally came across a Media Response Line that was not numbered but kept in the official MLO reference binders. The MRL in question related to my memo dated July 9, 1996 and released to the public on June 17, 1998.
 

The MRL contained several inaccuracies so I went and spoke with the originator of the MRL, then Lt(N) Ed King (Public Affairs, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff account). It also had no MRL number contrary to the Media Liaison Standard Operating Procedures, point 13 USING MRLs the MLO :  “Use only an MRL with a file number provided by the DGPA Admin coord”  (version June 22, 1998). Nevertheless, Lt(N) King said he would not change it nor would he complete the sign-off sheet.
 

The misinformation contained in the subject MRL should have been corrected in accordance with Public Affairs Defence Administrative Orders and Directives dated March 1, 1998. It states:  “In consultation with DGPA or Command Public Affairs, COs and DND managers shall promptly undertake appropriate PA activities to correct factual errors, misquotes and misleading information attributed to the DND or the CF.”   Addenda to MRLs are relatively easy to produce.
 

Lt(N) E. King's conduct was all-the-more surprising given that a former public affairs officer, Cdr. Doug Caie, had recently been court martialed for similar activities:  “wilfully making a false statement in a document, negligent performance of duty and neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline.”  (The Calgary Herald, December 13, 1996, p. A14.)

 

Lieutenant-Commander King is a public affairs officer within Public Affairs at National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ). He was posted to the Public Affairs account for the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. As such, Lieutenant-Commander King would attend to public affairs issues involving the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM), whose reporting relationship is to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.
 

Lieutenant-Commander King responded via e-mail from his overseas posting on March 28, 2001, thanking this Office for the opportunity to review the relevant portion of the interim report and indicating that he had no comments in response.
 

Captain Poulin was employed as a Media Liaison Officer at the time of the events surrounding this allegation. In this capacity he would use Media Response Lines to respond to media queries. Staff members in the Media Liaison Office are the initial point of contact for the media.
 

Ombudsman's investigators obtained a copy of the Media Response Line drafted by Lieutenant-Commander King that Captain Poulin maintains is inaccurate. It states the following:
 

The National Investigation Service (NIS) was tasked this morning to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct raised at Lt-Gen. Leach's news conference this morning (17 June). These allegations were supposedly made in an internal memorandum dated July 98 and were allegedly submitted to then MGen Leach as the Deputy Commander, Land Force Command. Consequently, the NIS will also, as part of their investigation, look into the actions taken by the chain of command as a result of this memorandum.

 

Captain Poulin's hand-written diary entry records his objections to the version of events recorded in the Media Response Line prepared by Lieutenant-Commander King as follows:
 

... the MRL concerning this whole issue is incorrect (i.e., the time the investigation was initiated and the allegations were not  “supposedly”  made in an internal memorandum dated July 96. The allegations were made in an internal memorandum dated July 96. Spoke with Ed King (the originator) and he agreed that there were errors but that this MRL was now overtaken by events and need not be corrected ... MRL on Poulin memo (sic)

 

In an interview with Ombudsman's investigators on January 24, 2000, Lieutenant-Commander King indicated he did not recall Captain Poulin speaking to him about this issue, but stated:
 

Really this issue would go between myself and the account manager and up the chain of command. Captain Poulin or his impressions of it ... unless he was a subject matter expert and I need to talk to him. I [had] no reason to talk to him about it. (sic)

 

Assessment

It is understandable that Captain Poulin would be sensitive to the Media Response Line, since he was directly involved in the matter. It is clear that he felt that such a media response had the potential to reflect on his credibility.
 

Captain Poulin maintains that the Media Response Line was incorrect in specifying that the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) was tasked to investigate the circumstances surrounding the June 9, 1996 memorandum on the morning of June 17, 1998. The significance of the exact timing of the delivery of the matter to the CFNIS for investigation is unclear. Furthermore, it is difficult to establish the exact time at which the CFNIS officially took delivery of the case for investigation. A notebook entry by Commander Moore indicates that he was assigned as lead investigator and met with the CFPM and the Deputy Provost Marshal to be briefed at 1455 hours on June 17, 1998, at which time a copy of the June 9, 1996 memorandum was provided to him. Clearly, the CFPM and her deputy had been made aware of the situation and the requirement to investigate before that time. I am not satisfied that Captain Poulin's concern about the perceived discrepancy in times is warranted.
 

Captain Poulin also takes exception to the use of the word  “supposedly” to qualify the statement that the allegations against Colonel Labbé were contained in a June 9, 1996 memorandum that was submitted to Lieutenant-General Leach. I am satisfied that Captain Poulin's complaint in relation to the use of this language is substantiated. Although Captain Poulin is not named in the Media Response Line, many media accounts of the memorandum and the ensuing CFNIS investigations named Captain Poulin as the author of the memorandum.
 

The author of the Media Response Line appears to have used the word  “allegedly” in relation to the memorandum having been submitted to Lieutenant-General Leach to it make clear that whether Lieutenant-General Leach actually saw the memorandum or not was unresolved and was an allegation under investigation at that time.
 

The rationale for the use of the word "supposedly" is less clear. The Media Response Line states that the allegations of misconduct against Colonel Labbé were  “supposedly made in an internal memorandum dated July 9, 1996.” Given the fact that the allegations against Colonel Labbé were contained in writing and could be easily verified by reviewing the memorandum, the need for a qualifier such as "supposedly" does not appear to be warranted. It is understandable that Captain Poulin takes issue with this aspect of the Media Response Line as it appears on its face to draw into question the contents of Captain Poulin's memorandum and, by inference, his credibility.
 

It is unclear to what extent the Media Response Line, which Captain Poulin located in the Director General Public Affairs (DGPA) binder, was ever used in responding to queries from the media. I am also not satisfied that there is evidence that the line created any direct personal or professional prejudice towards Captain Poulin. I agree with Lieutenant-Commander King's assessment that the incidents described in the memorandum have been overtaken by events and that there is no purpose to be served in re-issuing or correcting this particular Media Response Line.
 

Table of Contents
 

B. Allegation against Major George Mackie

Allegation: Improper removal from position after filing redress of grievance

In his written complaint, Captain Poulin states that:
 

Maj. Mackie behaved in a scandalous manner when he had me removed from his staff after he had became aware that I had submitted a redress of grievance about the PER he had written about me on or around June 25, 1999.
 

Specifically, on or around August 9, 1999, I returned to work after my three-week vacation to discover that I was being moved again. I would no longer work with Maj. Mackie. I would write the weekly speeches and be responsible for media film support requests and media visits overseas. August 9, 1999, represented the first day after Maj. Mackie had read my two grievances against my PER written by him and my return to work.
 

At no time was I warned or even consulted about this move prior to my returning to work on or around August 9, 1999. In fact, when I returned from holidays, it was presented to me as a  “fait accompli.”  
 

Maj. Mackie's actions violated CFAO 19.39 paragraph 15 relating to abuse of authority. It states:  “Generally, this will take the form of the improper use of power or authority inherent in the position held by one person to endanger another person's job, undermine the performance of that job, threaten the economic livelihood of that person, or in any way interfere with or influence the career of such a person.” 

 

Maj. Mackie's actions also violated CFAO 19.39, para. 51 relating to retaliation. It states:  “It is the responsibility of all persons involved in the processing of a complaint to ensure that a complainant does not suffer any prejudice as a result of making a complaint. Retaliation against any individual for reporting harassment will not be permitted or tolerated. This prohibition extends to retaliation against those individuals who are not themselves complainants but who assist in the harassment investigation. A member who engages in such retaliation is liable to disciplinary and administrative action.”  
 

Major Mackie responded to the relevant portion of the interim report on March 22, 2001, indicating that he had no comments in response.

 

Major Mackie was interviewed by Ombudsman's investigators on March 23, 2000 in the boardroom of the Ombudsman's Office located at 185 Sparks Street, Ottawa. Major Mackie stated that Captain Poulin had been assigned to the Y2K Public Affairs section since November 1998; in March 1999, however, Captain Poulin was tasked to perform speech-writing duties for daily media briefings regarding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) campaign in Kosovo. According to Major Mackie, Mr. Coleman initially made the decision to assign Captain Poulin to the daily briefings. Major Mackie stated that, when NATO operations in Kosovo led to daily briefings, Mr. Coleman moved to this activity and brought Captain Poulin with him.
 

At the conclusion of the daily Kosovo briefings, Captain Poulin's hand-written diary entry dated June 15, 1999 records that Major Mackie informed him he would be working with Major Mackie again the following week.
 

When asked about the reason for the change by Ombudsman's investigators, Major Mackie stated unequivocally that he did not cause Captain Poulin to be removed from the Y2K Public Affairs section. Major Mackie reported that Mr. Coleman initially chose Captain Poulin to work on daily briefings during the NATO operations in Kosovo. Afterwards, Major Mackie stated, the senior management in DGPA decided that media briefings would continue on a regular basis and Captain Poulin was assigned to that task.
 

Major Mackie stated that, from his perspective, Captain Poulin's assignment elsewhere was a loss because he already had too few resources. He indicated that the decision to continue operations briefings and to continue Captain Poulin's assignment to this activity was made by senior management within DGPA and was not his decision.
 

Captain (Navy) Frewer, when questioned by Ombudsman's investigators, stated that Major Mackie was not involved in the decision to move Captain Poulin from the Y2K Public Affairs section. Captain (Navy) Frewer stated that he had made the decision to move Captain Poulin from the Y2K Public Affairs section. He was also aware Captain Poulin had submitted an application for redress of grievance concerning the Performance Evaluation Report prepared by Major Mackie. Captain (Navy) Frewer also confirmed that Captain Poulin was only notified he would not return to the Y2K Public Affairs section after his return from holidays in August 1999.
 

Captain Poulin's diary entries concerning Major Mackie provide some insight into the working relationship between Major Mackie and Captain Poulin from Captain Poulin's perspective. In November 1998, Captain Poulin notes instances in which Major Mackie appears to demonstrate a concern for Captain Poulin's personal welfare and an understanding of the ongoing stress Captain Poulin suffered as a result of a lingering interest by some media personalities. By January 1999, Captain Poulin notes that Major Mackie considered Captain Poulin's involvement with the proposed administrative investigation and complaints against the Military Police to be interfering with his job. While I do not consider it necessary to include the specific entries, Captain Poulin is increasingly critical of Major Mackie's leadership in his diary.
 

Assessment

I am satisfied that Captain Poulin's move from Major Mackie's section was not an act of retaliation or reprisal for having filed a grievance in relation to his Performance Evaluation Report. Rather, it appears that Captain (Navy) Frewer, and not Major Mackie, made the decision that precluded Captain Poulin's return to the Y2K Public Affairs section in favour of retaining him to continue media briefings following the NATO campaign in Kosovo.
 

I am satisfied that Captain Poulin's belief that he was being treated in a retaliatory fashion was not made in bad faith. In my view, Captain Poulin's perception that Major Mackie had him moved as a consequence of the redress of grievance that he submitted is an example of how Captain Poulin's perceptions may have been influenced by his mistrust of the institution's leadership. As I have previously indicated, it appears this lack of trust had its genesis, at least in part, in the failure to respond to or acknowledge the allegations Captain Poulin brought forward to Lieutenant-General Leach in 1996.
 

Table of Contents
 

C. Allegation against Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander F. Robertson

Allegation: Inappropriate comments made in letter about Captain Poulin

Captain Poulin states in his written complaint:
 

On or around July 28, 1998, Lt.-Col. Robertson wrote and submitted a libellous and defamatory official military letter to another senior military officer about me. His actions were unbecoming of a senior officer. His actions are compounded by the fact that he did not write a letter of apology to me for his libellous and defamatory letter until I had sought legal counsel.

 

Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson responded to the interim report in writing on March 12, 2001. His comments were carefully reviewed and clarifications have been made to this final report where appropriate.
 

On May 12, 2000, Ombudsman's investigators interviewed Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson in his office located in the headquarters of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengary Highlanders, a militia unit in Cornwall where Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson was then the Commanding Officer. Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson was formerly the Acting Chief of Staff at the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College (CLFCSC) in Kingston during the time in 1996 when Colonel Labbé was Commandant of the college and Captain Poulin attended as a student.
 

Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson authored a letter to Colonel Labbé stating his support for Colonel Labbé in light of the allegations brought forward in Captain Poulin's memorandum and the ensuing investigation in 1998. Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's letter dated July 28, 1998 was written on stationary of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders and addressed to Colonel Labbé at his home. The letter contained highly critical and disparaging language describing Captain Poulin and his actions.
 

Captain Poulin obtained a copy of this letter in an edited format on March 31, 1999 as a result of a request made under the Privacy Act. Ombudsman's investigators obtained a copy of Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's letter with the complete text from the CFNIS. Colonel Labbé had provided a copy of this letter of support to CFNIS investigators during its investigation into the allegations against him, along with an e-mail from another former member of the college staff in support of Colonel Labbé.
 

The correspondence from Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson suggested that Captain Poulin's allegations of misconduct against Colonel Labbé were motivated by his dissatisfaction with his final course results at the CLFCSC. Portions of Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's letter to Colonel Labbé were published in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper and Esprit de Corps magazine.
 

Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson stated unequivocally to Ombudsman's investigators that he did not intend his letter to Colonel Labbé to be made public and that its becoming so has caused him personal embarrassment. Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson further stated that he had intended to express his opinion privately and, if he had foreseen that it would be made public, he would not have written the letter as he did. It is also his position that that the release of his correspondence by the Department of National Defence (DND) contravened department policy and his own right to privacy.
 

Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson stated that, when the contents of his letter became public, his Brigade Commander (33 Brigade) Colonel Robert Chapman and Major-General Walter Holmes, the Commander of Land Forces, Central Area at that time, took administrative action against him for writing the letter on unit stationary.
 

On October 20, 2000, Ombudsman's investigators attended the CF Support Unit (Ottawa), 101 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa and reviewed Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's military personnel file. They could not locate any record of administrative action relating to Lieutenant-Colonel's letter regarding Captain Poulin to Colonel Labbé.
 

On October 27, 2000, an Ombudsman's investigator contacted Colonel Chapman by telephone and solicited his recollection concerning any administrative action administered to Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson. Colonel Chapman did not recall what specific action was taken but said that Major-General Holmes had primarily dealt with it. My investigator asked Colonel Chapman if this administrative action was mentioned in Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's Performance Evaluation Report. Colonel Chapman provided that, while he does prepare Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's evaluation report, he did not recall if this information was included.
 

On October 27, 2000, Major-General Holmes provided an e-mail in response to the Ombudsman's investigator's query regarding his role, if any, concerning administrative action against Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson. Major-General Holmes wrote:
 

... the following is my recollection of the incident with respect to Lt-Col. Robertson. I was provided with portions of the letter addressed to Col. Labbé from Lt-Col. Robertson with only those comments related to Captain Poulin included. I can't recall what mechanism was used but it was conveyed to me that Capt. Poulin would accept a letter of apology from Lt-Col. Robertson. Lt-Col. Robertson was directed to write a letter of apology through I believe his Brigade Commander ... With respect to administrative action I can't recall if any was directed or executed.

 

Once Captain Poulin became aware of Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's letter to Colonel Labbé, Captain Poulin sought legal representation at Crown expense. However, the CF denied Captain Poulin's application to have his legal fees paid for because it did not meet the criteria established by the federal government's Treasury Board requirements. Specifically, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Policy on the Indemnification of and Legal Assistance for Crown Servants (paragraph 4.c) specifies: "It is government policy not to provide legal assistance for claims or actions that Crown servants initiate." Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's application for representation at Crown expense was also denied because it was deemed that Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's letter to Colonel Labbé was not written in the course of "meeting departmental expectations."
 

Ultimately, Captain Poulin retained legal counsel at his own expense. Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson advised in his response to the interim report that, when portions of his letter to Colonel Labbé became public, after due consultation and of his own volition, he requested his legal counsel to send an apology to Captain Poulin's counsel.
 

Assessment

Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's letter to Colonel Labbé about Captain Poulin contained a harsh personal criticism of Captain Poulin. While Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's actions do not reflect favourably upon him, he maintains that his correspondence represented his private personal opinion intended solely for Colonel Labbé. This assertion is supported by the unofficial format of the correspondence and the fact that the letter was sent to Colonel Labbé's home address.
 

I do not dispute Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's assertion that he did not intend his letter to Colonel Labbé to be disclosed to others. Accordingly, it is not reasonable to conclude Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's actions were intended as reprisals against Captain Poulin. Nevertheless, the subsequent disclosure of the letter contributed significantly to Captain Poulin's perceptions of reprisals and retaliation. Given the disparity of rank between Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson and Captain Poulin and the fact that the letter was written on CF regimental letterhead, it is reasonable that when Captain Poulin became aware of the contents of the letter, he perceived he had suffered an injustice.
 

Compensation for amount spent on legal fees

Despite Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's intention of disclosing his unfavourable opinion of Captain Poulin solely to Colonel Labbé, Captain Poulin suffered an injustice as a result of its disclosure. Once aware that he had been the subject of such unfavourable remarks in a letter between two senior officers, it was not unreasonable for Captain Poulin to expect some formal remedy.
 

Captain Poulin's decision to seek legal representation at public expense in order to determine what remedies he might have available to him was not unreasonable in the circumstances. The DND and the CF denied Captain Poulin's application for legal representation at Crown expense on the basis that his situation did not meet the federal government's Treasury Board requirements for indemnification of public servants.
 

In my view, even though Captain Poulin was not eligible for legal representation at public expense under Treasury Board guidelines, it is unfair that he incurred personal expense to be informed of his legal rights and to attempt to remedy any potential harm that might have been caused by the comments included in Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's letter to Colonel Labbé.
 

I am satisfied that the CF should compensate Captain Poulin for actual legal expenses incurred as a result of this matter and that such compensation can be provided pursuant to the Treasury Board guidelines allowing for ex gratia payments.
 

Ombudsman's recommendation

I therefore recommend that:
 

10. The CF should issue an ex gratia payment to Captain Poulin for an amount equivalent to his costs incurred for legal representation in order to obtain advice and to attempt to resolve the issue surrounding the critical comments about him made by Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson in his letter to Colonel Labbé.
 

I am pleased to report that in his response to the interim report, the Chief of the Defence Staff advised that,  “Your recommendation makes eminent sense”  and undertook to invite Captain Poulin to bring forward any such request for payment.
 

Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's personnel file

During the course of the investigation, my investigators could find no official record of administrative action taken against Lieutenant- Colonel Robertson for the letter he sent to Colonel Labbé on Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's file. His former supervisors could only provide a vague account of what action was taken.
 

In my interim report, I stated that this situation should be remedied and that any administrative action taken should be properly documented on Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's personnel file.
 

Ombudsman's recommendation

I therefore recommended that:
 

11. The Chief of the Defence Staff direct that a review be conducted to confirm the administrative action taken against Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson and that the necessary steps be taken to document such action.
 

The Chief of the Defence Staff, in his response to my interim report on March 16, 2001, replied that he accepted this recommendation and that he had directed the Chief of the Land Staff, Lieutenant-General Jeffries, to conduct such a review. On April 24, 2001, the Chief of the Defence Staff provided me with a copy of the Chief of the Land Staff's response dated April 23, 2001 in which he advised that administrative action had been taken but had not been documented properly on Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's personnel file at the time. He assured me that Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson's file was being updated appropriately.
 

Table of Contents
 

D. Allegations against Colonel Paul Maillet

Allegation 1: Unfair denial of opportunity to present speech at CF Defence Ethics Conference in October 1998

The written complaint submitted by Captain Poulin to this Office states:
 

On or around October 13, 1998 after reading my draft speech that I intended to deliver at the Defence Conference on Ethics in October 1998, Col. Maillet directly intervened and prevented me from delivering the subject speech.
 

Until this point, the speech had been solicited and authorised by his subordinate staff - the organisers of the conference (i.e. Capt. Heather MacQuarrie and Maj. Denis Beauchamps).

 

In his written complaint, Captain Poulin also indicates that Major-General Keith Penney, the Chief of Review Services, acted improperly by preventing him from speaking at the Defence Ethics Conference. With respect to Major-General Penney, Captain Poulin indicates:
 

On or around October 13, 1998, after reading my draft speech that I intended to deliver at the Defence Conference on Ethics in October 1998, Maj.-Gen. Penney directly intervened and prevented me from delivering the subject speech. Until this point, the speech had been solicited and authorised by several of his subordinate staff - who were some of the organisers of the conference (i.e. Capt. Heather MacQuarrie and Maj. Denis Beauchamps).

 

Colonel Maillet responded to the relevant portion of the interim report on March 20, 2001, indicating that he had no comments in response.
 

Colonel Maillet is the Head of the CF Ethics Program and was the convenor of the Defence Ethics Conference held in October 1998. Ombudsman's investigators interviewed Colonel Maillet in his office at 101 Colonel By Drive. Colonel Maillet stated that Captain Poulin had responded to the invitation for papers to be considered for presentation at the Defence Ethics Conference. He believed that Captain Poulin had been asked to make a submission by Captain Heather MacQuarrie, one of Colonel Maillet's staff members responsible for organizing the conference.
 

In his written complaint submitted to this Office, Captain Poulin records his understanding of the terms under which he was invited to speak at the conference. Captain Poulin writes:
 

On or around September 10, 1998, I received a phone call from Capt. Heather MacQuarrie stating she would be interested in having me take part on a panel at the Conference of Defence Ethics scheduled for October 20-21, 1998. She said before I could speak, however, I would have to meet the following criteria: (1) My speech would have to answer the question: "Is there enough reprisal protection? If not, how does it affect a plaintiff's willingness to come forward? (2) My speech must not name anybody, (3) The NIS investigation concerning my memo dated July 9, 1996 must be over, (4) The organiser of the Conference must approve the text before it may be presented, and (5) My boss had to agree with me giving a speech. I agreed with her conditions and I began working on my speech.

 

Colonel Maillet stated to Ombudsman's investigators that Captain MacQuarrie gave him a copy of Captain Poulin's speech. He commented that he felt the paper was not appropriate for the conference because it made specific allegations of harassment and reprisal. Colonel Maillet stated he discussed Captain Poulin's submission with Major-General Penny who agreed that Captain Poulin's speech was not appropriate for the conference forum.
 

Colonel Maillet stated two reasons for not including Captain Poulin as a presenter. First, Colonel Maillet related that the conference was not designed to discuss ongoing cases and it was felt that Captain Poulin's draft speech was inappropriate for a conference forum because a balanced argument or view would not be possible. Secondly, Colonel Maillet related that, in discussion with him, Major-General Penney had indicated he did not consider it appropriate to include Captain Poulin because of the ongoing CFNIS investigations into his allegations.
 

Ombudsman's investigators interviewed Captain Heather MacQuarrie as a witness to this allegation on December 14, 1999. Captain MacQuarrie was one of the officers responsible for organizing the 1998 Defence Ethics Conference. Captain MacQuarrie stated that Captain Poulin had responded to the CF General Message dated July 15, 1998 that advertised the conference and solicited interested members to apply for one of five positions on a panel of presenters. Captain MacQuarrie recalled that Captain Poulin called her in response to the message to say that he was definitely interested in the theme and he was also interested on the basis of his personal circumstances. Captain MacQuarrie was interested in including Captain Poulin in the conference line-up and stated she received Captain Poulin's speaking notes by fax on October 8, 1998. Captain MacQuarrie related that her:
 

... first concern was about Captain Poulin and his own well-being and I urged him to speak with Colonel Maillet. He did. I passed, to Colonel Maillet the Director of Ethics, a copy of Captain Poulin's paper. I was enthusiastic about doing something but as the days went by and Colonel Maillet had the opportunity to meet with this individual and subsequently had the opportunity to raise the issue of these circumstances with General Penny, a determination was made that [Poulin's] script for the panel contravened the role [because] it made specific mention of a case which then was under investigation.
 

We couldn't have any assurance that the investigation would be complete by the time of the conference [on] the 20th and 21st of October. What was conveyed back to me was the directive that I could not include Captain Bruce Poulin as a member of my panel as this case was under investigation.

 

From Captain Poulin's perspective, the CFNIS investigations should not have precluded his speaking at the conference. Captain Poulin states that he spoke with Commander Moore, the lead CFNIS investigator on the file on October 2, 1998 and confirmed that there would be no problem with him giving his speech at the conference. Commander Moore confirmed to Ombudsman's investigators that Captain Poulin had inquired whether speaking at the Defence Ethics Conference presented problems from the perspective of the CFNIS and confirmed that he related to Captain Poulin that it did not.
 

Copies of the two relevant investigation reports by the CFNIS indicate that they were completed in August 1998 and October 1998. Both reports were signed off by the CFPM, Brigadier-General Samson, on October 23, 1998.
 

Captain MacQuarrie stated that she understood Colonel Maillet had discussed Captain Poulin's speaking notes with Major-General Penney, the Chief of Review Services. Captain McQuarrie recalled it was after his discussion with Major-General Penney that Colonel Maillet had informed her that Captain Poulin could not speak at the conference.
 

Ombudsman's investigators interviewed Major Denis Beauchamp who, like Captain MacQuarrie, was an organizer of the Defence Ethics Conference. Major Beauchamps stated he had met with Captain Poulin because portions of Captain Poulin's speaking notes did not meet the criteria for presentation at the conference. Specifically, Major Beauchamps stated that portions of the speaking notes attributed allegations to specific individuals. However, Major Beauchamps indicated that, from his perspective, it was still possible for Captain Poulin to present his speech provided he made a few amendments. Captain Poulin agreed to make the amendments to items in the speech that Major Beauchamps had identified as inappropriate for the conference. Major Beauchamps could not provide any information regarding why Captain Poulin ultimately was not permitted to speak at the conference, beyond stating that the decision was made between Colonel Maillet and Major-General Penney.
 

Major-General Penney confirmed to Ombudsman's investigators that he personally made the decision that Captain Poulin would not be permitted to present his speech at the conference. Major-General Penney stated:
 

When [Poulin's] paper arrived, I reviewed it with the Director of Ethics, Colonel Maillet ... In that speech ... were statements being made about how he was treated. In fact, I saw them as accusations. My concern was we were running an ethics conference where we wanted to have a dialogue about what ethical issues were. We weren't looking for someone to stand up at the podium and possibly accuse people in the audience of mistreating him ... I didn't believe that the Ethics Conference was a place to stand up and make accusations.

 

Major-General Penney stated further that he then spoke to the Chief of the Defence Staff about this issue and informed him of his decision not to let Captain Poulin deliver his speech. Major-General Penney related that the Chief of the Defence Staff agreed with his assessment and also agreed that, while it would be inappropriate for Captain Poulin to give his speech at the conference, his allegations of reprisals and harassment needed to be examined. Subsequently, the Director Special Examinations and Inquiries, a section within the Chief of Review Services, was tasked to commence an administrative investigation based on the allegations of reprisal and harassment that were contained in Captain Poulin's draft speech. This administrative investigation ultimately did not get off the ground and the matter was referred to this Office, as noted elsewhere in this report.
 

Colonel Maillet stated he advised Captain Poulin of the decision that his speech could not be presented at the conference and that Captain Poulin seemed to accept this explanation and agreed to withdraw his submission.
 

Captain Poulin acknowledges that he received a phone call from Colonel Maillet stating that, after careful review of his speech and after discussing it with Major-General Penney, the Chief of Review Services, he would forward the speech to the Director Special Examinations and Inquiries. It, in turn, would conduct its own investigation into the allegations and report the findings directly to General Baril, the Chief of the Defence Staff. Captain Poulin indicated, however, that he was not satisfied with how the matter was resolved and that in hindsight he perceived the  “conversation about the need for an immediate administrative investigation without working out the details and without my participation appeared to be a poor attempt at precluding the Ombudsman and/or the media from looking at my case.” 

 

Assessment

I am satisfied that the decision to exclude Captain Poulin from presenting his speech at the Defence Ethics Conference was not made in bad faith and was not an inappropriate exercise of discretion by Major-General Penney. I am also satisfied that Colonel Maillet did not act inappropriately or abuse his authority or discretion in dealing with Captain Poulin's request to present his speech at the conference.
 

The main reason behind the decision not to allow Captain Poulin to speak at the Defence Ethics Conference appears to have been the view that it was inappropriate to raise specific allegations of reprisal and harassment in a conference setting, particularly since such allegations had not yet been investigated and the individuals subject to such allegations would not have an opportunity to respond or present their points of view. A further cause of concern was that the individuals Captain Poulin believed were responsible for the reprisal and harassment could be easily identified and they had not been made aware of the allegations. I am satisfied these concerns were not improper or arbitrary considerations to take into account in disallowing Captain Poulin from speaking at the conference.
 

I am also satisfied that the decision to disallow Captain Poulin from presenting his speech at the Defence Ethics Conference did not constitute an attempt to prevent his concerns from being fully investigated. This is evidenced by the fact that Major-General Penney took the step of meeting with the Chief of the Defence Staff and it was decided that Captain Poulin's allegations would be forwarded immediately for a full administrative review by the Chief of Review Services. Indeed, it appears that the decision not to allow Captain Poulin to present the allegations contained in his speech in the conference forum was also intended to ensure that any investigation or review of the allegations would not be tainted or prejudiced by an airing of the allegations in the defence community without giving an opportunity to the individuals involved to respond.
 

An additional reason for the decision to disallow Captain Poulin from speaking at the Defence Ethics Conference appears to have been because the results of the CFNIS investigations into the allegations against Colonel Labbé and Lieutenant-General Leach had not yet been approved by the CFPM. Although Captain Poulin confirmed with Commander Moore, as the lead CFNIS investigator, that he did not see a problem with Captain Poulin speaking at the conference from an investigator's point of view, it was still open for CF authorities to decide that Captain Poulin's speech should not be presented publicly until the official results of the investigations were approved and announced publicly. Captain Poulin's speech was directly related to the allegations against Colonel Labbé and Lieutenant-General Leach, both of which were subjects of the ongoing CFNIS investigations. I am satisfied that, out of a sense of fairness to all parties, it was prudent to prevent Captain Poulin's speech from being made in a conference forum until the final and official results of the CFNIS investigations were released.
 

Allegation 2: Misleading comments to the media surrounding reasons for Captain Poulin not being allowed to speak at CF Defence Ethics Conference in October 1998

Captain Poulin states that:
 

On or around October 20, 1998, Col. Maillet also went before the national press and TV and misinformed them about the reasons I had been prevented from delivering my speech on the reprisals I had suffered since my memo dated July 9, 1996 was made public on June 17, 1998. He said that I could not deliver my speech to the Defence Ethics Conference because there was a criminal and administrative investigation going on and that some interviews had even taken place so I could not talk about my case.
 

The misinformation Col. Maillet gave the media on or around October 20, 1998, at approximately 9:45hrs should have been corrected in accordance with Public Affairs Defence Administrative Orders and Directives dated March 1, 1998. It states:  “In consultation with DGPA or Command Public Affairs, COs and DND managers shall promptly undertake appropriate PA activities to correct factual errors, misquotes and misleading information attributed to the DND or the CF.” 

 

Colonel Maillet stated to Ombudsman's investigators that he participated in the media scrum at the request of the Chief of the Defence Staff. The media scrum occurred during the set-up for the Defence Ethics Conference. Colonel Maillet related that he had informed the media that the ongoing CFNIS investigations examining the conduct of Colonel Labbé and actions of Lieutenant-General Leach rendered it inappropriate that Captain Poulin speak at the Defence Ethics Conference. Ombudsman's investigators obtained a copy of the transcript of this media scrum. In it Colonel Maillet comments,  “[we] had established some restrictions on people giving papers that they do not comment on cases that are still under investigation.”  
 

The Defence Ethics Conference took place on October 20 and 21, 1998. Ombudsman's investigators confirmed that the final results of the CFNIS investigations into the allegations against Colonel Labbé and Lieutenant-General Leach were not approved by the CFPM until October 23, 1998. The final results of these investigations were publicly announced by the CF in a press release dated October 26, 1998.
 

In his written complaint submitted to this Office, Captain Poulin states:
 

On or around October 13, 1998, while in the MLO, I received a phone call from Col. Paul Maillet (Senior Principal Defence Ethics) phoned me to say that he had read my speech and felt that I had a case to launch another investigation into possible reprisals against me. He said he would prefer that the NIS criminal investigations be completed before I presented my speech. I responded stating the NIS had seen my speech and said that it did not interfere with their criminal investigations. Col. Maillet then said that my speech could make some people in the audience feel uneasy.
 

I responded stating that, by not allowing me (a witness to a NIS investigation) to speak while allowing Lt.-Gen. Leach (a subject of a NIS investigation) would be perceived as a double standard. After all was said and done, I agreed to withdraw from the panel.
 

Col. Maillet appreciated my gesture and stressed that his recommendation for me to withdraw from the speaking at the conference should not be interpreted as part of the series of reprisals against me thus far. He also suggested I send a copy of my speech to the Ombudsman. I complied with his request and forwarded a copy of my draft speech.

 

Ombudsman's investigators reviewed the agenda for the CF Defence Ethics Conference in October 1998. It does not appear that either Lieutenant-General Leach or Colonel Labbé were permitted to discuss the subject of the ongoing CFNIS investigations in an official capacity at the conference forum.
 

Captain Poulin's hand-written diary entry for October 19, 1998 confirms that the Chief of Review Services had begun to initiate the administrative investigation into the allegations of reprisal and harassment contained in his speech. This entry records that Captain Poulin met with Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes of the Director Special Examinations and Inquiries for that purpose. At that time, however, Captain Poulin indicated in his diary entry that,  “I will wait to see what the results are of my NIS investigation before I seek Maj. Deschênes' help and proceed with an administrative investigation into harassment.”  
 

Assessment

The message that appears to have been conveyed by Colonel Maillet's statement to the media is that Captain Poulin's paper could not be presented at the conference because there were investigations ongoing. I am satisfied that Colonel Maillet's statements, or the message they appear to convey, were not inaccurate or misleading.
 

Although there were a number of reasons why Captain Poulin was not allowed to present his paper at the conference, it was not inaccurate or incorrect to state he was not allowed to do so because of the ongoing investigations. As I have already noted, although Captain Poulin confirmed with then Lieutenant-Commander Moore as the lead CFNIS investigator that he did not see a problem with Captain Poulin's speaking at the conference, it remained the decision of the Chief of Review Services to decide that Captain Poulin's speech should not be presented publicly until the official results of the CFNIS investigations were approved and the results announced publicly.
 

Furthermore, at the time of the ethics conference and Colonel Maillet's statements to the media, a decision had already been made by CF authorities that Captain Poulin's allegations would be the subject of an administrative investigation and the Chief of Review Services had directed an investigation be initiated. Even though Captain Poulin decided he wanted to wait until seeing the results of the CFNIS investigations before proceeding with an administrative review, it must be considered that the Chief of Review Services had a moral obligation to respond to the allegations contained in Captain Poulin's speaking notes. This does not change the rationale behind the decision not to allow Captain Poulin to speak at the conference, which was to prevent any ongoing investigation from being prejudiced or tainted by statements in the conference forum about the incidents subject to investigation.
 

Table of Contents
 

E. Allegations against Major-General Keith Penney

Major-General Penney responded to the relevant portion of the interim report in writing on March 6, 2001 stating,  “After reviewing the report I find the report to be factual and I have nothing to either add or to question.”  
 

Allegation 1: Unfair denial of opportunity to present speech at CF Defence Ethics Conference in October 1998

This allegation against Major-General Penney relates to the same matters referred to in the allegation regarding Colonel Paul Maillet and is dealt with in the previous section of this report.
 

Allegation 2: Selection of harassment investigator on contract with department and attempts to block attempts to resolve complaints

Captain Poulin states in his written complaint:
 

On or around October 28, 1998, Maj.-Gen. Penney wrote a memo (7045-72(CRS) addressed to me stating that my complaints (contained in my draft speech for the Conference of Defence Ethics 20-21, 1998) were  “... of such a nature that it obligates us to take action. We have therefore initiated an administrative investigation.”   Maj.-Gen. Penney also asserted that Mr. J. Maurice Cantin, QC had already been retained to:  “... examine the allegations ...”  
 

Despite my oft-repeated written misgivings about having a contractor of (General Penney's) choosing, Mr. J. Maurice Cantin, an individual frequently relied upon by DND/CF to conduct such sensitive investigations, Maj.-Gen. Penney remained adamant that only Mr. Cantin was qualified and available to address my complaints.

 

Captain Poulin further states:
 

On or around January 14, 1999, Maj.-Gen. Penney wrote and submitted a memo (7045-72 (CRS)) addressed to me stating he had:  “... requested that Mr J. Maurice Cantin progress this investigation expeditiously ...”  knowing this, and those statements made previously to be false.
 

Maj.-Gen. Penney played a lead role in blocking each and every one of my initiatives to bring closure to this whole affair. It is ironic that I throughout the period in question (October 1998 - July 1999) I had always acted on Maj.-Gen. Penney's own advice provided to me in a memorandum dated December 21, 1998 to no avail.

 

Major-General Penney is the Chief of Review Services for DND and the CF. The role of the Review Services section is outlined in its mission statement:
 

... to perform review services on behalf of the Deputy Minister and the Chief of the Defence Staff (DM/CDS) to promote improvements in the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces' policies, programs, operations and activities and to enhance the abilities of members and employees to perform their duties to the highest ethical standards.

 

Major-General Penney became involved in dealing with Captain Poulin's complaints once Colonel Maillet, the Director of the Defence Ethics Program, brought Captain Poulin's allegations of reprisals and harassment to Major-General Penney's attention. As previously noted, Captain Poulin's allegations of reprisals and harassment were contained in a speech he had submitted to the organizers of the October 1998 Defence Ethics Conference. Major-General Penney ultimately decided this speech could not be presented at the conference. He did, however, meet with the Chief of the Defence Staff to discuss the situation and it was decided to order an administrative examination of Captain Poulin's allegations. Major-General Penney wrote Captain Poulin on October 28, 1998 to inform him that an administrative investigation into the allegations contained in his speaking notes would take place and that an experienced private consultant, Mr. Cantin, had been retained by the Chief of Review Services to head this investigation.
 

Captain Poulin responded on November 2, 1998 stating that, although he welcomed the administrative review, he felt that the consultant contracted by the Chief of Review Services might not constitute "an unbiased third party. “Captain Poulin related that in his opinion Mr. Cantin's previous involvement with DND precluded him from arriving at an "objective conclusion regarding the alleged reprisals ...”  
 

Major-General Penney responded to Captain Poulin's concerns on November 16, 1998, stating  “[w]e appreciated and respect your desire that any review of these allegations be completely impartial; no one would be well served if it were otherwise.”  However, Major-General Penney urged Captain Poulin to provide his full cooperation to Mr. Cantin  “... in order that a full appreciation of the facts surrounding the allegations [Captain Poulin] brought forward can be achieved.”  
 

In a memo to Major-General Penney on November 20, 1998, Captain Poulin reiterated his objections to the retention of Mr. Cantin and suggested the following basic requirements that he felt were necessary for an unbiased and thorough investigation:
 

  • People from outside DND who do not have a track record of being selected by DND/CF and awarded contracts;
     
  • People who have nothing to gain from any future employment from DND/CF;
     
  • People who's livelihood is not dependent on the results of the investigation;
     
  • People who understand the CF culture; and:
     
  • People who understand the special hierarchical milieu of the CF.
     

Alternatively, Captain Poulin proposed:
 

  • Another alternative would be to conduct the subject investigation through other non-DND/CF organisations. They would include but are not limited to:
     
    • The Ombudsman
       
    • The Public Service Commission (Appeals and Investigation Branch); and
       
    • An external review made up of, but not limited to; (Judge Rene Marin, Colonel (Retired) Jim Allan, Mr. Mathew Fisher (journalist), Brigadier-General Jim Hansen, Colonel (Retired) Michel Drapeau, and Mr. Peter Worthington (journalist).
       

Despite Captain Poulin's objections and his proposals for alternative investigators, Major-General Penney signed terms of reference dated December 7, 1998 mandating Mr. Cantin to investigate Captain Poulin's allegations and requiring him to submit a report to the Chief of Review Services by February 15, 1999.
 

In a memorandum dated December 8, 1998, Major-General Penney responded to Captain Poulin's continued objections to the  “unilateral decision” to contract Mr. Cantin to investigate. In his correspondence, Major-General Penney noted that Mr. Cantin and Captain Poulin had met and Mr. Cantin had explained the process he would follow. Major-General Penney concluded:
 

Hopefully, this gave you some basis to increase your level of confidence in the impartiality of the investigative work to be performed. Notwithstanding, Mr. Cantin is unfettered in his capacity to investigate this matter and we have absolutely no reason to doubt his professional objectivity. Accordingly, I would again encourage that you give [Mr. Cantin] your full co-operation in responding to his requirement to gather information regarding the reprisals which you have alleged.

 

In a memorandum dated December 10, 1998, Captain Poulin again expressed his concerns to Major-General Penney as follows:
 

For reasons unknown to me, your memo indicates a certain fixation in having Mr. J. Maurice Cantin appointed to conduct the subject investigation even though I have clearly enunciated my fear that his propensity to conduct, under contract, similar investigations for DND/CF may predispose him towards the institution particularly when, in this instance, the allegations involve key principals of the said institution.

 

Captain Poulin also requested that he be provided with private legal representation at public expense so that  “every allegation I wish to make is properly put forward.”  
 

On December 21, 1998, Major-General Penney replied to Captain Poulin as follows:
 

In the specific instance of the allegation which you have raised, the Defence organization is obligated, in the circumstances, to cause an investigation. As you know, such an investigation was initiated when I became aware of your concerns, and we have engaged the services of an experienced and respected external investigator first contracted by my Branch in Fall 98. As indicated in prior correspondence, this individual has been requested to exercise his professional capabilities and objectivity to examine the allegations which you have made. It is my responsibility to make the determination as to whether investigators so engaged/deployed have the necessary qualifications and objectivity to perform the professional services requested. Nothing has come to my attention which would to cause me to alter or question my decision as regarding Mr. Cantin. (sic)

 

Major-General Penney also informed Captain Poulin:
 

... there are options available to you should you choose to pursue them. These would include, but not be limited to, making a complaint to the DND/CF Ombudsman, Mr. A. Marin ... seeking assistance from the office of Alternative Disputes Resolution, Mr. P. Sterne ... and/or lodging a grievance. Regarding your interest in obtaining legal counsel, you can make application to the Director of Law/Claims pursuant to the Treasury Board policy on  “Indemnification of and Legal Assistance for Pubic Servants.” 

 

In conclusion, Major-General Penney stated:
 

I again assure you that my Branch is committed to ensuring that your allegations of reprisal are thoroughly investigated. We thank you for any cooperation which you may continue to extend to the investigators.

 

In a memorandum to Major-General Penney dated January 8, 1999, Captain Poulin replied that, despite:
 

... my real apprehension of bias on both the part of the (DND/CF) and the arbitrarily chosen investigator/arbitrator, your memo indicates that your mind has been made up in this matter and no amount of concern on my part would lead you to revisit your decision.

 

Captain Poulin then related that he was prepared to participate in the investigation led by Mr. Cantin subject to two conditions:
 

a. My outstanding request under the Privacy Act, submitted more than 60 days ago be satisfied.

b. I be provided with legal counsel; a request in that sense will be drawn up shortly.
 

Captain Poulin concludes:
 

Should you be unable to agree with these provisos, I will then withdraw my complaints and proceed instead with the DND/CF Ombudsman. Until such time as the above provisos are met, however, I ask that the investigation be suspended.

 

In a memorandum dated January 14, 1999, Major-General Penny wrote to Captain Poulin noting his  “conditional willingness to participate in the investigation by Mr. Maurice Cantin.”  and added that Captain Poulin was  “free to access the services of the Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces Ombudsman at any time.”  He advised Captain Poulin that he had requested that  “Mr. Cantin progress this investigation expeditiously.
 

Following this chain of correspondence between Captain Poulin and Major-General Penney, Mr. Cantin attempted to begin his investigation pursuant to the terms of reference signed by Major-General Penney. It appears, however, that the investigation never got off the ground. In a letter to Major-General Penney dated March 8, 1999, Mr. Cantin stated that  “so far my efforts to investigate this matter have been fruitless.”  Mr. Cantin informed Major-General Penney that Captain Poulin felt that he was unable to participate in the investigation until he received videotaped records of his earlier interviews with the CFNIS. Mr. Cantin advised Major-General Penney:
 

I myself will be unable to proceed with the investigation unless Capt. Poulin accepts to be interviewed. I absolutely need from him detailed allegations with facts and names of individuals.

 

Further correspondence between Major-General Penney and Captain Poulin did not advance the proposed investigation. Captain Poulin continued to link his participation in the Chief of Review Services investigation with being afforded legal representation at public expense, receiving copies of his earlier interviews with the CFNIS and the inclusion of individuals of his choosing to complement Mr. Cantin on the investigating team.
 

As a result of the fact that the investigation by Mr. Cantin did not appear to be progressing, Major-General Penney made the decision to approach the Ombudsman's Office and request its agreement for him to refer the matter to this Office for an investigation. This Office agreed to accept Major-General Penney's referral of Captain Poulin's complaint on the condition that Captain Poulin agreed to participate in the investigation. It was also agreed that this Office would accept the complaint without any terms of reference from DND and the CF and would investigate any aspects of Captain Poulin's complaint it felt were appropriate.
 

Consequently, Major-General Penney wrote to Captain Poulin and advised him:
 

Realizing that it is unlikely that I will be able to progress this file and, believing that your claims of reprisal warrant a review, I took the initiative to meet with officials from the office of the DND Ombudsman on 12 July, 1999 to determine whether it would be appropriate and feasible for their office to take over the file and look into the matter. I understand that they have accepted the file and that they have been in contact with you.

 

In his response to Major-General Penney, Captain Poulin confirmed his agreement and his view that the Ombudsman's Office possessed the required independence to investigate his complaints:
 

Your decision to refer the investigation to the Ombudsman ... is a welcomed positive step. It is a clear shift on DND/CF's part to a position more akin to what I have been proposing ever since you approached me last fall ... He has, I believe the required independence and objectivity to examine my allegations in an effective way.

 

Assessment

I am satisfied that Major-General Penney did not exercise his discretion improperly in retaining Mr. Cantin on behalf of the CF to investigate Captain Poulin's complaints or that he attempted to block or interfere with the resolution of Captain Poulin's complaints. As the Chief of Review Services, Major-General Penney was responsible for the selection of a qualified individual to investigate Captain Poulin's allegations in a thorough, competent and unbiased fashion. Based on the previous services Mr. Cantin had provided to DND, Major-General Penney concluded that he was capable of filling this role.
 

It is clear that Captain Poulin had reservations regarding the use of Mr. Cantin, an investigator with an existing contractual relationship with DND, to conduct the administrative investigation. His concerns are understandable in light of the history of events, including the failure to address the complaints raised in his July 9, 1996 memorandum and the ongoing conflicts he was experiencing in his workplace. I am satisfied that Major-General Penney was responsive to these concerns. Indeed, from the lengthy chain of correspondence between Major-General Penney and Captain Poulin, it is clear that Major-General Penney was committed to doing what he could to ease Captain Poulin's concerns while ensuring his allegations of reprisal and harassment were investigated. It should be noted that Captain Poulin was not the only individual who had an interest in having his allegations investigated thoroughly, independently and expeditiously: the subjects of his allegations also had that right. As the Chief of Review Services, Major-General Penney had an obligation to ensure that the interests of all involved in the allegations were respected.
 

Finally, when it became apparent that the issue of using Mr. Cantin to investigate Captain Poulin's complaints was not going to be resolved, Major-General Penney took the initiative to facilitate referral of this matter to my Office for investigation. Major-General Penney's decision to refer this matter to the Ombudsman's Office is further indicative of his commitment to ensuring that an independent and unbiased investigation of Captain Poulin's complaints was conducted.
 

Allegation 3: Improperly recommending redress of grievance as a means to resolve complaints in light of potential for conflict of interest by Director Canadian Forces Grievance Administration

In his written complaint submitted to this Office, Captain Poulin states:
 

On or around December 21, 1998, Maj.-Gen. Penney recommended  “grievance”  as one option that I may wish to pursue to resolve my situation. He did so with the knowledge that the DCFGA was Lt.-Col. P. Pellicano, the spouse of the secretary for DGPA. He was also a rank below one of the alleged harassers (i.e. the then Col. Samson).
 

His actions were in direct violation of CFAO 19.39 (para. 46). It states that investigators of harassment (abuse of authority)  “... In order to ensure impartiality and the perception of impartiality it will be necessary to seek an investigator from a different unit or workplace.”   (CFAO 19.39, para 46 (a)).
 

An investigator must be chosen who neither has any interest in the outcome of the investigation, nor is perceived to have any personal link to anyone with an interest in the outcome. (CFAO 19.39, para 46(b)).
 

The investigator ... should be equal or superior in rank to both the complainant and the alleged harasser (CFAO 19.39, para 46 (c)).
 

The sum of Maj.-Gen. Penney's actions in this instance resulted in a clear violation of his responsibilities as an officer under QR&O 4.02(c). It states:  “An Officer shall promote the welfare, efficiency and good discipline of all subordinates.” 

 

Captain Poulin's concern that Major-General Penney's recommendation of redress of grievance as an option to resolve complaints was improper stems from correspondence forwarded to him on December 21, 1998, in which Major-General Penney indicates:
 

Recognizing the obligation of the organization to be diligent in addressing allegations of reprisal, there are options available to you should you choose to pursue them. These would include, but not be limited to, making a complaint to the DND/CF Ombudsman, Mr. A. Marin, at 992-0787, seeking assistance from the office of Alternative Disputes Resolution, Mr. P. Sterne, at 996-0546, and/or lodging a grievance. Regarding your interest in obtaining legal counsel, you can make application to the Director of Law/Claims pursuant to the Treasury Board policy on  “Indemnification of and Legal Assistance for Public Servants.” 

 

Assessment

I am satisfied that Major-General Penney did not abuse his authority or improperly exercise his discretion in presenting to Captain Poulin the use of the redress of grievance system, together with several other options, as a means to resolve his complaints.
 

The context in which Major-General Penney's correspondence was forwarded to Captain Poulin has been reviewed previously in this report. Major-General Penney was responding to Captain Poulin's concerns about the decision of the Chief of Review Services to retain a private consultant, Mr. Cantin, to investigate Captain Poulin's allegations of harassment and retaliation. In the course of responding to Captain Poulin's concerns about that decision, Major-General Penney outlined various other options which Captain Poulin could pursue to address his concerns if he so chose. There is no indication that Major-General Penney suggested that any of these options, including filing a redress of grievance, should be preferred over the other options. Indeed, given Captain Poulin's knowledge of DND and CF policies and procedures, it is more than likely he was already aware of the CF redress of grievance system as an option available to address his concerns.
 

In an interview with my investigators, Major-General Penney stated he did not know Mr. Pellicano, the Director CF Grievance Administration, nor did he have any knowledge regarding Mr. Pellicano's relationships. Whether or not Major-General Penney was aware that Mr. Pellicano's spouse was the secretary to the Director General Public Affairs would not, in my view, impugn his decision to present redress of grievance as one option for Captain Poulin to resolve his concerns. Should Captain Poulin have decided to proceed with the redress of grievance option, clearly it would have been incumbent upon the CF to take steps at that point to ensure appropriate measures and safeguards were put in place to avoid any potential conflict of interest as a result of Mr. Pellicano's personal circumstances.
 

Table of Contents
 

F. Allegation against Lieutenant-Colonel Miville Deschênes

Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes had been released from the CF at the time that the interim report was completed. My investigators made numerous attempts to contact him to provide him with the opportunity to receive a copy of the relevant portion of the interim report and offer any feedback but received no response to their messages.
 

Allegation: Informing that harassment investigation could proceed without Captain Poulin's participation

Captain Poulin stated in his written complaint:
 

On or around November 10, 1998, at approximately 16:05 hrs, Maj. Deschênes said the CRS investigation would proceed regardless of my objections and without my participation knowing this statement to be false.
 

On or around November 26, 1998, during the afternoon, I met with Mr. J. Maurice Cantin and Maj. M. Deschênes in the conference room near his (Deschênes) office. During our conversation, Maj. Deschênes admitted that Mr. Cantin still did not have any terms of reference to proceed. Still, Maj. Deschênes said, in light of everything we had discussed during this exploratory meeting, that I would have until December 7, 1998 to inform him whether I would co-operate or not with the administrative investigation and that Mr. Cantin would proceed regardless. Maj. Deschênes knew this assertion to be false.

 

At the time in question, Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes was an officer with the Military Police who was a Senior Analyst with the Director Special Examinations and Inquiries, a directorate under the Chief of Review Services. Its role is  “to plan and conduct special examinations and inquiries into allegations or instances of impropriety, mismanagement and/or other irregularities in the DND and CF.”  
 

Ombudsman's investigators interviewed Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes in his office at 101 Colonel By Drive in Ottawa on August 1, 2000. Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes consulted the professional diary he maintained in his capacity as a senior analyst and also provided Ombudsman's investigators with a copy of the relevant portion of the diary.
 

According to the diary, Colonel Maillet contacted Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes on October 15, 1998 regarding the need to examine allegations of reprisal and harassment contained in the speech Captain Poulin submitted to the organizers of the CF Defence Ethics Conference. Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes attempted to contact Captain Poulin on October 16, 1998 and left a message asking Captain Poulin to contact him.
 

Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes first met with Captain Poulin on October 19, 1998. According to Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes' notes, Captain Poulin wanted a list of remedies that might be afforded him as the outcome of an administrative investigation. Captain Poulin's diary also records their meeting of October 19, 1998. According to both diaries, Captain Poulin wanted to wait until learning the results of the CFNIS investigation before proceeding with an administrative investigation into harassment.
 

Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes' diary entry dated October 29, 1998 indicates that Captain Poulin questioned whether an administrative investigation to examine Captain Poulin's allegations of harassment and reprisal could proceed without Captain Poulin's participation. In response, the entry records that Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes:
 

... provided Capt. Poulin [with] a memo signed by MGen Penney advising him that an [administrative] inquiry would take place regarding the alleged reprisals he suffered as a result of his memo regarding Col. Labbé. I also informed him of the possible outcome of such an inquiry based on M. Cantin's experience ... Capt. Poulin asked how such an investigation could take place without his participation. He understood, based on my explanation that it may not be perfect without his input. I told him that I would ask M. Cantin if he can carry on such an investigation without the complainant's full support.

 

During his interview with Ombudsman's investigators, Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes related the concerns that Captain Poulin appeared to have about the administrative investigation and his assessment of the situation:
 

... there was this feeling of unfairness, unjust, not neutral enough, bias. At the beginning maybe [Captain Poulin] felt uncomfortable with the process ... and I tried my best to be as open as I could be with Bruce in telling him the process, the memos, the thinking, the reasoning. Complete openness and trust with this guy. Saying,  “you're a trustworthy employee ... you deserve the truth. This is what's going on.”  [I told him] the backdoor discussions and things that don't get on paper:   “this is what's happening, Bruce.”   I knew that he would take notes of everything because that's the way he is and that' s perfect. So our intention was to be open and provide him with a professional. The top harassment investigator available, Mr. Cantin, to provide him an unbiased report on his harassment.

 

On November 26, 1998, Captain Poulin attended a meeting with Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes and Mr. Cantin, the consultant who had been retained for the proposed administrative investigation. Captain Poulin provided this Office with a copy of an audiotape of this meeting. On it, Captain Poulin is heard asking whether they were going to proceed despite Captain Poulin's not having indicated his intention to participate. Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes indicates their intention to start and asks Captain Poulin to provide his decision regarding his participation or otherwise by December 7, 1998.
 

Major-General Penney signed the terms of reference for the investigation into the allegations of reprisal and harassment on December 7, 1998. As previously noted, Captain Poulin wrote to Major-General Penney on January 8, 1999 agreeing to participate in the investigation led by Mr. Cantin subject to two conditions, which he outlined. Ultimately, the investigation never got off the ground. As Mr. Cantin informed Major-General Penney on March 8, 1999, his efforts to investigate the matter had so far been fruitless. According to Mr. Cantin, Captain Poulin asserted he was unable to participate in the investigation until he received copies of information from the CFNIS for reference. Mr. Cantin further indicated that, in his view, he would be unable to proceed with the investigation unless Captain Poulin agreed to be interviewed to provide details of the allegations, including facts and names of individuals.
 

As I have already noted, when it became clear the Chief of Review Services' investigation was not progressing, Major-General Penney sought to refer Captain Poulin 's complaints to the Ombudsman's Office for investigation.
 

Assessment

I am satisfied that Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes did not act improperly or provide Captain Poulin with inaccurate or misleading information. In informing Captain Poulin that the administrative investigation could proceed without his participation, he was responding to Captain Poulin's inquiry stemming from his concern that the investigation was to be conducted by Mr. Cantin. I am satisfied that Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes clarified to Captain Poulin the limits of any investigation that proceeded without his participation. He also advised Captain Poulin that he would check with Mr. Cantin to determine whether it was possible to carry out an investigation without Captain Poulin's full support.
 

It appears that, once Mr. Cantin became familiar with the nature of the allegations being made and their extent, he concluded that he could not proceed without Captain Poulin's agreement to be interviewed and to provide details of the allegations, including facts and the names of individuals.
 

It should be noted that it was open to the Chief of Review Services to decide to continue with the administrative investigation even if Captain Poulin was not amenable to having it proceed. Although Captain Poulin was the person allegedly affected by incidents of harassment and retaliation, after having made these allegations in the speech he submitted to the Defence Ethics Conference, he did not have exclusive ownership over them. While it is exceptional that an investigative body will proceed to investigate allegations without the agreement of the person who is affected or who brought them forward, there may be instances where it is appropriate. Since the allegations contained in Captain Poulin's speech were serious and were the subject of much media attention, persons who could be identified as subjects of Captain Poulin's allegations also had an interest in having the complaints investigated to determine whether the allegations were substantiated or not. In my view, it was clearly within the discretion of the Chief of Review Services to decide that the public interest warranted an investigation of the matter, even if Captain Poulin did not wish to participate.
 

Clearly, an investigation into harassment or retaliation that proceeds without the cooperation of the person directly affected will be limited and have to overcome hurdles in seeking information from other sources. If the person directly affected is the only one who can provide necessary details such as names and dates and is unwilling to do so, the investigation will likely not be able to proceed. I am satisfied that Lieutenant-Colonel Deschênes made these limits clear to Captain Poulin during their discussion on this issue.
 

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G. Allegation against Brigadier-General Lise Mathieu

Brigadier-General Mathieu responded in writing to the relevant portion of the interim report on March 8, 2001, advising that she had reviewed the report and had no comments to offer.
 

Allegation: Interference with alternative dispute resolution mechanism

Captain Poulin states in his written complaint:
 

On or around May 26, 1999, Col. Mathieu, who is not in my chain of command, directly interfered with an alternative dispute resolution mechanism that was none of her concern thereby preventing me achieving any closure to my current situation.
 

Col. Mathieu's actions were also a violation of QR&O 4.02(c). It states:  “An Officer shall promote the welfare, efficiency and good discipline of all subordinates.”  Col. Mathieu's direct intervention prevented my family and I from bringing closure to this whole affair. 

 
At the time she became a subject of Captain Poulin's complaint, Brigadier-General Mathieu was the Executive Assistant to the Chief of the Defence Staff and held the rank of Colonel. Ombudsman's investigators interviewed her on December 9, 1999 in her office at 101 Colonel By Drive in Ottawa. A subsequent interview was also deemed necessary, and Ombudsman's investigators interviewed Brigadier-General Mathieu in the boardroom of her current office located at the CF Medical Group Headquarters, 1745 Alta Vista Road, Ottawa on November 20, 2000.
 

Colonel Mathieu confirmed to the Ombudsman's investigators that she had received a call from Mr. Daniel Gervais, Senior Counsel and Director of Claims and Civil Litigation, DND and CF Legal Advisor, who informed her that Captain Poulin wished to enter mediation to resolve his complaints. Brigadier-General Mathieu stated to my investigators:
 

... at that time I questioned him and I said, and you're asking me because ... I didn't really see why they were calling the CDS' s office to ask about Captain Poulin wishing to do a mediation. [Mr. Gervais] explained that [he was calling the CDS's office] because some of [Poulin's] allegations had something to do with the Provost Marshal.

 

Then Colonel Mathieu had been the recipient of Captain Poulin's military police complaints against three members of the CFNIS and the CFPM dated November 18, 1998, previously referred to in this report. Brigadier-General Mathieu recalled having read the complaints and, on advice from the Judge Advocate General's Office, referred them back to the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards for clarification. The basis for the decision to seek clarification was that it was not apparent on the face of the complaints whether the CFPM was directly implicated in any of the matters that were the subject of complaint.
 

Colonel Mathieu attributed her response to Mr. Gervais' inquiries about dispute resolution options for Captain Poulin to her earlier involvement with Captain Poulin's military police complaints. Based on her previous assessment of Captain Poulin's complaints, she concluded that there was no basis to include the Chief of the Defence Staff in any dispute resolution process since the incidents did not appear to directly implicate the CFPM.
 

Colonel Mathieu further explained her decision that it was not appropriate for the Chief of the Defence Staff to become involved in the mediation process as follows:
 

... the CDS is the end of the line ... if he takes on first line things, where does it go after? So our office normally drives things back to the chain of command and says “if you run into trouble and you need the Chief, okay”  but really if you start here, then what? So to me ... the first thing I do when I get something like this I say  “OK. What's this about?”  In this case, in my view, [it] had nothing to do with the chief at this point. [There was] no reason to come all the way to the top for ...  “I'm ready to mediate. Anybody want to mediate with me so to speak?” 

 

She further stated:

... we get all kinds of requests ... and our aim is always to put it where it's going to be the most effectively dealt with. In this case I went to General Penney 'cause I knew that he was actively involved in trying to help Captain Poulin. I knew there was no point in bringing it back to DGPA.

 

Thus, just as Captain Poulin's earlier military police complaints were returned to the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards as noted previously in this report, his request for mediation was referred back to the Chief of Review Services.
 

Assessment

I am satisfied that Colonel Mathieu's decision to refer Captain Poulin's complaints back to the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards and the Chief of Review Services was not an improper exercise of her discretion. As the Executive Assistant to the Chief of the Defence Staff, Colonel Mathieu was responsible to ensure that matters referred to the Chief of the Defence Staff were properly reviewed to determine the most appropriate level of the chain of command to deal effectively with the issue. I am not satisfied that her assessment that the Chief of the Defence Staff's intervention was not required to pursue alternative resolution options in Captain Poulin's case was based on improper considerations.
 

I am also not satisfied that Colonel Mathieu's actions were designed to interfere with Captain Poulin's efforts to have his complaints mediated. Clearly, there was nothing to prevent alternative dispute resolution from being pursued at lower levels of the CF chain of command. If alternative dispute resolution was attempted, the Chief of the Defence Staff was always available in the future to facilitate any resolution that could not be achieved at lower levels.
 


Recommendations and conclusion

Summary of recommendations

  1. Procedures be adopted to ensure that correspondence submitted for the action of leaders and managers at any level is routinely logged and monitored to ensure a timely response by the appropriate level of the chain of command.
     
  2. The records-keeping and monitoring procedures should require that all Canadian Forces members have a right to receive written acknowledgement of their complaint and a written response detailing any action taken in response, including the results of any investigation (wherever appropriate.)
     
  3. The records-keeping and monitoring procedures should require that, if no written response or follow-up action is logged, the matter be brought forward immediately to the attention of the officer who is the immediate superior of the member who failed to discharge the responsibility of logging or following up the complaint. If complaints are not logged or dealt with promptly, the matter should be referred to the Office of the Ombudsman for review.
     
  4. General Baril should, as the commander of the Canadian Forces personnel, issue an acknowledgement of failure and regret on behalf of the chain of command to Captain Poulin and confirm to him personally the Canadian Forces' commitment to implementing procedures to ensure that when members bring forward issues and concerns to the chain of command they will be responded to in all cases.
     
  5. The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service provide to Captain Poulin, in writing, confirmation of its decision not to investigate his complaint that his personal information was leaked to the media in June 1998, including an explanation as to why this matter falls outside of the mandate of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.
     
  6. The official letter dismissing Captain Poulin's military police complaints should be reissued removing the reference to "vexatious."
     
  7. The Chief of the Defence Staff should ensure that appropriate directives are put into place to prevent actions by Canadian Forces members that constitute, or may be perceived by a reasonable person to constitute, attempts to influence the course of military police investigations outside of the normal investigative process.
     
  8. The Chief of the Defence Staff should issue the appropriate directives to ensure that, where incidents are referred to the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal for investigation, the referral comes from persons within the chain of command who are not identified as potential subjects of any allegations to be investigated.
     
  9. The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service issue a further press release to inform the public of the complete results of its investigation into the allegations against Lieutenant-General Leach, including the fact that evidence was uncovered that other individuals within Lieutenant-General Leach's office in July 1996 had seen the memorandum submitted by Captain Poulin and were aware of its contents. The press release should also include the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service recommendation that the matter be reviewed from an administrative perspective by the chain of command.
     
  10. The Canadian Forces should issue an ex gratia payment to Captain Poulin for an amount equivalent to his costs incurred for legal representation in order to obtain advice and to attempt to resolve the issue surrounding the critical comments made about him by Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson in his letter to Colonel Labbé.
     
  11. The Chief of the Defence Staff direct that a review be conducted to confirm the administrative action taken against Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson and that the necessary steps be taken to document such action.
     

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Conclusion

My function as Ombudsman is to assist in the resolution of individual complaints and to contribute to substantial and long-lasting improvements in the welfare of employees and members of the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Forces (CF) community in general. I have therefore approached the complaints raised by Captain Poulin with a view both to providing closure for him and those implicated in his complaints, and to improving the welfare of members of DND and the CF in general.
 

To be sure, many of the complaints Captain Poulin brought forward proved, on investigation, to be unfounded. Many people became implicated in the long ordeal that began with Captain Poulin's effort, on July 9, 1996 and again on July 15, 1996, to speak out on matters sufficiently important that he took the personal risks that reporting superior officers can entail. Many of those implicated did nothing wrong, undoubtedly contributing to the perception by some that Captain Poulin was a perennial complainer. The process whereby Captain Poulin's reputation was tainted and other persons exposed to the stress of being the subjects of his complaints might well have been prevented had his initial complaints been dealt with judiciously. Instead they languished. They lay dormant until made public nearly two years later, on June 17, 1998, when Captain Poulin's original memorandum of July 9, 1996 was circulated at a press conference. In the interim, Captain Poulin had no doubt come to suspect the worst, that the CF was not interested in his complaints or in addressing injustices, that it was closing ranks to protect its own and avoid public scandal.
 

As a result of the circulation of Captain Poulin's original memorandum at the press conference on June 17, 1998, military police investigations were ordered, not only into the initial complaint but into the way that complaint had been handled. Those investigations culminated in a decision that was unfavourable to Captain Poulin. On October 26, 1998, he watched as the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) made a public release of the results that was misleading, even if inadvertently so. It left the erroneous impression that his complaint against Lieutenant-General William Leach was without foundation and that Captain Poulin had not even taken appropriate steps to bring the complaint to the attention of anyone in his chain of command. The misleading press release could have done nothing other than to confirm Captain Poulin's perception that his complaints would not be addressed on their merits and that the system was conspiring to prevent embarrassment to itself, even at the cost of embarrassing and harming him.
 

A person of uncommon tenacity, Captain Poulin decided not to leave the matter alone. He laid a series of military police complaints against three of the CFNIS investigators and the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM), and subsequently a complaint against the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards. Although these complaints were dismissed, as it turns out, with good reason, they were labelled as "vexatious." Given Captain Poulin's experience thus far, the application of this label no doubt confirmed in his mind that he was not being taken seriously and would have to pay the price by being branded a trouble-maker.
 

After his memorandum of July 9, 1996 became public in June 1998, many incidents that occurred appeared to Captain Poulin to be acts of reprisal or retaliation, even when they were not. Other people were drawn into the affair as he complained about things that they had done or he had perceived as doing.
 

In the meantime, Captain Poulin's distrust of the CF had increased so much that he also lost faith in the internal mechanisms available to settle disputes. Rather, he perceived conflicts of interest in attempts to help him resolve disputes, thereby leading to still other allegations of impropriety. Captain Poulin was so determined to fight injustice that he ultimately lost the ability to identify who was harming him and who was not. A man who had begun by attempting to redress what he conscientiously and firmly believed to be serious wrongs was left so isolated that he indeed began to make unwarranted complaints. Furthermore, Captain Poulin was no longer the only victim of a process gone wrong. More victims were created.
 

DND and the CF have made a commendable commitment to openness, transparency and accountability and to the fair treatment of all members. The importance of public respect and the maintenance of high morale within DND and the CF have been given new emphasis, and new institutions, including my own Office, have been set up to accomplish these goals. Nonetheless, this episode demonstrates the importance of living up to commitments, not just expressing them. When concerns are ignored, whether because of administrative deficiencies or because of an ethos in which problems are swept under the rug out of a misguided sense of loyalty, the promise of openness, accountability and the fair treatment of all is broken, the purpose of those commitments is defeated, and ultimately the reputation of the CF is harmed.
 

The events that transpired in this case pose a genuine threat to the good repute of DND and the CF. Complaints were not addressed but were left unattended, creating the impression that they were being buried. Once the news broke and the CFNIS investigations were commissioned, one of the subjects of the complaints hand-delivered a private missive to the CFPM, giving one side of the story and inscribing words that would raise the suspicion of any reasonable person: "P.S. The original copy of the handwritten memo is for the CFPM. I have retained a copy for myself. No other copies have been done."
 

When the investigations ended and the results were released, the headline of the press release was inaccurate, proclaiming that there was no evidence to support the allegation involving Lieutenant-General Leach when this was not so. Furthermore, the press release failed to mention that the report of the results of the investigation recommended an administrative review into the matter. Using ill-chosen language, it created the impression that no-one but the Lieutenant-General had ever seen or been told about the memo, when in fact Major Michel Lavoie had advised investigators that he had seen the memo and had discussed it both with Captain Poulin and Lieutenant-General Leach. Notwithstanding my assessment that the press release was not intentionally misleading, there will be those who will see it as an example of spin-doctoring of a kind that is entirely antithetical to the openness and transparency that has been promised. This is a tragedy, not only for those who have been touched personally by these events, but for all who take pride in DND and the CF and the commitment to openness, transparency and fairness.
 

The only way, in my view, to reduce the damage that has been done is to benefit from experience by giving serious consideration to all of the recommendations of this report. Indeed, all those involved in leadership roles must demonstrate their commitment to the principles of openness, transparency and fairness by taking measures within their own spheres of influence to show that in the future, complaints will be handled effectively and with integrity and that those who have the courage to come forward will be listened to.
 

The paramount importance of living up to our commitments by acknowledging what has transpired and taking steps to repair the harm done to the reputation of DND and the CF impels me to make the following observation. As described in this final report, there has been resistance to the recommendations that I have made from the current CFPM and the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards. Their objections are based on concerns about jurisdiction, or  “turf.”  Such objections are unbecoming. They are formalistic and threaten to undermine the benefits that can be derived from this difficult venture. The Ombudsman's Office is not attempting to usurp anyone's control or replace anyone's function. I could not do so if I tried, because I lack the authority to compel anyone to do anything or to make final decisions. Rather, my function is to investigate, study, make recommendations and give aid. My staff and I have expended considerable time, energy and thought to craft appropriate solutions to real problems in ways that advance the interests of individual members of DND and the CF and, in the process, of DND and the CF community in general. That assistance should be accepted, not declined on legalistic, particularly inaccurate legalistic, grounds.
 

It should also be noted here that, while the Chief of the Defence Staff has a commendable and hearty, indeed essential, commitment to respecting the independence of the CFPM and the CFNIS, I am convinced that he has misconceived the application of the Accountability Framework. There is nothing in the Accountability Framework to prevent the implementation of Recommendations 7 and 8. Those recommendations are fitting, necessary and should be accepted.
 

In closing, Mr. Minister, it is my hope and fondest expectation that we will all learn from what has happened here. It is my hope and fondest expectation that this odyssey will come to a close for Captain Poulin and for all of those who have been implicated in this matter. And it is my hope and fondest desire that the solutions that my staff and I have crafted will be implemented, that these recommendations will not die on these pages. I would ask you to use your good offices to prevail on those who would resist to reconsider their positions and place the best interests of DND and the CF and its members first.
  


* Ed King, Maureen Bruyere, George Mackie
* Since his retirement from the Canadian Forces, Michel Drapeau has contributed editorially to Esprit de Corps magazine and was the individual who questioned Lieutenant-General Leach about Captain Poulin's 1996 memorandum during the press conference held on June 17, 1998.
 

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Continue to Appendix I

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