Ethics & Morals

Problems with civilian remands

The Bill of Rights guarantee that accused persons must be tried within a reasonable time frame resulted in a civilian judge recent termination of two trials of military personnel. In each case, the judge said the Department of National Defence had been unreasonably slow in cooperating but Colonel Vanessa Hanrahan, the Deputy Canadian Forces Provost Marshal has disputed the observation. [node:read-more:link]

Ortis verdict to be appealed

The lawyer representing Cameron Ortis, the former RCMP intelligence official convicted of breaching national security, says he plans to appeal the November 22 Ontario Superior Court’s jury verdict. Ortis’ sentencing hearing is expected in early January but the Crown has said imprisonment for about 20 years would be appropriate. [node:read-more:link]

Cameron Ortis found guilty

An Ontario Superior Court jury in Ottawa today found Cameron Ortis guilty of six charges, including multiple counts under the Security of Information Act, and the Crown has suggested a sentence in the range of 20 years. The former civilian head of the RCMP’s intelligence division had pled not guilty, claiming that he had been acting to protect Canada against a “grave threat.” [node:read-more:link]

Anti-vaxxing vet fined

James Topp, a retired Army Warrant Officer and reservist, has been fined $4,000 and reprimanded by a court martial for his high-profile campaign against mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for military personnel. The sentence was handed down November 16, two days after he pled guilty to conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline for posting videos while in uniform. [node:read-more:link]

Extrajudicial killings by British SAS

While he was still a Colonel in 2011, British Royal Marines General Gwyn Jenkins, now Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, was told about “summary executions of supposed Taliban affiliates” by Special Air Services operators in Afghanistan. While Jenkins was not identified during court hearings, the BBC reported November 15 that rather than refer the evidence to military police, he secreted it in a classified dossier after briefing his direct superior, the head of special forces who then commissioned an SAS officer to review the issue [node:read-more:link]

RCAF major charged with weapons offence

Kendrick Barling, an RCAF major who recently wound up a five-year U.S. posting, faces a battery of criminal charges after the Canada Border Services Agency found prohibited weapons in his household effects. The CBSA's Ontario Firearms Smuggling Enforcement Team executed search warrants at residences in Kingston and Petawawa. [node:read-more:link]

Anti-vaxxer vet pleads guilty

B.C. resident James Topp, a retired Army warrant officer and reservist who publicly protested federal coronavirus vaccine requirements while in uniform pled guilty November 14 to charges of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline at the start of his court martial. The maximum penalty is dismissal with disgrace. [node:read-more:link]

Discrimination against junior ranks?

Does the Canadian military discriminate against its lower ranks for what’s considered inappropriate social media comment? Documents obtained through the Access to Information Act certainly support the perception that that senior members in the same situation are not sanctioned to the same degree. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. tackles sexual assault issue

The first specialists in a new U.S. sexual assault prevention force have been deployed to bases in the U.S., Europe and Asia, where the Defense Department says troops are at high risk of offending. Conditions for assault vary but often involve alcohol abuse and toxic leadership. [node:read-more:link]

A looming “shameful chapter”

DND/CAF Ombudsman Gregory Lick says Canada’s efforts to support former language and cultural advisers who worked with the CAF in Afghanistan have been “inadequate or nonexistent.” In a letter to Defence Minister Bill Blair, he says Canada has “a moral obligation” to help the former contract workers to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder and other health issues. [node:read-more:link]

Fortin lawsuit settled

Major-General Dany Fortin has reached an undisclosed settlement in his $6-million lawsuit against the government and the Chief of the Defence Staff over his abrupt dismissal from running the government’s coronavirus vaccination program in May 2021.Under investigation at the time for an alleged assault while a student in 1988, he was acquitted last December. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. commanders “hid” war crimes

A British judicial inquiry into allegations that special forces had committed war crimes in Afghanistan more than a decade ago was told October 11 that although senior officers suspected “deliberate” killings by their operators, they nevertheless “sought to prevent adequate evidence.” [node:read-more:link]

Assault trials terminated

Procedural delays prompted the abrupt end October 10 of the Ontario Court of Justice trials of retired Army Lieutenant-General Trevor Cadieu and Cory Gelowicz, a retired officer who worked at Royal Military College. The charges arise from an alleged sexual assault in 1974 when both were students at RMC. Justice Larry O’Brien said “someone should be held accountable” for a nine-month delay by military police investigators in sharing evidence with defence counsel. [node:read-more:link]

Safety training at CAF Latvia

A recently reported sexual assault by an Albanian soldier against one Canadian civilian support worker at the NATO base in Latvia has prompted the Canadian Armed Forces to provide personal safety training. Among other things, they are being advised to use a “buddy system” after dark. [node:read-more:link]

British war crimes inquiry

Claims that British special forces murdered dozens of Afghan men during counterinsurgency operations a decade ago are the focus of an inquiry which began October 9 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Also under scrutiny are allegations that authorities covered up or failed to investigate any illegalities. [node:read-more:link]


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