Or how people assume that the media runs with everything presented to it.
Just recently a Twitter user that stumbled across my opinion of Medial Assistance in Dying suggested that I contact the media. The media will grab this story lickity-split!
In the over ten years that I’ve been dealing with this matter I’ve gone to the media numerous times.
A non-comprehensive list of who I’ve talked to:
- CBC National
- CBC Go Public
- CBC The Fifth Estate
- CBC The Passionate Eye
- CTV W5
- Global 16X9
- Global National
- Esprit De Corps
- L’ Actualite
- The Edmonton Journal
- The Vancouver Sun
- The Toronto Star
- The Ottawa Citizen
- Canada Press
- Paula Simmons
- Jennifer Tryon
- Claude Adams
- Anne Marie Owens
- Rachel Ward
- Jenn Blair
- Frédéric Zalac (As a member of the ICIJ and as a CBC reporter)
- Maya Hamovitch with CTV W5
- Avery Haines
- Noémi Mercier
- Alec Castonguay
- Aedan Helmer
- Justin Ling
- And many, many, many more.
- The only two reporters that even touched on my story have been David Pugliese and Nora Loreto
Even after the news story broke about my class action lawsuit against the Government of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces the media showed very little interest in me.
The most significant reason why the media refuses to run this story is the sheer amount of media consolidation in this country. At one time the newspapers in this country competed with each other and fought for subscribers. Now the major newspapers are all owned by the same companies. It’s an oligopoly really.
The second most significant reason is the lack of investigative journalism, there really aren’t any investigative journalists anymore. The newsrooms have been cut to the bare bone. This is one reason why “press releases” are run almost 100% verbatim.
Another reason that can’t be overlooked is the sheer ignorance by those in the media towards how the Canadian Forces actually operate. Far too many members of the Canadian Media believe that military soldiers would KILL anyone that messed with a child. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Too many members of the Canadian Media grew up watching “Major Dad” on TV and think that this show illustrated the real life of a military family.
Most news reporters have absolutely no idea that children lived on military bases.
Most news reporters have absolutely no idea that military bases were self contained “company towns” where rank held sway and where the private police forces (both the military police and the CFSIU) prior to 1998 were under direct command of the leaders on base. To amplify the issues of the “company town” were certain sections of the National Defence Act that ensured that residents of the “company town” were legally required to obey the wishes and directives of their superiors least they face a lifetime prison sentence.
Most news reporters believe that military police officers and CFNIS Investigators are “real police” and not simply soldiers first and police officers second. Even nowadays the CFNIS, which are often trumpeted as being “independent” of the chain of command are actually under the direct command of the Vice Chief of Defence Staff. As the Military Police Complaints Commission has indicated, due to the Chain of Command structure within the Provost Marshal and the Military Police Group, investigators with the CFNIS may not even be aware of Chain of Command decisions that ultimately interfere with their investigation.
A poor understanding of the National Defence Act and the Criminal Code of Canada also contributes to the media being totally unwilling to get involved in a story like mine.
Flaws in the National Defence Act such as the 3-year-time-bar-flaw or the summary-investigation-flaw are such foreign concepts to most members of the media that they laugh at me when I suggest that the 3-year-time-bar alone prevents the investigation or charging of anyone who committed a service offence prior to 1998. A sixty year old man could in theory bring charges against his school teacher from back in the 1970s so long as the school teacher was still alive. A former military dependent who was sexually abused be a member of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1996 would NOT be able to bring charges against their abuser due to the 3-year-time-bar on all service offences.
Members of the media seem to think that Service Offences are only limited to “military type” offences. Service Offences also include all Criminal Code of Canada offences. Yes, the military couldn’t try for the crimes of “Murder, Manslaughter, and Rape” from 1950 until 1985. But under the pre-1985 Criminal Code, Gross Indecency, Indecent Assault, Buggery, Incest, Sexual Intercourse with female under the age of 14, Sexual Intercourse with female between 14 and 16, Sexual intercourse with Step-Daughter, or even Incest were not “Rape” and therefore the military had jurisdiction to try for these offences.
The media wants more victims. I don’t run a victim tracking service. And with the other kids from the different bases moving around as often as I did it’s a miracle that anyone remembers anyone else from childhood. By the time I was 12 years old I lived in 7 different PMQs on 5 difference bases in 4 different provinces. Military dependents were not tracked by DND or the CF. When we turned 18 and aged off the base we were very quickly forgotten about by the military.
The media wants quick and easy stories. Stories where everything fits together in one nice little package. This will not be one of those stories.
Martin Kruze was a victim of a child sex abuse ring at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, ON during the 1980s. Martin tried to get the police to listen to him, they wouldn’t. The police as it turned out were big fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and couldn’t see past their own adulation of a professional NHL hockey team to understand that very bad things were happening in Harold’s house. It wasn’t until the Toronto Police Service assigned a pair of women to the investigation that things started going the right way for Martin. I guess the female officers weren’t so tied up in sports hero worship like their male counterparts were.
Martin tried to get the media to listen, the media wouldn’t listen. Gordon Stuckless was eventually sentenced to prison. But Martin would go on to commit suicide.
I can’t help but wonder what drove Martin that far. Was it the abuse? Was it the fact that no one believed him, even though Gordon Stuckless would go on to be convicted of molesting numerous boys. I’m going to go with the fact that no one believed him or listened to him
So far in my life I have endured:
- Sexual abuse at the hands of a teenage male.
- Sexual abuse at the hands of a military officer.
- Sexual abuse at the hands of a retired member of the Canadian Forces.
- Counselling at the hands of a military social worker designed to convince me that I was mentally ill because I “enjoyed” being sexually abused.
- Counselling at the hands of a military social worker designed to convince me that I was responsible for my younger brother being molested.
- The rage of my father who no doubt was placing special emphasis on what the military social worker was telling him due to the rank of the military social worker
- The long term effects of untreated major depression and severe anxiety as the Canadian Forces could not risk me being cared for in the civilian system.
And many, many more issues.
Now, to be certain, I am not seeking M.A.i.D. solely because no one in the media believes me. But let’s be honest, being ignored by the media, and I mean the entire Canadian media, sure does help with making that final decision.
How many other former military dependents from the multitude of bases have committed suicide over the years because the Canadian Forces swept them under the rug and no one listened to them?
A person can only be tired and worn out for so long before forever sleep becomes irresistible.