The investigative platform that doesn’t like to investigate.
So, if you’ve ever wondered why the CBC has never shown an interest in a news story about how the Canadian Armed Forces were inappropriately investigating the sexual abuse of military dependents on Canadian Forces Bases in Canada, let me shed some light on this.
The CBC isn’t immune to petty politics and retribution.
Back in 2016 I first made contact with Jenn Blair the of CBC’s Go Public news program.
Jenn seemed very interested in my story.
Even to the point that she had a cameraman over to my apartment to film an interview between herself and I.
I put Jenn in contact with other victims of military child sexual abuse.
In subsequent telephone calls, Jenn was very certain that from what the other victims had to say and from what I was saying that this would be a very damning story against the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence.
Then in early January 2017 I received disturbing information from Jenn Blair.
All the time that Jenn had been investigating my story, she was only a “temp” at CBC Go Public and she was bidding on a position with CBC Go Public that eventually went to Rachel Ward.
Pretty well on the same day that Jenn notified me that she didn’t get the position that she was bidding on, Rachel Ward contacted me.
Right off the bat Rachel informed me that she didn’t like the direction that Jenn had been moving in and the she was scraping the video interview. Rachel thought that the story, instead of being broadcast, would work better as an “interactive time line” that visitors to the CBC Go Public website could click on to see key events.
I told her that this story was how the Canadian Armed Forces through flaws in the National Defence Act had hidden and buried child sexual abuse on the bases in Canada. I told her that her target audience was in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and even 80s and that they weren’t going to be trolling the internet looking for interactive time lines to play with.
These people had literally been put through hell by the Canadian Armed Forces and their defective military justice system and more often than not blamed for their own misfortunes. These other victims were going to need to know that it was safe for them to come forward and that the Canadian Forces would not be able to hurt them any longer.
Nope. Rachel wasn’t budging on her “interactive timeline”. Besides, it was her opinion that the military had changed and that there was no need to keep dragging the military through the mud.
I had been contacted by Randall Garrison’s office just before the Defence Committee hearing in which Randall Garrison was going to ask Lt. Gen. Christine Whitecross who exactly had jurisdiction to investigate child sexual abuse that occurred on the bases in Canada. I contacted Rachel and let her know, she called me back and told me to call her as soon as I had heard any information from this committee.
After the hearing, I was contacted by Randall’s office and told that the hearing was over and that as this was an official hearing that it would be available on the Parliamentary archive. They emailed me the link.
I viewed the video and I almost fell out of my chair.
Lt.Gen. Christine Whitecross said to the National Defence committee that the Canadian Forces have ALWAYS handed off matters involving child sexual abuse to the outside civilians.
I called the number that Rachel had given me.
All I got was a message stating that this customer has not set up their voicemail and that when I see the customer next I should remind them to set up their voicemail.
I called the office number she gave me, but the extension number kept responding with a generic automated message that most systems will give when the user’s greeting message hasn’t been recorded.
I called the CBC Calgary office and by randomly trying different extension numbers I was able to get someone who had heard of Rachel, but they weren’t sure how to get hold of her as her name was in the employee directory, but it wasn’t associated with any office or any extension.
I sent Rachel some email requests that she contact me.
Rachel eventually did get back to me.
The thing that threw me for a loop was when Rachel announced that she was going to have to file FOI requests with DND to get some information. She also asked my what I thought that Lt. Gen. Christine Whitecross meant when she said that DND and the CF always hand matters of child sexual abuse off to the civilian authorities. Rachel suggested that maybe Randall and I misunderstood what Lt.Gen. Whitecross meant.
I told her what Randall Garrison had said about the Office of the Minister of National Defence interfering with his attempts to set up a meeting between himself and Rear Admiral Bennett. Rachel actually asked me what I thought that Randall might mean when he said that.
This was gong absolutely nowhere and fast.
My telephone calls with Mrs. Marchitelli left a LOT to be desired.
I found her to be a very unpleasant person to deal with. Not what I would call a “people person”. She was like one of those middle managers that didn’t like to hear bad things about their subordinates because they’re worried about their superiors finding out and then questioning their leadership abilities.
Rosa wasn’t too understanding at all as to why some of the other victims of military child sexual abuse weren’t willing to go on camera. “If they want to make claims, they have to be willing to stand up”. Nope. Sorry. There are a lot of former military dependents that are terrified of the Canadian Armed Forces and fear the retribution that they could face.
Do I fear retribution?
No, I’m the person who has wanted to die since he was 8 years old. I’m not afraid of DND or the CF solely for that reason. If death comes, it comes. No use being afraid of it.
Rosa was almost of the same opinion of Claude Adams from Global News. That if what I was alleging was such a problem, then we’d know about it my now because surely the “others” would have come forward by now.
So, here we are in 2021 going into 2022.
In 2020 the Military Police Complaints Commission confirmed in writing that the CFNIS knew all along about the connection between P.S. and Captain Father Angus McRae -and- the CFNIS in 2011 knew that P.S. had been investigated by the base military police for molesting children on Canadian Forces Base Namao.
Minister of National Defence Anita Anand has ordered ALL sexual abuse investigations, including my complaint against the Canadian Forces officer in the sauna at the base pool in 1980, be moved into the civilian justice system. This came as a result of the recent review of the military justice system and the subsequent recommendation that the CFNIS and military police be excluded from sexual assault investigations.
I was recently in contact with Ashley Burke of the CBC. I sent her a copy of an email that I had recently received from the Victim Services coordinator of the Canadian Armed Forces acknowledging that my sexual assault complaint against a different former officer of the Canadian Armed Forces was in the process of being handed over to the civilian authorities as per the order of Anita Anand, the new Minister of National Defence.
Ashley emailed me back pretty quick and wanted to know if I would consent to talking to her in a confidential telephone call. I passed her my telephone number and my contact information. Never have heard back from her. She won’t even return subsequent emails.
If I was a gambling man I’d be willing to wager that after my encounter with Rachel Ward and Rosa Marchitelli that my name is on some sort of black list at the CBC.
I can’t see the CBC willingly colluding with the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces to hide stories about child sexual abuse involving military personnel from the eyes of the Canadian public.
My story is pretty unique in the sense that I am a civilian with an active investigation before the CFNIS that is being handed to the civilian authorities.
Go Public seems to handle a lot of different stories from the Canadian Public involving institutions that are not subject to Access to Information or Freedom of Information Acts. So not getting the “other side” of the story doesn’t seem to stop Go Public and the CBC from running these stories.
If you check out Go Public’s web page, their stories run the gamut of closed Facebook accounts, patients with dementia buying service contracts, banks holding customers liable for cheque fraud, and other such public interest issues.
Civilians being denied justice because their parents and their abusers were in the Canadian Armed Forces? Nope, no interest.
Sure, the CBC receives massive support from the Government of Canada, but would the CBC really be willing to look the other way in order to ensure that their funding isn’t reviewed?
I can’t understand any other possibility.
David Pugliese has admitted that budget cuts and staffing cuts make a story like mine really hard for the commercial media to take an interest in.
But the CBC is the public broadcaster that is supposed to hold the Government of Canada to account when the commercial media can’t or won’t.
I can’t see grudges held by Rachel and Rosa as being enough on their own to repeatedly deep-six the story of how the Canadian Armed Forces have hidden and buried incidents of child sexual abuse on the bases, but you never know.
Maybe they know the right people. And when you know the right people, that’s all you need.
Maybe the CBC and its reporters don’t believe that male children can be sexually abused. That could be another possibility.
Or maybe the CBC believes that a 15 year old teenage male abusing his position as a babysitter and having forced anal intercourse with the 8 year old male that he is supposed to be babysitting is really nothing more than “Childhood curiosity and experimentation”.
Maybe the CBC and its reporters believe that even though the military police and the CFNIS have been found incompetent time and time again that somehow the CFNIS and the military police are fully capable of investigating child sexual abuse on the bases completely free from Chain of Command influence.