Bullying of recruits in Canada: Why is JAG unforthcoming?

August 13, 2014. TVA Nouvelles reports that ex-private James Robichaud was victimized by one of his instructors while undergoing his Recruit Training (Course Number: R 34 platoon. R0297F) in Canadian Forces Base St Jean commencing in October 2009. He was harassed and was the subject of threats as well as a continuous stream of physical abuse causing him debilitating permanent injuries.  Since January 2010, he has been receiving medical treatments for a host of physical injuries – to both feet; to both ankles; to his Achilles tendons; to both calf muscles; to both knees and to left shoulder.

His several reports and complaints to the senior leadership of the CF Recruit School went unheeded. He also submitted a written complaint but to no avail.

Mr. Robichaud was released on medical grounds in April 2012 dashing his ambition to make a career in the Armed Forces.

In April 2012, his legal counsel wrote to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff  with an information copy to the Chief Military Personnel, the Provost Marshall and the Judge Advocate General detailing in a sworn Affidavit the details of the abuse and violence inflicted on Mr. Robichaud. It also requested a criminal investigation. An investigation was subsequently conducted by the National Investigative Service (NIS). It led to recommendations in the Fall 2013 that criminal charges be laid against the assailant recruit instructor.

These recommendations were directed to the Director of Military Prosecutions, Office of the Judge Advocate General were they remained to this day!

Repeated requests by legal counsel for Mr. Robichaud to the Director of Military Prosecutions throughout 2014 for an update on the laying of charges were totally ignored and went unanswered.  The end result is that FIVE years after the physical abuse, harassment and torment inflicted on Mr. Robichaud, for reasons unknown and contrary to the recommendations of the NIS investigation,  no charges have yet been laid against the Recruit instructor by the Director Military Prosecution.

We trust and hope that this is not another instance where the institutional desire to “protect the brand” takes precedence over the fair and impartial administration of military justice. Surely, the safety and respect of recruits demands that the Director of Military Prosecutions deal immediately with this documented physical abuse and assault of a subordinate.

We also h0pe and trust that the Director of Military Prosecution will become informed that at present Parliament was seized on April 3, 2014 with the Canadian Victim’s Bill of Rights. This bill is a clear statement of Parliamentary intention and policy that a victim must be kept apprised of all developments in a criminal matter. This has NOT been the case so far, far from it.

See video:  http://tvanouvelles.ca/video/en-vedette/les-dernieres-nouvelles/8805187001/mauvais-traitements-et-menaces-de-mort-a-larmee-explications-18h/3729138105001/page/2

See news reports:  http://www.journaldequebec.com/2014/08/13/une-ancienne-recrue-de-larmee-agressee-par-son-instructeur-deplore-la-lenteur-du-systeme

 

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