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View Peter MacKay Profile
CPC (NS)
I certainly don't disagree with you, Mr. McKay, that the confidence all members of the Canadian Forces, as well as the public, have to have in the independence of the investigation is absolutely critical. I can assure you that the Judge Advocate General's office would have reviewed all of the provisions of the bill before you, in accordance with proposed amendments to the National Defence Act, with an eye to their constitutionality.
I referenced the fact that Mr. Justice Lamer would have undertaken a similar exercise. Some of the recommendations he made, Mr. McKay, which you're aware of, speak specifically to efforts being made to ensure a higher standard of investigation, compliance with investigative standards, and training in professional applicability of the military police to ensure compliance with those standards. Investigations with respect to conduct that is inconsistent with the professional standards of the military police are also subject to review by the Military Police Complaints Commission. Again, recent examinations of military police that have been very high profile are an indication that the system works. Military police are in fact subject to a high degree of scrutiny.
The bill is consistent with efforts being made and undertaken to comply with recommendations from Mr. Justice Lamer. We always have an eye as to constitutionality, to recommendations that come from the Judge Advocate General, as well as to Mr. Harris's suggestion that the Department of Justice review all government bills. Having been a member of the previous government, you know that there's a rigorous constitutional filter, if you will, undertaken by the Department of Justice.
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