Statement by Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands Elizabeth May on Bill C-15, the Strengthening Military Justice in Defence of Canada Act, which will pass through Report Stage in the House of Commons today:
“Although I voted for C-15 at Second Reading, and continue to support many of the core provisions of this Bill, including those to strengthen the tenure of our military judges, and those to provide our military judges with greater judicial discretion, I had hoped that the serious concerns raised by the Provost Marshall and others would be taken into consideration in Committee.
“Important safeguards were put in place to prevent political interference in Military Police investigations following the tragic incident in Somalia. But by allowing the Vice-Chief of Defence Staff to issue instructions regarding a specific ongoing investigation, Bill C-15 will create ample opportunity for such interference to again take place.
“Given that these concerns remained unaddressed, I tabled Report Stage amendments to C-15 which sought to defend the independence of our Military Police from political interference. While sadly I expected the Harper Conservatives to reject any amendment that protected an accountability body from political interference, I am disappointed that neither the Liberals or the NDP saw it fit to have a vote on something so critical to the proper functioning of our Canadian Forces.”