this iPolitics op-ed on the need to include military personnel in the proposed Victims' Bill of Rights (Bill C-36). In part:
Over the summer, Justice Minister Peter MacKay held a number of roundtables across the country to discuss the government’s justice agenda. Bill C-36, the prostitution bill, was on the agenda; the minister seemed to have forgotten to invite sex workers … or at least those opposed to the bill.
MacKay also neglected to shop his Bill C-32, the Victims’ Bill of Rights, around any military bases. Who’s surprised? Our military has a little problem with sexual violence; StatsCanada reports that one in 13 female Forces members have been sexually assaulted in connection with their service. Critics say that number is actually much higher, since many victims — fearing career reprisals — don’t report sexual assaults.
In other words, nobody needs the protection of a Victims’ Bill of Rights more than soldiers. And they’re not getting it. As iPolitics.ca reported last week, the Bill of Rights doesn’t cover CF members.
Back in April, MacKay gave his excuse: “ … (the) Victims Bill of Rights will not in fact apply to offences investigated or proceeded with under the Canadian military justice system.” He said it was “contemplated” but turned out to be “problematic” because the military’s disciplinary tribunals “are administered by the chain of command. This system carries out the vast majority of proceedings within the Canadian military justice system.”