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MP struggle to enforce mental health laws

RedcapCrusader

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Brihard said:
Interestingly, this brings us back to the 'behind the drunk driver' scenario. What is the difference in law or policy between a uniformed MP in a civilian area stepping in to stop an act of violence that they witness, versus pulling over a car being driven in a clearly dangerous manner?

Both permitted by law and policy, so long as you're not hunting for it.

The key factor is "public interest".

Is there public interest for an impaired driver to be stopped? Absolutely.
 

garb811

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A very timely article from the National Post that hammers home some of what we've been talking about WRT the Contraventions Act and the impacts, real and potential, of provinces not signing on.

Federal-provincial ticketing dispute puts government at legal risk, report warns, shared in accordance with the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

A long-running dispute between some provinces and Ottawa means only parts of the country can hand out tickets for federal statutory offences, and internal justice department reports have repeatedly warned about the consequences of this “uneven” application of law.

The internal reports, written in 2010 and 2017, say that if ticketing agreements aren’t signed with Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, it exposes the government to legal risk, exacerbates the trouble with court delays, and hampers the work of peace officers.
...


 

garb811

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I'm loving this thread as well.  Most times when I attempt to engage someone in the legalities of what we do as MP, the eyes glaze over and drool starts running out of the corner of their mouth...
 

trooper142

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garb811 said:
I'm loving this thread as well.  Most times when I attempt to engage someone in the legalities of what we do as MP, the eyes glaze over and drool starts running out of the corner of their mouth...

I am very happy as well that this threat is going! It is providing very valuable information to help me in my role as an MP.

One thing though

Both permitted by law and policy, so long as you're not hunting for it.

The key factor is "public interest".

Is there public interest for an impaired driver to be stopped? Absolutely.

We have been told by our local CoC that this is a dangerous maneuver. They stated that the symposium made it clear we were not to operate off jurisdiction, and doing so could result in admin penalties and lack of protection from criminal liability or a civil suit. The point was very clearly made that we have no legal obligation, and therefore we could literally drive by someone getting murdered, and if we did nothing; we would be legally protected.

Another point was made that there was no legal basis for "public expectation". I'm sorry, but most average citizens in times of crisis aren't gonna look to a MP Cruiser and say "oh thats an MP they cant help; their off their jurisdiction" They are going to expect us to act; and suggesting otherwise is absurd.

It was suggested, what if we are in Tim Hortons grabbing lunch, on duty, within normal practice and someone attempts to rob the place with a firearm. The answer given was: We can not tell you not to act, but if you do, there may be consequences!

What kind of faith does that instill in the members belief that the Chain will look out for them?! How are we supposed to look to the chain for leadership and guidance, when their own answers are convoluted and noncommittal?

For most bases, this will never be an issue; but for bases like Ottawa, Montreal, Esquimalt  and Halifax (May be missing some) this is a real concern; considering they spend considerable time off of jurisdiction!

Obviously for most MPs this was unacceptable, and placed us between a Rock and a Hard Place; telling us if we intervene we may be up sh*ts creek, and if we don't, we may be up sh*ts creek.

They suggested we call the local police and ask permission to intervene in anticipation of their arrival.

I personally would rather lose my badge, than to ever have to live with myself knowing I could have prevented something dangerous or life threatening; and I know I'm not unique in this regard.
 

Haggis

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trooper142 said:
Another point was made that there was no legal basis for "public expectation". I'm sorry, but most average citizens in times of crisis aren't gonna look to a MP Cruiser and say "oh thats an MP they cant help; their off their jurisdiction" They are going to expect us to act; and suggesting otherwise is absurd.
.In the eyes of Joe Public, if it look s like cop, walks like a cop, it's a cop. And they expect it to act like a cop.  This story, shared with the usual disclaimers, is a perfect example of this.  Citizen saw what looked like a cop and expected something to be done.

trooper142 said:
It was suggested, what if we are in Tim Hortons grabbing lunch, on duty, within normal practice and someone attempts to rob the place with a firearm. The answer given was: We can not tell you not to act, but if you do, there may be consequences!
Unless the perp is a completely clueless brain dead moron with zero situational awareness, as a uniformed "cop" you'd be under immediate threat of grievous bodily harm or death if seen during the course of said robbery.  Then, s. 34(1) would kick in.
 

QV

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I just glossed over this quickly so please excuse my ignorance if I'm off base ( no pun).

Back to the topic - the problem is MP in certain provinces are being told they are unable to act with the appropriate authority when responding to a mental health crisis on a defence establishment.  As the police of jurisdiction, the common law duty to protect life, reinforced by its own MP Gp order stipulating one MP duty is to "protect persons".. the situation to put it lightly is a cluster and contradictory. 

Failing to do your duty, even a duty at common law, that results in serious injury or death is criminal negligence.  If you are trained, equipped, employed to police, and there is no other police of jurisdiction, that means you have a duty to protect life.  Withdrawing and calling another police service to take over could potentially result in harm due to the delay, so could arresting a soldier inappropriately for a service offence when the real issue is a mental breakdown. 

This whole situation is simply a colossal failure of leadership and it needs to be sorted. 



 

garb811

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Before I start answering some specifics, I'm going to again go over how it is MP "Peace Officer" status with regard to civilians is triggered. 

As per R v Nolan, our status as Peace Officer pursuant to Section 2.g.i. is absolute in that it is not limited geographically but it is limited to those members subject to the Code of Service Discipline.  That in itself has some complexities in that for a reservist, for instance, we are only automatically Peace Officers with regard to that individual while they are subject to the Code of Service Discipline.  When they aren't subject to the Code, we need a triggering mechanism because they are for all intents and purposes civilians.

Also, as per R v Nolan, our status as Peace Officers in all other cases is via Section 2.g.ii. which reads:

employed on duties that the Governor in Council, in regulations made under the National Defence Act for the purposes of this paragraph, has prescribed to be of such a kind as to necessitate that the officers and non-commissioned members performing them have the powers of peace officers; (agent de la paix)

For MP, that is via Queen's Regulations and Orders 22.011.  Note A to this QR&O is in concurrence with the Nolan ruling:

(A) Members of the military police have the powers of peace officers under subparagraph (g)(i) of the definition “peace officer” in section 2 of the Criminal Code only with regard to a person who is subject to the Code of Service Discipline. However, under subparagraph (g)(ii) of the same definition, members of the military police have the powers of peace officers with regard to all persons when performing any duty set out in article 22.011.

Read in isolation, 22.011 appears very broad:

a. any lawful duty performed as a result of a specific order or established military custom or practice that is related to any of the following matters:
        i. the maintenance or restoration of law and order,
        ii. the protection of property,
        iii. the protection of persons,
        iv. the arrest or custody of persons, and
        v. the apprehension of persons who have escaped from lawful custody or confinement; and
   
b. any duty related to the enforcement of the laws of Canada that are performed as a result of a request from the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the Commissioner of Corrections, under an Act, a regulation, a statutory instrument or a Memorandum of Understanding between the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of National Defence.

It has to be read understanding the ruling in R v Nolan and R v Pile (which was quoted in Nolan) which specifies there were limitations on our unbridled status of Peace Officers at 2.g.i and that designation of Peace Officer did not make us super cops, with all under our authority as Peace Officers.  If that were the case, there would have been no need for 2.g.ii.

R v Nolan states:

One issue must yet be resolved. Although the offence took place on a defence establishment, the actual detention of the accused occurred on a public highway after the military police had followed Mr. Nolan out of the gates of the base. The question arises whether the military police retained their status and authority as peace officers once they left C.F.B. Shearwater. On the particular facts of the instant case, I have no difficulty in concluding that they did. The accused was seen committing a traffic offence on the base. The officers only saw the accused as he was speeding out of the gates of the base and, in order to enforce the law, the military police officers had to follow Mr. Nolan off the base. There is absolutely no evidence that the accused attempted to evade the military police, so the circumstances do not really raise the issue of "hot pursuit". Given the instantaneous police warning to the accused to stop his vehicle and the detention immediately outside the gates of the base, there was such a clear nexus between the offence committed on the base and the detention off the base that I am convinced that the military police retained their status and authority as peace officers.

That has been interpreted to mean that in order for 2.g.ii. to be in effect, there must be a clear military nexus that meets the context of QR&O 22.011.  Policing the mean streets of downtown Wainwright does not meet that criteria simply because the MP is traveling from point A to point B on duty. 

 

garb811

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Brihard said:
Very interesting, thanks. I'm surprised that the expectation would be to wipe their hands of it and clear scene, given that they will be the only ones with the driving evidence, may well be the ones to administer a roadside ASD, and will likely be the ones forming RPG to arrest... Given how quickly an impaired investigation can go (usually under ten minutes from initial stop, through an ASD fail if applicable, to arrest and breath demand), could your guys not easily find themselves with one in custody in the back of the car and the clock ticking to get those samples 'forthwith'?
Well...it's a good news bad news thing.  The bad news is, the actions MP are taking in that instance are not as a Peace Officer but rather as Joe Civilian.  So, MP off a Defence Establishment with no military nexus such as the vehicle having just left the Base and the stop occurs proximate, do not have the authority to read a breath demand because their Peace Officer status under 2.g.ii. over a civilian has not been triggered.  The expectation is not that MP will wash their hands of the incident, the reality is they are unable to independently complete the impaired driving investigation.  We would still make the MP available for testimony with regard to road evidence, spontaneous utterances, MVRS data etc to support the civilian police in the prosecution of the charge.

I completely understand your guys aren't to be out 'hunting' for traffic stuff, that's fair. RCMP in Ottawa only recently have eased up on this too, though there's now a much greater acceptance of doing traffic work. It helps that there are federal parkways in Ottawa under the NCC, and that Ottawa based members will be traveling all over the city to check on embassies, residences, and other federal sites. There is a very strong argument to be made that  a modest contribution to municipal policing along those lines (which in this context Ottawa Police are fine with) also helps officers to keep up their basic road skills and officer safety skill, lest they atrophy over years of embassy watching. I have to imagine that in some locations MPs may face similar challenges in getting much experience dealing with different things...
We absolutely have that challenge in some places that are either dead slow, like Dundurn, or simply have zero actual patrolable area such as Chilliwack.

Seguin is an interesting case. The impaired investigation itself did not fare well, but the verdict about common law authority to execute vehicle stops for the purposes of public safety was critical, particularly since the ON HTA does not give RCMP any statutory authority to use lights and sirens and pull someone over.  I can't say for sure how it will apply to you guys, but I would be surprised were it not informative.
Absolutely.  There are a whole bunch of lessons learned that a lot of MP would benefit from...well, any Peace Officer would benefit from. 

EDIT TO ADD: I just re-read Seguin, and also read Nolan - I had not read that previously. Interesting, Seguin specifically engages Nolan as a comparable case. Seguin

My take? An MP proceeding directly from one military establishment to another for duty related purposes should clearly still be within the scope of their duties, similarly to how Nolan examined that issue for purposes of determining of Criminal Code peace officer status applied. I think the law would here find the border of an MP's peace officer' status under the criminal code. An MP on duty, engaged in the scope of routine MP duties and accepted military practice, should retain that peace officer status. In the event they were to truly incidentally encounter a threat to public safety, such as a clearly dangerous driver, a violent act in progress, etc, I believe the common law authority discussed in Seguin would apply...
I disagree on this one.  The purpose of us moving along a city street is not to directly conduct any of the duties detailed in 22.011, rather it is for us to go from one area of jurisdiction to another.  So, on Defence Establishment A, our Peace Officer hat is on under 2.g.ii. because we are actively patrolling the Base for the purposes of the maintenance or restoration of law and order, we go off Base to move to Defence Establishment B our Peace Officer hat comes off as our duty is no longer maintenance or restoration of law and order but rather to go from A to B as it is well within the capability of the civilian police to maintain order and discipline and we haven't been called out in Aid of the Civil Power and as soon as we arrive on Defence Establishment B our Peace Officer hat goes back on because we are now back to patrolling the Base of puposes of the maintenance or restoration of law and order.

Further to 'Hmmm..." MP in the circumstances I describe attempts a stop, and the driver takes off. Would the flight from police charge stick? If they fled (and let's assume here no pursuit - MP immediately pulls over and turns off their lights) and a few minutes later causes an accident, could liability fall ont he MP for attempting the stop? Or, MP finds themself behind a drunk driver (let's say in Ottawa, on the way from responding to a call at Uplands to the detachment at NDHQ via the Airport Parkway and Bronson to the 417), finds themselves behind the drunk driver on the parkway, sees numerous dangerous driving behaviours indicating impairment, follows, advises dispatch, who in turn advise OPS, who due to typical call volume take a few minutes to get a car rolling that way... As the car continues onto Bronson and traffic gets heavier, they blow a red light at Sunnyside and smoke a couple pedestrians crossing Bronson with the MP car directly behind watching the whole thing. What liability upon the CAF for the MP not initiating the traffic stop? What do you as the detachment sergeant tell them as their conscience rips them apart?
No, as MP weren't acting as a Peace Officer when initiating the stop, I doubt flight from police would stick.  They weren't making the stop as police, they were attempting to make the stop as someone who just happened to be legally driving a vehicle with police equipment. 

Yes, the MP would be liable for attempting the stop should that vehicle then end up in an accident.  In your not initiating a stop example, there would be no liability to DND but, yes, the member who didn't initiate the stop would be devastated and there really isn't anything you can say at that point because there really is no right answer here.  You are damned if you do if it goes wrong and damned if you don't and it goes wrong.  That is why it is so, so important for MP to fully understand their powers and authorities because at least when they are faced with that moral dilemma, they can make an informed choice.  In my career, I have made both choices based on my assessment of what the best course of action at that point in time was...

I am aware of cases where MP were off base fully in accordance with their duties and had Peace Officer status for that purpose, but because they intervened in issues that had no military nexus which resulted in them losing Peace Officer status. An example of that was a MP who was off base issuing a summons for an incident that had occurred on Base who then intervened in a fight where they got punched.  End result was, although Peace Officer status was there for the period they were issuing the summons, and if the person they were issuing the summons to had punched the MP, they would have been charged with Assaulting a Peace Officer, because there was no military nexus to the fight they intervened in, the Crown downgraded the charge to simple Assault.

I completely understand why this subject would cause some MPs to shudder, but it's worth thinking and talking about.
Absolutely, unfortunately many MP do not want to listen to anything that they feel makes them less than a "real" cop.
 

garb811

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Haggis said:
We covered a similar "what if" regarding the authority of CBSA officer to act away from the Port of Entry.  In this scenario, a BSO (MP) is transiting between CBSA (DND) locations and observes a civilian police officer engaged in a struggle that he is quite clearly losing with no other civilian police assistance evident or in sight.  What authority does the BSO (MP) have to act in such circumstances using, if required, up to lethal force to protect the civilian cop from grievous bodily harm or death?  I know CBSA's position on this, but what is the MP position?
Real world event happened in the late 70s where 2 MP from NDHQ were driving down an Ottawa Street to get to a DND building.  Along the way they stumbled upon a Ottawa Police Officer who had been disarmed and the assailant was standing over the Ottawa officer pointing the gun at him.  MP intervened and ended up in a gun battle in downtown Ottawa.  End result was although NDHQ proper was not happy, the MP response was vindicated.  Brihard's post articulates why.

LunchMeat said:
We are uniformed, and clearly identifiable to the public as a Police/Peace Officer and have a duty to act in events which life and limb are at risk. MPs are also afforded the same protections as if they were acting within their jurisdiction.
There is no special "duty" to act for MP other than the duty to act as per any other person nor are MP afforded any protection other than that afforded to anyone responding to that situation.  MP need to stop thinking that, its a hold over from a section of the MPTTP that should never have been written.  That is why it has not, and will not, be re-promulgated as a Group Order.

As I stated earlier in the thread, the ideas that there is a "duty to act", "public expectation" or anything else along those lines which give MP any kind of special authority or protection are simply untrue.
 

Haggis

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garb811 said:
There is no special "duty" to act for MP other than the duty to act as per any other person...
.  "Acting" , on the part of anyone (MP, civilian) could be as simple and effective as "observe, report, avoid escalation and wait for the cavalry" as per the Windsor story involving the CBSA officer I noted earlier.  Remember, a member of the public sought him out to act as he "looked the part".  He did the proper, prudent thing given the totality of the situation.

garb811 said:
As I stated earlier in the thread, the ideas that there is a "duty to act", "public expectation" or anything else along those lines which give MP any kind of special authority or protection are simply untrue.

Yup - got that, but "public expectation" can lead the MP to believe they have a "duty to act" in order to meet that expectation.  The public - be it the spouse of a CAF member threatening self harm, or the civilian witnessing an assault proximate to a CFB - need to understand that "a cop is a cop is a cop" doesn't always apply.  That can put the MP in a very awkward and morally demanding situation where they want to do something, but can't. legally. Some other law enforcement partners share the same expectation and need to be set straight, unfortunately that usually occurs after the fact.
 

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garb811 said:
As I stated earlier in the thread, the ideas that there is a "duty to act", "public expectation" or anything else along those lines which give MP any kind of special authority or protection are simply untrue.

I agree with the other sentiments expressed in that this has been an extremely interesting thread. It certainly has gotten away from the initial topic somewhat, but I've enjoyed reading it and have found it extremely informative.

I have to ask for clarification though. The statement I've quoted threw me for a bit of a loop. I'm looking at the situation(s) mentioned from a completely civilian perspective. (Meaning zero experience as a Peace Officer of any kind.). I'm taking into account the sources you've listed throughout the thread also.

If I'm understanding things accurately, your point with that statement is that in terms of strictly black-and-white written policy there's nothing explicitly stating that a MP must intervene when not in their jurisdiction in any shape or form. But if MP decides to act strictly from a moral standpoint in any given situation (if in uniform) when not on a defence establishment, that's their own choice and they may or may not receive any sort of backing/support from NDHQ, correct?

I understand that they have a choice, but I think I'd find it difficult to swallow if I observed a uniformed MP witness some sort of emergency situation ANYwhere and didn't do anything to intervene in any way. In my mind that would reflect extremely negatively on the individual MP, the unit, the trade, etc. CAF tries to ensure a positive image across all areas as much as possible. This seems like a no-win all around... :-\
 

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Garb - I'm not going to continue the belittlement on both of our parts, especially since this thread is moving forward in a positive manner, and even more so since you and I are both random anonymous strangers on the internet and I really don't see the point in wasting the time. However, the basis of my posts were simply informing trooper that not all MPs were informed of the recent directive from the PM. We were never talking about the group orders. I do agree with some of what you said, and disagree with other parts. Is it an MPs duty to know the group orders? Of course. Is it the CoC's duty to inform their members when what they're doing (especially when they are the ones fully supporting the actions/files) is actually not correct? Of course. There is obviously a very large and dangerous disconnect somewhere, and the fact there's so much inconsistency is troublesome. As was pointed out in recent posts, there is not a definitive answer for a lot of things we are faced with, and are essentially told you are "damned if you do, damned if you don't."

Anyway. Moving forward. Regardless of a MHA, there ARE things we can do.

I can think of lots of ways to do that as well, all of them resulting in a Charter Breach for unlawful arrest or detention.

While there are ways to do it as you've described, there are ways to do it that are perfectly legal and in the realm of our powers. First off, MPs as peace officers have common law authority to preserve life. Secondly, (and I cannot remember the exact case law/description in the CC for it) but you can detain/arrest someone under breach of the peace S. 30/31 to either A) Immediately stop the breach and restore order or B) if you have reasonable grounds to believe a breach will occur if you do not act. Again, not the exact wording but close enough, I don't have a copy of the CC in front of me. So, if someone is walking around threatening to kill themselves, or comes into the detachment and says the same, you certainly can detain/arrest them and subsequently transport to hospital. Breach of the peace arrests/detainment also cover you for reasonable force to effect the arrest/detainment, and for resisting arrest. Remember, breach of the peace does not lead to charges, it's simply to prevent or stop a breach.

Brihard - We never talked about provincial driving issues, as for your MHA situation, read above. Thanks for the tips.
 

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Habs said:
There is obviously a very large and dangerous disconnect somewhere, and the fact there's so much inconsistency is troublesome.

You're very right Habs, there seems to be a disconnect; but the overwhelming pov here is that any action with respect to provincial law is unlawful, very simple. I'm not really sure what the point in arguing semantics is. You are now very aware of the limitations, so the ethical thing to do would be to follow what has been layed out. If you need more confirmation, I encourage you to bring this issue up with your chain of command, or even better your A/JAG and ask for clarification.

Anyway. Moving forward. Regardless of a MHA, there ARE things we can do.

While there are ways to do it as you've described, there are ways to do it that are perfectly legal and in the realm of our powers. First off, MPs as peace officers have common law authority to preserve life. Secondly, (and I cannot remember the exact case law/description in the CC for it) but you can detain/arrest someone under breach of the peace S. 30/31 to either A) Immediately stop the breach and restore order or B) if you have reasonable grounds to believe a breach will occur if you do not act. Again, not the exact wording but close enough, I don't have a copy of the CC in front of me. So, if someone is walking around threatening to kill themselves, or comes into the detachment and says the same, you certainly can detain/arrest them and subsequently transport to hospital. Breach of the peace arrests/detainment also cover you for reasonable force to effect the arrest/detainment, and for resisting arrest. Remember, breach of the peace does not lead to charges, it's simply to prevent or stop a breach.

Brihard - We never talked about provincial driving issues, as for your MHA situation, read above. Thanks for the tips.

Ok, I'm again going to disagree. Although I think it's great you're attempting to find solutions to a complex issue, arresting someone for breach of peace and taking them to the hospital, is unlawful. It is very much a catch and release provision. If you are not charging them, you have to let them go, you have no lawful reason to keep them in your custody, let alone take them to the hospital against their will. Very much a charter breach!

Even if you decide to charge them for a criminal offence, you can't compel them to the hospital from a criminal charge. Once RICE is met, you have to release them, simple.

This is very much similar to the suggestions by my chain; who suggested we call up their CO and have him/her order them to the hospital. You can't order them to see the doctor, the order is satisfied at the door of the hospital, and they are free to leave without risk of a service offence.

There is no way around the mental health provisions I can see, even with common law authority to protect life. I am with you, as I'm sure most MPs are, it makes our job more impossible than it already is, and it is a power we ought to have to properly do our jobs!

This debate will continue to go on until there is enough political will to do something. 
 

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Habs said:
Garb - I'm not going to continue the belittlement on both of our parts, especially since this thread is moving forward in a positive manner, and even more so since you and I are both random anonymous strangers on the internet and I really don't see the point in wasting the time. However, the basis of my posts were simply informing trooper that not all MPs were informed of the recent directive from the PM. We were never talking about the group orders. I do agree with some of what you said, and disagree with other parts. Is it an MPs duty to know the group orders? Of course. Is it the CoC's duty to inform their members when what they're doing (especially when they are the ones fully supporting the actions/files) is actually not correct? Of course. There is obviously a very large and dangerous disconnect somewhere, and the fact there's so much inconsistency is troublesome. As was pointed out in recent posts, there is not a definitive answer for a lot of things we are faced with, and are essentially told you are "damned if you do, damned if you don't."

I have seen no 'belittlement' from him. Rather, he's sharing his experience and insight. From your previous posts, you're I think 21? You've got something around a year qualified in trade, maybe a year and a half? He's been doing your job for over 30 years- more time in uniform than you have on this earth. He's not talking out of his ass, he's not being condescending, he simply has an incredible wealth of experience and insight that you simply have not yet had the opportunity to gain. I have to raise an eyebrow at you characterizing this as a 'waste of time'. The opportunity to pick the brain of someone so experienced in your job in a relaxed setting like this isn't something that should be squandered. You may not agree with him, but I'd contend that shouldn't stop you learning.

habs said:
Anyway. Moving forward. Regardless of a MHA, there ARE things we can do.

While there are ways to do it as you've described, there are ways to do it that are perfectly legal and in the realm of our powers. First off, MPs as peace officers have common law authority to preserve life. Secondly, (and I cannot remember the exact case law/description in the CC for it) but you can detain/arrest someone under breach of the peace S. 30/31 to either A) Immediately stop the breach and restore order or B) if you have reasonable grounds to believe a breach will occur if you do not act. Again, not the exact wording but close enough, I don't have a copy of the CC in front of me. So, if someone is walking around threatening to kill themselves, or comes into the detachment and says the same, you certainly can detain/arrest them and subsequently transport to hospital. Breach of the peace arrests/detainment also cover you for reasonable force to effect the arrest/detainment, and for resisting arrest. Remember, breach of the peace does not lead to charges, it's simply to prevent or stop a breach.

Brihard - We never talked about provincial driving issues, as for your MHA situation, read above. Thanks for the tips.

A breach is exactly what you've got - a charter breach. A breach of peace arrest can indeed pring someone briefly into custody, but you'd better have a plan and it better be lawful. What legal authority do you have to hold that prisoner? What legal authority do you have to convey them to a hospital? You aren't a medical professional, you aren't capable of assessing them medically, and even if you were the law gives you no power. You can call EMS, but he can simply refuse to talk to them. I beleive that you *have* arrested someone for breach of peace and they you *have* conveyed them to hospital, but if you've been doing that, someone higher in your chain has not been exercising proper oversight.

It absolutely sucks that you're in this spot. I have nothing but sympathy for you on that- the law is hamstringing you. I have a lot of involvement with mentally ill soldiers and vets, and MPs have made the save in a few of my calls with that. I'll be your first defender in saying you guys should have these powers under provincial MHA. But you don't. You are putting yourself at considerable risk of legal liability. As I mentioned earlier, you will learn in time that there's always more room under the bus. Your enthusiasm is good, but there's only so far you can go in articulating points of law until you hit things they don't actually say or do. Breach of the peace gives you no ability to bring someone to hospital. In fact if you're arresting someone under S.30/31 C.C. powers and you have no specific authority from the NDA in the case of a mental health call, I would suspect you will quickly find yourself running beyond where you retain peace officer status per Nolan. At that point you're just a dude with a guy trapped in the back of your car on the way to hospital.

If circumstances still find you arresting someone for breach of the peace, I would suggest in the strongest terms that you get them into the custody of the police of jurisdiction ASAP, and convey your grounds tso that that officer with provincial powers can turn your breach of the peace arrest into an MHA apprehension. It may be a bit embarassing, but that is the *legal* way to do this, that ensures you're protected. Good luck with the inquiry if you breach of peace a guy, and on the way to hospital you get in an accident...
 

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Brihard said:
It may be a bit embarrassing the first time, but that is the *legal* way to do this, that ensures you're protected.

FTFY.

MP aren't the only federal LEA with jurisdictional limitations (i.e. Railway Police - 500 metre radius of any railway owned or administered property).  The trick is ensuring that the police of criminal jurisdiction are aware of and understand the jurisdictional limitations and assist the MP in working within them.
 

Habs

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Brihard said:
I have seen no 'belittlement' from him. Rather, he's sharing his experience and insight. From your previous posts, you're I think 21? You've got something around a year qualified in trade, maybe a year and a half? He's been doing your job for over 30 years- more time in uniform than you have on this earth. He's not talking out of his ***, he's not being condescending, he simply has an incredible wealth of experience and insight that you simply have not yet had the opportunity to gain. I have to raise an eyebrow at you characterizing this as a 'waste of time'. The opportunity to pick the brain of someone so experienced in your job in a relaxed setting like this isn't something that should be squandered. You may not agree with him, but I'd contend that shouldn't stop you learning.

What is this? Are we turning this into a "I was born before you, my uniform is more faded, your posts are irrelevant?" I'm trying to move on and push the discussion forward, why you choose to bring age into this is beyond me. It's not relevant to the discussion. I, and I'm sure you, have worked with people who are older and more experienced but make the wrong decisions. Where have I said he doesn't have experience and knowledge? Where have I said I have more than him? No where. The discussion itself is not a waste of time. What is a waste of time, is exactly that paragraph you just wrote doing nothing more than causing negativity and hindering a discussion moving forward.


A breach is exactly what you've got - a charter breach. A breach of peace arrest can indeed pring someone briefly into custody, but you'd better have a plan and it better be lawful. What legal authority do you have to hold that prisoner? What legal authority do you have to convey them to a hospital? You aren't a medical professional, you aren't capable of assessing them medically, and even if you were the law gives you no power. You can call EMS, but he can simply refuse to talk to them. I beleive that you *have* arrested someone for breach of peace and they you *have* conveyed them to hospital, but if you've been doing that, someone higher in your chain has not been exercising proper oversight.

It absolutely sucks that you're in this spot. I have nothing but sympathy for you on that- the law is hamstringing you. I have a lot of involvement with mentally ill soldiers and vets, and MPs have made the save in a few of my calls with that. I'll be your first defender in saying you guys should have these powers under provincial MHA. But you don't. You are putting yourself at considerable risk of legal liability. As I mentioned earlier, you will learn in time that there's always more room under the bus. Your enthusiasm is good, but there's only so far you can go in articulating points of law until you hit things they don't actually say or do. Breach of the peace gives you no ability to bring someone to hospital. In fact if you're arresting someone under S.30/31 C.C. powers and you have no specific authority from the NDA in the case of a mental health call, I would suspect you will quickly find yourself running beyond where you retain peace officer status per Nolan. At that point you're just a dude with a guy trapped in the back of your car on the way to hospital.

If circumstances still find you arresting someone for breach of the peace, I would suggest in the strongest terms that you get them into the custody of the police of jurisdiction ASAP, and convey your grounds tso that that officer with provincial powers can turn your breach of the peace arrest into an MHA apprehension. It may be a bit embarassing, but that is the *legal* way to do this, that ensures you're protected. Good luck with the inquiry if you breach of peace a guy, and on the way to hospital you get in an accident...

There you go, something that is moving the discussion forward and not basing someone's post off of their age/experience which you've got from anonymous posts on an internet forum. I've been saying that all along, that the CoC is not exercising proper oversight. I'm glad you've finally acknowledged it.

Holding him/her? Preventing the repetition of the offence. Transporting to hospital? That's more tricky as you've pointed out.

Interesting though. So, an arrest or detainment for breach of the peace, and then transferring custody to an officer with provincial jurisdiction/powers, who can then transport him/her to hospital, sounds like it ticks all of the checks in the box. I don't see how this could come back to bite the MP or the civilian officer. That sounds like the best bet moving forward. But of course, if you have the member in custody and he/she says they will go voluntarily to the hospital after they've (hopefully) had some time to change their mind on how they are approaching the situation, that also works.
 

BeyondTheNow

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I have seen no 'belittlement' from him. Rather, he's sharing his experience and insight. From your previous posts, you're I think 21? You've got something around a year qualified in trade, maybe a year and a half? He's been doing your job for over 30 years- more time in uniform than you have on this earth. He's not talking out of his ***, he's not being condescending, he simply has an incredible wealth of experience and insight that you simply have not yet had the opportunity to gain. I have to raise an eyebrow at you characterizing this as a 'waste of time'. The opportunity to pick the brain of someone so experienced in your job in a relaxed setting like this isn't something that should be squandered. You may not agree with him, but I'd contend that shouldn't stop you learning.

What is this? Are we turning this into a "I was born before you, my uniform is more faded, your posts are irrelevant?" I'm trying to move on and push the discussion forward, why you choose to bring age into this is beyond me. It's not relevant to the discussion. I, and I'm sure you, have worked with people who are older and more experienced but make the wrong decisions. Where have I said he doesn't have experience and knowledge? Where have I said I have more than him? No where. The discussion itself is not a waste of time. What is a waste of time, is exactly that paragraph you just wrote doing nothing more than causing negativity and hindering a discussion moving forward.


A breach is exactly what you've got - a charter breach. A breach of peace arrest can indeed pring someone briefly into custody, but you'd better have a plan and it better be lawful. What legal authority do you have to hold that prisoner? What legal authority do you have to convey them to a hospital? You aren't a medical professional, you aren't capable of assessing them medically, and even if you were the law gives you no power. You can call EMS, but he can simply refuse to talk to them. I beleive that you *have* arrested someone for breach of peace and they you *have* conveyed them to hospital, but if you've been doing that, someone higher in your chain has not been exercising proper oversight.

It absolutely sucks that you're in this spot. I have nothing but sympathy for you on that- the law is hamstringing you. I have a lot of involvement with mentally ill soldiers and vets, and MPs have made the save in a few of my calls with that. I'll be your first defender in saying you guys should have these powers under provincial MHA. But you don't. You are putting yourself at considerable risk of legal liability. As I mentioned earlier, you will learn in time that there's always more room under the bus. Your enthusiasm is good, but there's only so far you can go in articulating points of law until you hit things they don't actually say or do. Breach of the peace gives you no ability to bring someone to hospital. In fact if you're arresting someone under S.30/31 C.C. powers and you have no specific authority from the NDA in the case of a mental health call, I would suspect you will quickly find yourself running beyond where you retain peace officer status per Nolan. At that point you're just a dude with a guy trapped in the back of your car on the way to hospital.

If circumstances still find you arresting someone for breach of the peace, I would suggest in the strongest terms that you get them into the custody of the police of jurisdiction ASAP, and convey your grounds tso that that officer with provincial powers can turn your breach of the peace arrest into an MHA apprehension. It may be a bit embarassing, but that is the *legal* way to do this, that ensures you're protected. Good luck with the inquiry if you breach of peace a guy, and on the way to hospital you get in an accident...

There you go, something that is moving the discussion forward and not basing someone's post off of their age/experience which you've got from anonymous posts on an internet forum. I've been saying that all along, that the CoC is not exercising proper oversight. I'm glad you've finally acknowledged it.

Holding him/her? Preventing the repetition of the offence. Transporting to hospital? That's more tricky as you've pointed out.

Interesting though. So, an arrest or detainment for breach of the peace, and then transferring custody to an officer with provincial jurisdiction/powers, who can then transport him/her to hospital, sounds like it ticks all of the checks in the box. I don't see how this could come back to bite the MP or the civilian officer. That sounds like the best bet moving forward. But of course, if you have the member in custody and he/she says they will go voluntarily to the hospital after they've (hopefully) had some time to change their mind on how they are approaching the situation, that also works.

Okay Habs, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and say that you simply aren't grasping how your posting comes across in general--in this thread and elsewhere. You are rife with defensiveness, arrogance and have resorted to name-calling on more than one occasion. (Just because you edited something out before another user quoted the post doesn't mean we didn't see it.)

You have no issue with doling out tone, but if you get called out on it or another user attempts to correct you in any fashion in return, you seem incapable of self-reflection on why it might be happening.

I was pleasant before. This time I am being extremely firm. Your reply to Garb (as much as I believe you thought you attempted to be productive) fell extremely short. Your reply to Brihard showed you are extremely unaware of how you are perceived.

Start absorbing information and learning from those around you. Put your ego aside. Humbleness goes a long way.
 

brihard

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Habs said:
What is this? Are we turning this into a "I was born before you, my uniform is more faded, your posts are irrelevant?" I'm trying to move on and push the discussion forward, why you choose to bring age into this is beyond me. It's not relevant to the discussion. I, and I'm sure you, have worked with people who are older and more experienced but make the wrong decisions. Where have I said he doesn't have experience and knowledge? Where have I said I have more than him? No where. The discussion itself is not a waste of time. What is a waste of time, is exactly that paragraph you just wrote doing nothing more than causing negativity and hindering a discussion moving forward.

No. You are taking something personally that was not personal. I did not say what you put in quotes. Rather I was trying to contextualize, in a way meaningful to you, just how much experience Garb has in the subject we're talking about. I did not say you don't know anything because of your age. I merely pointed out that he has been an MP far longer than you - or I - have been alive. I feel that's relevant in credibility. Taking offense is not serving you well. Yes, I have worked with older, more experienced people who were out to lunch- but in this case every single thing he has said has rung of good sense and subject matter expertise.

Habs said:
There you go, something that is moving the discussion forward and not basing someone's post off of their age/experience which you've got from anonymous posts on an internet forum. I've been saying that all along, that the CoC is not exercising proper oversight. I'm glad you've finally acknowledged it.

You have been very open about your age and experience in this internet forum. I have merely taken you at face value, and assumed you have been up front with us on this page about when you joined, how old you were at the time, and when you CTed into the MPs. Again, taking offense where none is offered serves you poorly. I hope you have a thicker skin than this on the job.

Habs said:
Holding him/her? Preventing the repetition of the offence. Transporting to hospital? That's more tricky as you've pointed out.

Repetition of what offense? There is no offense present or alleged, a breach of the peace is not an enumerated offense. That matters. You're getting S.30 and S.495 arrest / 497 release authorities mixed up. In theory you're suggesting that as an MP you can essentially detain someone indefinitely under S.30 as long as you think they're going to hypothetically breach the peace by attempting suicide. That of course is not the case- so where's the line drawn? This also does not address the gap between a 'right now' / imminent breach of the peace - because we can't 'minority report' this one - and the actual MHA provisions (I'll use Alberta's but most are very much the same) that allow an officer's apprehension if a person by virtue of mental disorder is "likely to cause harm to the person or others or to suffer substantial mental or physical deterioration or serious physical impairment,"

A person can easily be suicidal and at the point where an MHA apprehension can happen, yet they are not acting in such a way as to justify a S.31 arrest for breach of peace. As for the transporting part- that's not really tricky. You're trying to be tricky in justifying something the law does not allow you to do, but it's not tricky at all. You just do it correctly, which necessarily means you don't do it yourself. If a person voluntarily consents to go to hospital, and if you've made it clear that they're free to go, that you're offering a ride but they needn't take it, and they say "sure, I'll take the ride, thanks", you're in the clear, but you need to be bloody sure that a hard look would not conclude that you still have that person detained in a manner that's not lawful.


Habs said:
Interesting though. So, an arrest or detainment for breach of the peace, and then transferring custody to an officer with provincial jurisdiction/powers, who can then transport him/her to hospital, sounds like it ticks all of the checks in the box. I don't see how this could come back to bite the MP or the civilian officer. That sounds like the best bet moving forward. But of course, if you have the member in custody and he/she says they will go voluntarily to the hospital after they've (hopefully) had some time to change their mind on how they are approaching the situation, that also works.

If by 'ticks in the box' you mean 'compliant with the law', then yes, it's the best way moving forward and is what detachment leadership should be enforcing. The breach of peace arrest for suicidality is on rocky enough ground as is, but I can see circumstances where it's justifiable for a brief detention pending transfer of custody. Of course, as soon as that member 'changes their mind' or no longer presents as acutely, imminently, actively suicidal, you lose any 'breach of peace' grounds you have for ongoing detention to any extent.

No question about it dude. You guys are not in a good spot vis a vis suicidal people for whom you have no explicit statutory powers under NDA. Not an enviable spot. But you can only work with what you've got.

Out of curiosity, do you guys get trained in ASIST or MHFA or something analogous as part of your basic trades training or shortly thereafter? I have both, and have found both to be quite useful in the (at times lengthy) talking phase of a person in mental health crisis... I hope you guys get good suicide intervention and deescalation training to help putty the gap not filled by your legal powers...
 

hammond

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As others have mentioned, this has been a very insightful thread!

I wonder, could this issue be rectified if there was a section of the NDA written paralleling what is contained in the Provincial MHA to provide MP's with the authority to arrest/detain CAF members who are emotionally disturbed and deliver them to a treatment facility for assessment? Understandably, this would only pertain to those subject to the CSD, but could this not rectify the issue nationally for the primary customers of the MPs? Of course as has been mentioned earlier for other legislative changes, this will take a lot of political power to push through and action.

Thoughts?
 

EpicBeardedMan

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I had no idea that MP's were hamstrung like this. Hopefully something changes in the future to kind of streamline the job of the MP..

Informative discussion.  :)
 
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