Military Brings New Shame on Canada

By Winsor, Hugh | The Independent (London, England), January 19, 1997 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Military Brings New Shame on Canada


Winsor, Hugh, The Independent (London, England)


When soldiers of the Second Canadian Battle Group in Bosnia were first assigned to protect the patients and staff of a mental hospital in Bakovici at the height of the ethnic conflict there in 1993, they were hailed as benevolent heroes, the stuff of which Canada's reputation for leadership in United Nations peacekeeping was made.

But the 7,000 pages of evidence from an independent investigation into incidents at the hospital, released in Ottawa last week, detail a story of drunken debauchery, black-market profiteering, sexual liaisons and physical abuse of patients that has dealt the already battered reputation of the Canadian armed forces another blow.

To make matters worse, the initial investigation into the incidents, undertaken by the military police and senior officers, was so badly done that by the time the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called in to do an independent investigation, the three-year statute of limitations in the Canadian military justice code had come into effect. The result is that nobody can be court-martialled. The 47 officers and soldiers involved in the incidents who are still in the army will be subjected to a career review panel which can recommend demotions or dismissals, but it has no power to impose more serious penalties. Most of the soldiers' misbehaviour at the hospital involved excessive drinking and consensual sex with nurses and interpreters; the evidence showed that it was often nurses who supplied the black-market booze for the liaisons with soldiers. But in one incident, soldiers shaved the armpits and genital area of a 17-year-old female patient and in another they got into a fight with a male patient over a bottle of beer. Equally serious is what happened in the military chain of command. When the Canadian commander in Bosnia raised the initial military police investigation with his superiors in Ottawa, they told him they did not want to hear about it and that he should keep it in his locker for the future, if required.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Military Brings New Shame on Canada
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?