Breach of Trust in the Canadian Military


A young woman's hopes for a career in the Canadian Armed Forces are cut short -- at the recruiting office. Now she's launched a civil suit against the military for what she says happened during her physical. RW shares her story in our documentary, Breach of Trust.

* Warning: This documentary contains some graphic details about allegations of sexual assault.

The Canadian military relies on trust in the chain of command. And with that trust comes great responsibility. The Current's Howard Goldenthal investigated how a young recruit found her life torn apart while trying to join the armed forces. Her story raises troubling questions about the military's responsibility to protect its recruits.

* A note... we are only able to refer to the young woman in this story as RW due to a military court order.

The documentary, Breach of Trust originally aired on February 25, 2013. RW says she would like to tell her story using her own name, but as we mentioned... a publication ban was put in place during the Court Martial. The CBC law department is working to have that ban lifted.

The Current contacted the Directorate of Defence Counsel Services in an effort to reach James Wilks. We were told that Mr. Wilks' counsel has been deployed overseas. And while they can't talk about the Wilks case because of client - solicitor confidentiality, we were told that when an individual is facing court martial, the general rule is that they are dissuaded from speaking to the media before the trial.

There have been a couple of updates:

The Canadian Press has reported that shortly after our documentary aired the Department of National Defence began a review of how those in the chain of command handled complaints of inappropriate actions by Wilks.

And RWs lawyer, Philip Millar is now representing five women suing James Wilks. 

* The music bridge we played between these two segments is called Sound the Alarm by Thievery Corporation.

Mail: Crisis in Egypt

Before we aired our documentary Breach of Trust today, we shared some thoughts from our listeners on our coverage on Egypt.

On Facebook, Paul Heglund posted this comment:

"Sometimes democracy isn't the answer. In parts of the world where rules and laws are respected it does benefit. Where such is not the norm, it fails. Democracy can only function when most of the people will it to work."

Susanne Cliff-Jungling on Kingston, Ontario sent us this e-mail:

"People in Egypt are not just in the streets because they want the western idea of freedom, they want freedom in the sense of being able to provide for their families and have the FREEDOM to do so - including economic freedom!"

George Dyson of Hall's Harbour, Nova Scotia sent us this e-mail:

"While democracy is a noble goal, it only survives when the elected government is inclusive and tolerant. It must govern on behalf of the country as a whole and not just their supporters who voted for them. For a country such as Egypt which has never had a democracy previously, it is going to be a difficult time to establish one with the appropriate institutions to support it. I am not optimistic that Egypt will realize a democratic government in the foreseeable future and can only hope it does not descend into a civil war which would help no-one."

And Donald Graham of Peterborough wrote:

"Given the unfolding incendiary events in Egypt, affecting its entire country and beyond, I was gratified that The Current spent some time on an important and, I think, generally underreported, aspect: the persecution of Christians, especially, Coptic Christians but also Baptists, and Roman Catholics, particularly the Franciscan order. This matter affects everyone along the human continuum from atheists to confirmed believers."

As always, if you have anything you want to say about what you hear on this program, we'd love to hear it. Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Follow us on Facebook. Or e-mail us through our website. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And you can always write to us at PO Box 500, Station A, Toronto, M5W 1E6. And if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

Last Word - Throwing Muses

Earlier today we were talking about sinkholes and the difficulty of predicting where and when they may occur. Sinkholes form in a number of ways, but basically, over time the earth below is corroded by a set of forces and the surface caves in.

In their 1980s hit, Sinkhole, the band Throwing Muses suggests the problem isn't some kind of corrosion, it's some kind of corruption. We gave Last Word to the Throwing Muses.


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