Alleged sex offences spark booze warning at CFB Esquimalt

Commander holds lecture after two incidents

Two alleged cases of sexual misconduct involving military members from CFB Esquimalt have prompted the commander of Canada’s Pacific fleet to warn personnel about their alcohol use.

“There were two incidents in a relatively short period of time and (Commodore Peter Ellis) had a town hall meeting in which he reminded people of their responsibility with respect to drinking responsibly and looking out for your buddies, and basically the rules and regulations that surround this kind of incident,” said Lt.-Cmdr. Nathalie Garcia, public affairs officer for Maritime Forces Pacific.

All available fleet personnel were required to attend Ellis’ town hall meeting, held on the base’s ‘A’ jetty on June 30. About 300 went, and since then Ellis has shared the same message with personnel from three other ships that were away at the time, Garcia said.

She would not comment on whether charges have been laid in the two incidents, alleged to have occurred in January and June 2011, and whether they involve allegations of sexual assault, if they happened on or off the military base or onboard a naval ship and whether alcohol is a factor.

“That’s part of the investigation,” Garcia said. “I don’t want to skew the investigation (being conducted by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service) by giving details about the incidents.”

The commodore’s town hall speech was not prompted by concerns there is an increase in sexual misconduct at the base, Garcia said.

Such incidents are considered rare, as reflected in personnel statistics compiled by the base’s formation administration section, Garcia said. That office tracks and monitors personnel data on medical to administrative to legal matters, including sexual misconduct.

While alcohol consumption was addressed at the town hall meeting, the alleged misconduct cases have not prompted liquor restrictions at base messes or onboard ships, Garcia said, noting current regulations have been in place for several years.

“We haven’t had any kind of edict coming from the top saying we should change anything within our policy,” she said, adding that ship and base messes are licensed just as civilian liquor establishments are.

“We’re limited in the same way that any other bar would be limited,” Garcia said.

There are, however, additional alcohol limitations for the fleet.

While at sea personnel are permitted to drink no more than two alcohol beverages per day, and no later than six hours before going on duty, said Garcia, adding there may be times when alcohol is not served onboard during certain missions.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Six boat wrecks wash up on Cadboro Bay beaches over the weekend

Dead Boat Society working with Oak Bay, Saanich to clear derelict boats

Former Sidney mayor calls on local MLA Adam Olsen to resign over protests

Olsen has rejected the demand, calling Price’s language divisive and responsible for polarization

UPDATED: One-sailing wait from Swartz Bay ferry terminal after morning protest

Movement in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Victoria hotel awards couples for baby-making with Valentine’s freebie

Have a baby nine months after your stay and enjoy 18-year Valentines deal

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Poll suggests some don’t think Canada should send troops to stop genocide

The findings are being released just before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to give refund to B.C. buyer due to puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read