Thirteen Canadian Forces members were convicted of sexual offences in 2003 and 2004, but less than half have been kicked out of the military, the Department of National Defence has disclosed.
Of the 13 soldiers convicted by courts martial in those two years, only four were let go by the military, including a former Edmonton-based soldier who was caught with more than 100 child pornography images on a barracks computer, DND officials say.
The military does not automatically discharge soldiers convicted of sex crimes. Nor does it impose an absolute ban on recruiting sex offenders, although the military's general policy states that those who have engaged in sexual misconduct "shall not normally" be hired.
The Armed Forces can't even tell the public who the worst offenders are, because of national security:
Under Bill S-39, tabled by the government in the Senate last June, military sex offenders' names, locations and other particulars would be registered for the first time in the national sex offender registry. The database helps police across Canada keep track of the current locations of sex offenders.
However, Bill S-39 would give the chief of the defence staff the power to delay registering a soldier convicted of a sex crime for "operational" reasons. Moreover, he would not have to publicly report how many sex offenders, if any, were exempted from registering.
What operational reasons could possibly require retaining a sex offender in any capacity, whatever its nature?
If there are sexual predators in the ranks, deploying them overseas only provides them prime hunting grounds for further conquests, possibly without fear of reprisal.
The United Nations has had its peacekeeping forces' reputation tarnished with reports of sex crimes by peacekeepers in Congo, among other places. Deploying convicted perverts will almost certainly add to the problem.
Sex offenders have no business wearing the country's uniform. Period.