February 25 2015
Dear Scouting Families in Regina and Moose Jaw,
For over 100 years, Scouts Canada has been committed to the healthy development of young people in every community across our country. Our commitment to youth safety has come under scrutiny today as charges have been laid against Nathan Labatt for offenses against youth.
Mr. Labatt had served as a volunteer in the Regina area prior to leaving Scouts Canada in September of 2013. He had also volunteered with other youth-serving organizations in the Regina area. We are deeply concerned about the impact Mr. Labatt’s actions may have had on victims and their families.
There is very little information available to us at this time, but I felt it important to keep you advised of what we do know. Mr. Labatt had participated in Scouting from 2002 until August 2013, and completed all training and police screening requirements when he applied for a volunteer role as a Venturer Advisor in 2009. He did not renew his Scouting membership after the 2012/13 Scouting year. Scouts Canada has been supporting the RCMP investigation and will continue to do so, and we will provide you with updates as more information becomes available.
This situation reinforces the need for Scouts Canada to remain vigilant in ensuring that our youth safety policies are followed to the letter by every single member of our organization. We must ensure that our volunteers and Scouting parents understand our strict safety policies, are encouraged to escalate any potential safety concerns, and are confident that should they do so, Scouts Canada will act swiftly. There can be no exceptions at any time. We must always err on the side of caution.
To help you understand these requirements, we encourage you to review:
These resources will explain the rigorous screening that Scouts Canada volunteers must complete before they are permitted to work with youth, as well as the important role that parents play in sustaining our safety culture.
You may have questions, and I encourage you to contact Saskatchewan Council Commissioner, Cheryl Berndt or Council Executive Director, Don MacDonald. They will be happy to address your questions.
Finally, if you have any other concerns, please feel free to contact me directly.
Yours in Scouting,
Executive Commissioner and CEO
“It’s a thing that keeps us awake at night,” he said. “It’s something that every youth-serving organization around the globe deals with.”