Back to the mandate and the judge

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I was just starting to blog yesterday’s events at the Weave Shed – a sequel to the disclosure chaos which kicked off with Wednesday’s SOS session – when I realized I have to get this of my chest first and will then return to blog yesterday’s hearing.

I truly never realized how hard it would be to blog this inquiry.  I don’t mean hard as in hard to find the time or words although both are certainly issues from time to time :(.  I mean hard as in there is no apparent logic whatever to what’s going on at the Weave Shed and nothing is as it should be or as the majority perceive it be.

And so, for example, despite repeated assurances to the contrary from those who pull the strings at and in the Weave Shed, the general populace out there still valiantly hangs on to the hope or belief that this inquiry is a real inquiry mandated to dig into the sexual abuse scandals which have beset Cornwall – specifically as the scandal relates to persistent allegations of a paedophile ring and cover-up.

The problem is compounded by the fact that: (1) Justice Glaude is calling victims to testify, (2)  Glaude has presumably demanded disclosure of every sexual-abuse-related-document squirreled away in the niches of every “public” institution which seems to be under the gun, and (3) the latter has prompted every “public” institution to howl in protest.

It has the look of the real thing, doesn’t it? If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it must be a duck, and this has the look of bona fide inquiry digging out the truth so it must be he real thing.

The truth of the matter however is that

(1) this inquiry is NOT mandated to dig into the sexual abuse scandals which have beset Cornwall – specifically as the scandal relates to persistent allegations of a paedophile ring and cover-up. It is mandated to do a research project on the institutional response to allegations of sexual abuse;

(2) the victims who will testify are token victims.  They are carefully chosen by the inquiry team: their ability to testify freely will be sorely limited to ensure the “alleged” molesters of “alleged” victims remain “alleged” and there won’t be so much as an uttered boo which might suggest a whiff of collusion between any “alleged” molester and law enforcement officials, lawyers and/or the judiciary will;.

 (3) Justice Glaude and his hand-picked staff alone will digest the contents of every sexual-abuse-related document and determine its relevance.  Those documents which pass the first screening will be seen by a handful of lawyers sworn to secrecy.   The latter documents will be seen by a smaller handful of “clients” (parties with standing) also sworn to secrecy.  The public in this public inquiry will see and hear only what Justice Glaude decides they should see and hear and are competent to see and hear;

(4) those “public” institutions howling in protest are essentially mandated by the inquiry mandate itself to howl in protest.  Why, after all, would Glaude want to see their every sexual-abuse-related document when it should make not an iota of difference to him, his mandate and/or his research project who did or did not do what to whom, with whom, how, why, when and where?  How many accounts of various institutions deciding there is no merit to various sexual abuse allegations are enough for Glaude to deduce and report that the city is either awash with liars and/or the ever-evolving sexual abuse policies, practices and procedures and institutional understanding of man/boy sexual abuse are sorely lacking?

I don’t know if I am getting the insanity of this across.  I can see it, but can I put what I see into words? 

Let me put it this way: There is nothing, absolutely nothing, about this inquiry which is logical, from the unveiling of the paedophile-friendly mandate which side-steps the very issues which prompted call for an inquiry, to the appointment of an Ontario judge awash in real and perceived conflicts, to the behind-the-scenes lobby to push on with the inquiry despite the flawed mandate and questions of judicial independence, to the unquestioned granting of standing and funding to some and twenty-questions to others,  to declaring the diocese is a “public” institution, to the “framing” of the inquiry, to the selection of “experts” with little or no knowledge of historical sexual abuse,  to the selection of an Advisory Panel whose members presumably have no connections but do, to the virtual seal of confession which Glaude is imposing on anyone who takes a boo at ‘confidential’ documentation, to the inordinate focus on huggy-bear-kissy-face sessions to “heal” whatever healing one can do when an inquiry prompted by allegations of a paedophile ring and cover-up becomes a research project into what any given institution’s policies, practices and procedures were and are and will be so we can understand how that institution used to respond and now responds and will respond in the future to sexual abuse allegations – and Heaven forbid anyone in any institution is held accountable for anything, be it molesting boys or covering-up for and/or pulling a few well-connected strings for those who did.

And now we’re into this institution, that institution and the other one howling about disclosure and redactions because they don’t see the need to disclose facts which they deem irrelevant to Glaude’s mandate. 

And, the truth of the matter is, they’re right.  They can protect the paedophiles’ anonymity.  And they can hide the magnitude of the “alleged” cover-up. And they can conceal the connections between this paedophile, that paedophile and the other one.

And we’re back to the mandate and the judge. 

Alas, I have to run.  Hospital again. 

So, enough for now,
Sylvia
(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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