I have been mulling the latest twist at this hobbled “public” inquiry, specifically the move by “Charlie” (Father Charles MacDonald) to challenge the Ontario Divisional Court ruling which affirmed Justice Normand Glaude’s ruling that victims can testify, albeit, as I like to remind one and all, in a limited fashion.
Charlie’s latest legal shenanigans should bring this sorely hobbled inquiry to a grinding halt. Everyone inherently understands that.
And therein lies the problem for those who want to pass off this ruse of an inquiry as the balm which will bring “closure” and heal all that has ailed Cornwall.
The thing is that, all else aside, the troubled masses just know somewhere deep within their heart of hearts that Charlie is integral to any legitimate inquiry into the sexual abuse scandal and cover-up which has plagued Cornwall. As they see it, an inquiry without Charlie just wouldn’t pass muster.
The inquiry movers and shakers on the other hand have gone to extremes to break from the mold of a sexual abuse scandal involving prominent men in the community in general and the allegations of a paedophile ring and cover-up which gave rise to calls for an inquiry in particular.
To that end we have been advised and reminded any number of times what the inquiry is NOT and pains have been taken to get the victims and public alike to accept the fact that the inquiry has nothing to do with and is not an extension of Project Truth. Despite this we are reassured it will somehow bring closure and healing. We are also advised it will not assign blame. It will not take paedophiles off the streets.
But as much as the victims and public seem to flow with the inquiry tide and give the perception of compliance and understanding it must be becoming disturbingly clear to all at the inquiry helm that the message just isn’t getting through or hasn’t sunk in.
Take Charlie out of the mix and mayhem erupts.
Why? What difference does it make if Charlie and his alleged victims are a no show because Charlie is trundling about looking for a better gift horse (read mandate) than the one handed to him and his alleged paedophile peers on a silver platter?
To Glaude, McGuinty and Bryant et al, none. Not an iota. Charlie is as inconsequential to them and this inquiry as are the veracity of the allegations of sexual abuse, a paedophile ring and a cover-up. Their ruse does not need Charlie per se to pump out a research paper on how this “public” institution, that “public” institution and the other one responded to allegations of sexual abuse by any alleged victim against any alleged predator. And there’s no need of Charlie for Glaude to recount the ever-evolving and sorely lacking sexual abuse policies, practices and procedures of those various institutions.
Still, as I say, let Charlie throw down the gauntlet and there’s mayhem!
Lead counsel Peter Engelmann tries to reassure that it really isn’t so bad and things will proceed quite nicely at the Weave Shed without a boo about or from Charlie and his alleged victims for the time being. And thanks to the mandate, unfortunately he’s right. Charlie can flutter about from court to court pulling out all stops to protect his coveted and hard-earned “presumption of innocence” and the inquiry can still hobble along – Charlie is only one of countless alleged paedophiles, just as his alleged victims are a mere handful in the sea of alleged victims.
Engelmann and Glaude would probably like to say that the truth of the matter is that Charlie and his many alleged victims are totally irrelevant and it matters not if Charlie’s still fighting it out at the Supreme Court of Canada five years from now.
But they don’t say that. They don’t dare say that because as strange as it seems after all this time and all the nonsense emanating from the Weave Shed the trusting masses still erroneously believe this inquiry is about Project Truth, and Perry Dunlop, and Charlie, and a paedophile ring, and a cover-up.
Amazing isn’t it? For all of the apathy, and all of the silence, and all of the naïveté, and all of the sorely misplaced faith in the vultures and bottom feeders who have descended upon Cornwall to make a name, line their pockets or feather their nests on the backs of the victims, the public still believe that this inquiry is going to do the right thing, and the right thing of necessity as far as they’re concerned includes hearing about the alleged clerical paedophile (Charlie), the priest at the core of scandal.
So those at the helm will play it safe and try to assure us that they can get along for a while without Charlie, and they’ll try to convince us that once Charlie’s back from his legal foray he’ll be as front-row-centre as any alleged paedophile can be at Weave Shed, and they’ll fiddle along with huggy-bear-kissy face stuff and the other alleged victims of other alleged paedophiles, and then, – and then – lo and behold if Charlie is still carousing the courts a year from now they’ll say it’s too late, they have to and very confidently and capably wrap this up without Charlie and his alleged victims.
And they can do that. And if they must, they will. And believe it or not it won’t change the predetermined outcome a jot or a tittle!
So let’s not get hung up on Charlie’s attempts to swaddle himself more tightly in the Charter. If we’re going to get hung up let’s get hung up on the root of our inquiry woes, i.e., a commissioner surrounded by red flags, a toothless mandate and the astronomical costs of orchestrating a cover-up of a cover-up which ensures that alleged paedophiles can sleep tight secure in the knowledge that the Charter and the courtrooms of the nation are their very best friends.
Enough for now,