Albert Roy has been shipped off to find a lawyer.
Roy, sexually abused by probation officers Ken Seguin and Nelson Barque 30-years ago, agreed to testify at the inquiry, trustingly took the stand without retaining legal counsel, turned himself inside out and upside down to testify truthfully and steer clear of opinions of what others said or did, has been shipped off to find a lawyer.
Bizarre indeed. No, not bizarre. An outrage. An outrage at an inquiry which presumably prided itself that not one soul – alleged paedophile, police officer, or real/”alleged” victim – would be forced to take the stand.
How an inquiry can be conducted in such fashion is another question, but that was the word. Those who take the stand do so willingly. Those who don’t, O.K. Those who refuse to testify and simultaneously want to retain their anonymity, fine. Those who have never asked that their names be confidential, well and good, in “an abundance of caution” they will granted confidentiality.
Albert Roy takes the stand. He has no desire to hide. He wants the world to hear. And yes, he understands the mandate – to investigate the institutional response to historic allegations of sexual abuse, and the policies, practices and procedures then in place etc etc etc.
Now he’s off to find a lawyer. In Cornwall!
And, incidentally, it’s incorrect, as indicated in some media reports, that Albert asked for a lawyer. He didn’t have an inkling that he might need a lawyer. He was told to get a lawyer to find out what his rights are.
“I advised him” said commission counsel Pierre Dumais after a private tete a tete, “that perhaps it would be appropriate for him to get independent legal advice and to find out what his rights are.”
Does anyone have the faintest idea what an undertaking that is, to try to find a lawyer with no connections to the mess in Cornwall?
That’s what Albert has to do. And he’s supposed to be back in the Weave Shed next Thursday legally prepped and ready to go for round two with John Callaghan (Cornwall Police Service) and anyone else who decides to partake of the frenzy.
And, by the way, if he has trouble finding a lawyer, no problem – the commission has a list for his perusal.
How did it come to this?
Well, Albert, it seems had conversations with some fellow victims, fellow victims who, like Albert, and in Mr. Callaghan’s mind, had the audacity to rub shoulders with Perry Dunlop. And Albert and several other victims met with John Morris, who was also Perry Dunlop’s lawyer, in April 1997.
Albert did not want to discuss the meeting or who was in attendance. Morris, he said, told him it was not to be discussed. So Albert told Callaghan if Callaghan wants to know who was there he should call Morris.
However, it turns out that in his disclosure to the commission Albert apparently disclosed a confidential document to the commission referencing the meeting and identifying those in attendance. That it seems is the gist of it.
So, Albert of course was upset. He doesn’t know if he is in trouble for dislcosing the document. But document or no in Callaghan’s hands, he will not discuss it.
Nor does he want to divulge conversations he had with fellow victims who, I gather, confided in him as they struggled to decide if they could muster the courage to come forward. Albert feels strongly that their conversations were private, personal and confidential and he does not want to betray the trust of fellow victims:
I’m not trying to be difficult or mysterious. It’s just that I’m a victim and I know how I would feel if somebody did something I asked them not to do.
This Perry/lawyer/fellow victims business came up out of the blue under cross-examination by Cornwall Police Service lawyer, John Callaghan. So out of the blue that Justice Glaude felt the need to explain that
These are questions that pop up every once in a while in the sense that no one really had an inkling that this area would be discussed. And so it’s through no fault of anyone’s part that we’ve come to a spot that you had not been able to cover with Maître Dumais.
Are we to understand that Dumais didn’t recognize the relevance of a Perry Dunlop related document?! Or that perhaps he failed to understand the absolute necessity of digging in to analyze every single interaction with Dunlop of any witness who has ever brushed the whistle-blower’s shoulder?
Dumais knew that Albert had contact with Perry Dunlop after Barque was convicted. Anyone who knows anything about Cornwall knows that that’s a Red Flag. It shouldn’t be. But thanks to judges and lawyers, it is. This after all is Cornwall where “alleged” paedophiles roam the streets enjoying their ‘presumption of innocence’ because their “alleged” victims allegedly rubbed shoulders with Dunlop.
Where has Mr. Dumais been? How could the commission allow this to happen?
A victim fell through the cracks and right into the clutches of John Callaghan because no one understands that Perry Dunlop’s name alone is suffice to throw the “alleged” paedophiles of Cornwall and those who protect them into a joyful finger-pointing shoot-the-messenger tizzy?
But, there it is. Poor Albert, who tried to do the right thing by taking the stand – and obviously felt he had no need of a lawyer – has fallen through the cracks and is now fodder for the “alleged” paedophiles of Cornwall.
And out comes the first sign of the iron fist in the velvet glove:
ALBERT ROY: I’m not going to be foolish enough to say that I won’t seek legal counsel, but I feel that even if a lawyer told me I have to answer those questions, at this point right now I don’t believe that I would answer them.
GLAUDE: Okay. Well, I can understand your feelings about that.
ROY: I’m saying at this moment.
GLAUDE: Exactly. Exactly. And I don’t want you to dig yourself in on that issue.
ROY: I’m not.
GLAUDE: Because I think if you go and see a lawyer, he may well tell you or she may well tell you that you don’t have a right not to answer, and what I want you to consider though is — and I’m kind of of the view that you might have to answer some questions, all right?……
So all I’m asking you is to keep an open mind and I can tell you that I’m going to make a recommendation to the Attorney General that your legal fees be paid. All right?
What a disgrace.
Glaude is “kind of of the view” that Albert might have to answer some questions? And, he needs a lawyer…
Are they tap dancing around citing Albert with contempt of court if he refuses to answer? Is that where this is going? Is that why he needs a lawyer?
We have been told time and again that this inquiry is not a criminal proceeding, and it’s not a court of law.
But look what’s happening. Just take a look at what’s happening to Albert Roy.
This is dispicable.
But, can you believe it, for some it’s all a big hoot?! For Glaude and the legal collective at the Weave Shed it’s all good for a laugh. Look at this
GlAUDE: …So what I’ve asked you to do is go and see a lawyer, and if you have difficulty finding a lawyer, maybe you can speak to Mr. Dumais. He might give you a list.
MR. ROY: Would I have to find a lawyer that’s — like what kind of lawyer am I looking for?
THE COMMISSIONER: A damn good lawyer.
MR. ROY: A criminal lawyer or —
THE COMMISSIONER: A damn good one.
It was suggested Albert find a lawyer with expertise in issues of privilege or solicitor-client priviledge.
Do you think it’s all a riot?
I don’t. I don’t think it’s a laughing matter at all.
And in the midst of this, when Albert was beside himself thinking he’s going to be in trouble with Morris, Callaghan steps up to the plate to offer the ultimate reassurance: “I know John Morris. You’re not going to get in trouble”!!!
Yes, indeed, it matters not what side of the fence you’re on – the lawyers are all part of one big happy family. And Albert, God Bless him, is off to find a lawyer!!
And there it is. Perry Dunlop’s name is thrown into the hat and look what happens – when it comes to “alleged” paedophiles, Cornwall and Perry it’s always the same old same old: all Hell breaks loose.
After a year of wading through top secret documents I would have thought that a few of the miniscule handful of lawyers who aren’t in the Weave Shed overtly defending the best interests of Cornwall’s “alleged” paedophiles might have wrapped their heads around that basic fact.
But, no. They still don’t get it.
So, some questions:
(1) What do Perry Dunlop and his lawyer have to do with policies, practices and procedures and the response of various institutions to historical allegations of sexual abuse?
(2) What do Albert Roy’s private conversations with friends have to do with policies, practices and procedures and the response of various institutions to historical allegations of sexual abuse?
(3) Is this a criminal proceeding or an inquiry?
(4) Why is Albert Roy being legally intimidated?
(5) Why is Albert Roy being forced to answer questions when he or no one else is obliged to take the stand in the first place?
(6) What happens to Albert Roy if he refuses to answer?
(7) What exactly did Justice Glaude mean last Wednesday when he said, “We’re not here to destroy anyone”?
A final thought. Albert’s testimony was supposed to be about Nelson Barque and Ken Seguin. I am thinking that perhaps once this Perry Dunlop and friends detour is taken care of the inquiry can get back on track and could perhaps track down Father Rene Dube to find out if he was parish priest at Christ the King Church(Christ-Roi)in Cornwall while Nelson Barque was an active parishioner? If yes, might they insist Dube take the stand? And, if yes, will they ask Dube if he and Barque were involved with Boy Scouts at the same time, and if yes, did Dube ever see or hear of any inappropriate behaviour on Barque’s part? And I suppose too they could ask did Barque have any involvement with the altar boys at Christ-Roi? And who did he fraternize with at the Church? Things like that.
Will they use the iron fist in the velvet glove there?
Enough for now,