Another long day at the Weave Shed yesterday – 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.
And, good news and bad news!
The bad news is Claude Marleau’s examination in chief degenerated into another ballyhoo regarding publication bans. David Sheriff-Scott (the diocese/Bishop Paul Andr Durocher)got the ball rolling with objections to publication of certain documents referencing the priest who is currently hiding behind a publication ban on his name and obviously plans to stay there until Ontario Divisional Court rules for or against him – and who knows when that will be?
Anyway, as the diocese bides time and the clock tick tocks it seems there was some degree of confusion in the Weave Shed as to what all the ban did or did not entail.
Sheriff-Scott thought it included the documents in question. Glaude said no. Then again maybe it did? But the documents had not been marked “C” for Confidential and were already in the public domain and, as Glaude said, “the horse is out of the barn.” In the end I believe the conclusion was an error had been made and everyone was little bit right and perhaps a little bit wrong. The documents were marked “C” for confidential.
Somewhere in the midst of it all there were was another round regarding a Quebec judge’s “Reasons for Judgment.”
So Sheriff Scott was up and arguing for a ban on the Reasons for Judgment. Then the debate became: Could Glaude ban a Quebec judge’s decision or could he not? Glaude decided he could not.
And then we moved on to what was described as the “graphic details” contained in the document. I haven’t read the document but I would guess they are no more graphic than an average AIDS ed or sex ed. class. But, Sheriff-Scott doesn’t want them out. To and fro and on that went with even Peter Wardle for the Citizens for Community Renewal weighing in and aligning the CCR firmly beside Sheriff-Scott:
MR. WARDLE: Well, Mr. Commissioner, we have some sympathy for Mr. Sherriff-Scott’s position with respect to the graphic details and it’s not been the practice of Commission counsel to lead those details thus far in the Inquiry, and we agree that there’s no reason to lead them in this case.
Ultimately Glaude concluded that we, the public, must be excluded from further discussions.
Judicial assurances were given that should Divisional Court support Glaude’s dismissal of the diocesan request for a publication ban the transcripts from this off-air session will be posted and Cogeco can broadcast the session.
That of course is all well and good for those who have Cogeco cable. The many who don’t are excluded again. As for the transcripts, they are in French. Despite the millions upon millions of dollars being tossed hither and yon at this proudly “bilingual” inquiry the transcripts are not available in both official languages!
I haven’t the faintest what happened off camera. I missed portions of the hearing today and of course can not turn to the transcripts for assistance. They are, with the exception of a few lines here or there, in French.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Claude Marleau’s testimony was riveting, enlightening and guaranteed to lift a few patches of fog.
I was reminded in listening (translator) to him what an outstanding witness Claude had been at his three Cornwall Project Truth trials.
But, articulate, honest and forthright weren’t enough to win the day. He didn’t stand a chance against the “alleged” paedophles of Cornwall.
A tripartite victory for the “alleged” paedophiles of Cornwall. Scorn for those who dared whisper cover-up or ring.
What did we hear from Claude today?
(1) During the trials Claude felt there was a will on the part of those higher up in the Ontario Police Force to be done with the investigation;
(2) Claude could not understand why the OPP (Project Truth) was not following the trail and investigating the diocese. When he mentioned his belief that this should be done the two younger officers, Don Genier and Steve Seguin, were keen to do just that. Then they would talk to the older ones and he would see resistance. He seems to think Pat Hall and Joe Dupuis were not as favourable to the idea but seems to have been given the impression that someone higher up in Orillia, Ontario was calling the shots.
He sensed unease and discomfort at the idea, disagreement in the ranks, and had a strong sense that there was something going on and the direction was coming form higher up;
(3) He is convinced the bishop knew what Lapierre was up to with young boys. He recalls he was first abused by Father Paul Lapierre at the retreat house in Alexandria. The house was beside the Bishop’s palace. When young Claude expressed amazement that the bishop lived right there Lapierre told him ‘Don’t worry about that. He’s my friend. There’ll be no problem there.’ (The bishop at that time would probably have been Rosario Brodeur.)
(4) He has seen documents wherein “the Church” talks of reform regarding clerical sexual predators. He doesn’t believe it and doesn’t give ‘them’ much credence when they say they have established policies;
(5) He believes that expert witnesses should have been used at the trials of hi alleged molesters. They were not. Crown Attorney Shelley Hallet apparently was planning to call an expert at the trial of Dr. Peachy. Peachy however died the day he was given a trial date. Claude testified there are unconfirmed rumours of suicide;
(6) He was upset that Justice Lalonde wondered if perhaps there should be a statute of limitations on ‘these kind’ of offences. He fails to understand why a judge would make that kind of statement to a victim. (I recall the same comment made by at least one other judge during a Project Truth trial)
(7) In a ruling on a Lapierre appeal a judge with the Quebec court of Appeal wrote that “the victim was perceived as a toy” and that Lapierre shared the boy with his friends. (I must attempt to get a complete translation of this. It goes to the legal issue of conspiracy/ring which has been consistently denied and scoffed upon by police, lawyers and judges in Ontario)
(8) After Claude came forward one of his “alleged” abusers – the one currently hiding behind legal motions and publication bans – allegedly used Claude’s family members to convey the message that Claude was a liar and he would be sued;
(9) Before his cases went to trial Claude testified that the diocese was trying to get the cooperation of his family. As example he said that some time after he reported his allegations to Project Truth officers he went to get his school records to clarify some dates. He stopped en route to see his uncle, Robert Raymond, who worked at the school and was also very active at the Co-Cathedral in Cornwall. Claude told his Uncle Robert what he was about. His uncle immediately said: “I have them.”
I will leave the rest regarding age of consent, the trials, the differences between justice in Quebec and justice in Cornwall and the disasters wrought by assistant Crown attorney Alain Godin for later.
By the way, I have been told that Godin previusly worked in Cornwall as assistant to Crown attorney Don Johnson. Johnson was defense lawyer for all three of Claude’s alleged abusers. Alain Godin was assistant Crown.
A final note of interest for now. Peter Chisholm, lawyer at the inquiry for Children’s Aid Society, was in court this week defending the interests of convicted paedophile and James Lewis. Lewis was a close friend of Canadian Manpower employee and paedophile Richard Hickerson who committed suicide before standing trial.
Finally, if anyone is good at translating French to English I sure could use your help 🙂
Enough for now,