The public is locked out …again!
I had a computer glitch and missed the arguments – or lack thereof – against a public lockout. But the “in camera screen” has been up all day.
Some thoughts on this, but first, a reminder of the mandate of the Cornwall Public Inquiry:
The Commission shall inquire into and report on the institutional response of the justice system and other public institutions, including the interaction of that response with other public and community sectors, in relation to:
(a) allegations of historical abuse of young people in the Cornwall area, including the policies and practices then in place to respond to such allegations, and
(b) the creation and development of policies and practices that were designed to improve the response to allegations of abuse in order to make recommendations directed to the further improvement of the response in similar circumstances.
Now, several questions and some thoughts on the decision to exclude the public from C-8’s testimony:
(1) Why bother pretending the inquiry is “public”? It is not.
(2) Virtually everyone in Cornwall familiar with the Cornwall scandal knows C-8’s identity. Those who don’t will have no difficulty finding out.
(3) C-8 was allegedly summonsed and is being forced forced to testify against his will.
(a) Why the summons after months of assurance that no-one – absolutely no one – would be forced to testify at the Cornwall Public Inquiry?
(b) What is it about C-8 which makes his testimony more crucial to fulfilling the mandate than that of numerous other victims/”alleged” victims who have not been testified and were not summonsed?
(c) Does the “institutional response” now rest on C-8’s testimony? If yes, why?
(d) Publicly fostering secrecy with sexual abuse victims and their testimony will do nothing to help male victims of same-sex sexual shed the sense of shame which keeps them silent, prevents justice from being rendered and allows their molesters to continue to run the streets with unfettered access to children.
(e) Publicly fostering such secrecy is a regressive step. It nurtures the erroneous societal belief that being a male victim of sexual abuse is cause for shame.
(4) We were given the impression that C-8 has been in a fragile emotional state for years and is concerned that he would be identified if he took the stand, even with only an audio feed, therefore the need to go in camera. If indeed C-8’s mental health is so precarious why is being forced to testify?
(5) Now that summonses seem to be ‘in’ can we safely assume that Jacques Leduc and Fathers Charles MacDonald, Paul Lapierre, Kenneth Martin et al have been summonsed?
(6) If Perry Dunlop is summonsed and, like C-8, forced to testify, would he, if armed with a doctor’s letter like C-8’s, be entitled to testify in camera?
Can there by a shred of doubt that this non-Project-Truth “public” inquiry which wasn’t going to see anyone charged or force anyone to do anything has switched horses mid stream yet again and at the 11th hour is going full steam ahead to ‘prove’ there was/is no ring and there was/is no cover-up? Why else the mess with Ron Leroux? Why force a victim to testify?
This is all surreal. It truly is. Surreal.
Anyway, if the object of the exercise now is to delve into allegations of a paedophile ring and cover-up let’s go all the way back to square one and re-call every witness who took the stand to date with that objective in mind. Summons those who, like C-8, didn’t want to testify. Ask the questions which need to be asked. Get the names. Follow the leads. Find the witnesses.
And let’s have some experts: real experts who know something about cover-ups, and paedophile rings, and men who abuse boys. How about Senator John De Camp on cover-ups and paedophile rings? And how about Dr. Judith Reismann on men who sexually abuse boys? There are others, but if we’re into paedophile rings and cover-ups that would be a good starting point.
A final note. Lest we forget, ….Premier Dalton McGuinty and his Liberal government go to the polls in October. What’s will the McGuinty campaign message be about the Cornwall Public Inquiry? Think about it….
Enough for now,