Yesterday, Saturday 15 September 2007, Perry and Helen Dunlop landed in Ottawa, Ontario. They left their home and daughters in Duncan, BC in the wee small hours of the morning.
I am sure there were many many tears at departure . No one knows when they will see each other again – or if realistically and perhaps there will be bars separating them when the time comes.
A terrible anguish for a mother and father. Without doubt an overwhelming fear and sense of foreboding for their lovely girls Marlee (17), Heather (16) and Monica (15).
It was back in 1993 that their Daddy tried to protect children and obeyed the law by going to the Children’s Aid Society. He was worried that children might be at risk because a sex abuse investigation against a local priest had been called off by his police force after ten months. No charges were laid. But their Daddy thought the victim’s statement was credible.
Monica was a baby. Heather a toddler. Marlee a typical three-year old.
From that day forward those little girls were raised enmeshed in the Cornwall sex abuse scandal. Throughout the next fourteen years they would see more than any child should ever witness of injustice, scorn and ridicule heaped upon their beloved Daddy’s shoulders.
In some ways, this promises to be more of the same. But it’s also a little different. There is a sense this time that the stakes are higher. That “the system” has ratcheted things up to the top notch. That they’re looking for blood. Lots of it. They need their scape goat and they need him now. It’s not just one “alleged” paedophile looking for a scapegoat. That’s been done. Now it’s “the system.” The whole darn system. Looking for blood. Cover it with blood.
The girls sense it. Perry and Helen sense it. Everyone senses it.
Not easy for three young girls who absolutely adore their Daddy.
Lots of tears over the past few days. At school. At home. Tears. Tears , tears and more tears. Uncontrollable tears.
The girls are scared. They try to be brave. But, they’re heartbroken. And they cry.
The days ahead will be extremely difficult. Keep those dear Dunlop girls – Monica, Heather and Marlee – in your prayers.
Helen’s Birthday. Without doubt, a birthday she will never forget.
Into the Weave Shed Court room. 1 PM. Perry scheduled to take the stand – after Justice Glaude makes a few preliminary remarks about where the commission’s been and where it’s going. No doubt more judicial assurance that the commission is not a trial, and it’s not a criminal procedure, and it’s not a civil procedure.
But, now we know better.
The commission is indeed a court. Justice Lederer, a justice of the Superior Court of Ontario said the commission is a court.
I wholeheartedly concur: a kangaroo court.
I gave you some information a few days ago about Perry being brought in to the second Leduc trial under false pretences and then, totally bewildered, being ravaged on the stand.
I was there for that roasting. I watched in utter amazement and disbelief. No one behind the rail in that courthouse lifted a finger. Perry was fair game. He had no lawyer. He had no idea he would need a lawyer. He thought, as I believe so many of naively and foolishly do, that the Crown would look out for his best interests.
Not so. Once he realized he had been sand bagged he asked, as I told you before, for a lawyer. Justice Platana said no.
Helen, like any good wife, was justifiably upset. An unwanted tear trickled down her cheek. It was the first time I saw her cry.
What to do? Where to go. Perry was helpless: at the mercy of the court. Helen was helpless. Helpless, as she watched her beloved husband publicly tarred, feathered, humiliated, vilified, whipped and crucified.
Jacques Leduc watched from the sidelines. This was his ballgame. He was in charge. Not a word about what Leduc did or did not do to those young boys. Not a boo. No interest from the bench in things like grooming, fondling, oral sex and sodomy. Not a murmur of that at this lawyer’s Project Truth sex abuse trial. Perry Dunlop was the target. He was Leduc’s ticket to freedom.
Leduc “walked.” Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Perry should have been so lucky.
It was nasty. For me, a bad memory. For Helen, a turning point.
“It was then that I lost total faith in the justice system,” she recently recalled. Right then and there she swore that “never again would I let them do that to us.”
A turning point.
It didn’t stop after that. It just never stops. Upon their return to Vancouver Island they were hounded again. One morning at the crack of dawn the OPP showed up on their doorstep – unannounced. At the crack of dawn!
The whole Leduc ordeal and its aftermath, said Helen, took five years off their lives. As for the girls, they had been just begun to heal when Cornwall raised its ugly head again and intruded with a vengeance into into their young lives. “They” were after their Daddy again. The girls were devastated. They couldn’t understand why. How could they?
More therapy for the girls.
And people don’t understand why the Dunlops didn’t jump at the “chance” to testify?
If they only knew the half of it.
Do you suppose for a moment that the Dunlops were anxious to participate in this particular inquiry? This inquiry? With its flawed mandate? A world away from the Project Truth mandate? An inquiry headed by a commissioner engulfed in red flags?
Do you suppose for a moment that they would want to take the stand, after the persistent and concerted – and effective! – efforts to portray Perry as the villainous lying cop while simultaneously plunking halos atop the heads of Cornwall’s “alleged” paedophiles?
I doubt it.
But, here they are. By my reckoning somewhere in Cornwall by now. Torn from their family. Perry’s small self-operated business shut down during his absence: no work, no pay. Self employed because thanks to “Cornwall ” he can no longer work in his chosen career. His application for the RCMP turned down because, said they, he lacks “integrity and honesty.” His reputation destroyed in the courtrooms of Cornwall, in the media and by the “alleged” paedophiles of Cornwall and their defenders.
“It is essential for the success of this Inquiry that people come forward, free from any undue influence, promise or threat.” That was Justice Glaude. 12 December 2006
As Helen, and Helen alone would say with such candor, she and Perry have been “forced, lied to, bullied and harassed” to attend.
Now that we’re suddenly getting to the nitty gritty of Cornwall, two quotes from the past.
01 June 2006: Justice Normand Glaude
“when we first started this inquiry, I found that there was a lot of rumours, swirling around a lot of innuendo, a lot of things that, well, were just not factual.”
04 October 2006: Lead Counsel Engelmann
We have heard it said by parties that those who allege the existence of a ring or a clan must come forward. They must be examined. They must be cross examined. We agree. This is their opportunity. If people are going to make these allegations they should come forward and they should do so here. This is the opportunity to do so.
I certainly agree with Mr. Callaghan’s (Cornwall Police Services) comment that people who allege conspiracy or innuendo or rumours or collusion on the part of his client need to come forward. He needs to have a chance to confront them.
(1) Who exactly is Peter Englemann working for?
(2) What’s Engelmann’s point here? Why would he ask those who allege a paedophile ring to come forward? Justice Glaude had already decided behind closed doors and without a word of testimony that there is no ring and there is and never was a cover-up?
(3) Did Glaude compel the Dunlops to testify against their will to satiate Mr. Callaghan’s thirst for blood?
(4) Will Jacques Leduc, Fathers Paul Lapierre, Kenneth Martin, Lucien Lussier, Gaetan Deschamps, Bernard Cameron, Kevin Maloney, Charles MacDonald, Gilles Deslaurier and Bishop Eugene Laroque be compelled to testify against their will What of Robert Sabourin? And Keith Jodoin?
If not, why not?
(5) Why did Justice Glaude not speak to the Dunlops before he decided how he was going to “frame” his inquiry?
(6) Who and what helped Justice Glaude decide that there is no ring and there and never was a cover-up?
(7) How can Justice Glaude in good conscience remain on the bench?
The Victims Group Ledroit Beckett Debacle
I posted the Dallas Lee letter to the Victims Group yesterday.
Now, read the article in today’s Freeholder.
This is quite a shocker.
I don’t know who did what, or who has a right to know what. The legal heads can point fingers at each other and bicker away amongst themselves all they want. As far as I’m concerned there is a serious problem and the problem is two-fold:
(1) at a crucial time and nearly two years into the this inquiry the victims have been cast adrift. They have become, yet again, the meat in the proverbial legal sandwich.
It is a known fact that many victims admire and are grateful to the Dunlops, and that they would be want to support them in whatever way possible. To that end, in the Weave Shed court with the Dunlops on the stand the victims are reliant and dependent on their legal counsel to exhibit that support by conducting an intelligent and informed cross-examination to elicit crucial information which commission counsel might – by accident or design – overlook, i.e, the Ron Leroux and C-8 testimony.
(2) whatever the reason and for all the legalese the Dunlops have been abandoned by the victims when they need them most. I understand fully that this is not the victims doing, but that is one of the inevitable realities and outcomes of this debacle.
I can not for the life of me understand how this could happen.
All of the excuses and finger-pointing in the world won’t change it. The dastardly deed is done.
So, some questions:
(1) Was the Cornwall Police Service (read lawyers included) apprised of the belated commission plan to force the Dunlops to testify? If so, who was so apprised? When?
(2) Were Bishop Durocher and/or other key members of the Alexandria-Cornwall diocese apprised of commission’s belated plan the force the Dunlops back to Cornwall and onto the stand? If yes, who was so apprised? When?
(3) Was the law firm Ledroit Beckett ever retained by the Dunlops? If yes, when? And if yes, for what purpose? And if yes, is there paperwork to substantiate that claim?
(4) Did Ledroit Beckett ever represent the Dunlops? If yes, for what? When? And for how long? And, again, if yes, is there paperwork to substantiate that claim?
(5) Did the victims receive a similar notice from Dallas Lee before Ron Leroux took the witness stand? If not, why not? (Ron Leroux was a member of the Victims Group who was represented by Ledroit Beckett from the time the inquiry began in 2005 until 17 March 2007 – not a “brief” period and surely a more serious conflict than the firm’s “brief” dealings with Dunlops)
(i) If Ron Leroux not been excused before completing his cross-examination would he have been cross-examined by Dallas Lee? If yes, why would that have been alright when it’s not alright with the Dunlops?
(ii) Did Dallas Lee intend to cross-examine Ron? If yes, why is this different than the Dunlop situation?
(iii) Will Dallas Lee participate in the Let’s Pretend Ron Leroux is on the Stand charade? If yes, how can that be? If Ledroit Beckett has a conflict of interest with Perry Dunlop do they not most assuredly have a bigger one with Ron Leroux.?
(7) Since Ledroti Beckett apparently went into this inquiry knowing there was a conflict was the Ledroit Beckett team actually hoping Perry Dunlop would not be called to testify?
(8) Did Ledroit Beckett declare this alleged Dunlop conflict at the start of the inquiry? If not, why not? If yes, why were they not, as seems to be the case, advised of the commission’s change of plan and subsequent concerted and vigorous effort to force the Dunlops back to Cornwall and onto the stand?
(9) How in good conscience could the Ledroit Beckett law firm claim to represent the best interests of the victims knowing, according to the letter, that it had a serious conflict of interest regarding the Dunlops?
(10) Why were the victims not told before the inquiry started that the law firm had a serious conflict of interest, and that if Perry Dunlop should ever take the stand the firm would have to bow out, cut the victims loose and abandon Perry?
(11) Again, why are the Dunlops different than Ron Leroux? It doesn’t make sense.
(12) According to the Freeholder Dallas Lee said this is all between the law firm and the victims and no one else has a right to know.
(i) Is this not supposed to be a public inquiry?
(ii) Who aside from the public is footing the bill and paying Ledroit Beckett’s fees?
(iii) Is it not in the public interest to know that one of the three non-paedophile friendly parties in the Weave Shed court of about 18 paedophile-friendly parties has bailed out at the 11th hour?
(iv) Is it not in the public interest to know that victims are meat in the legal sandwich?
Bottom line: Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.
Father Lucien Lussier has been charged. There are two affidavits in the Victims Group from men who allege they were molested as children by Lussier.
Good for the “alleged” victim for having the courage to come forward. Not easy at all for male victims – especially in Cornwall
(1) How many sexual abuse allegations against Lussier are stashed away in the diocese? Will we find out?
There’s more, but, I’ve had it. The whole Cornwall mess turns my stomach inside out.
Pray for the Dunlops that they will have the grace to stay strong in the face of evil. And, as I said earlier, pray for their girls: they must be worried to death about the fate of their Mommy and Daddy.
Imagine. Those poor girls have probably been inundated in school with prattle about how to protect themselves from sexual predators, and all about ‘good’ touches and ‘bad’ touches. Meanwhile their Daddy has been hung high for trying to get the guys who do the preying and the touching off the streets and out of the sanctuaries. Oxymoronic or what?
A final note. If you believe children should be protected from sexual predators, get down to the Weave Shed courtroom tomorrow afternoon (Monday 17 September 2007) at 13:00 hours (I pm).
If you believe “the system” is soft on paedophiles and allows their rights to trump our rights and the rights of our children, get down.
If you believe “the boy child” has been excluded and deserves as much consideration and protection as “the girl child,” get down there.
And, if you just want the Dunlops to see a friendly face, and know they have support in the coliseum cum Weave Shed courtroom, get down there.
709 Cotton Mill Street
Yes, I got carried away. That is enough for now,