Hearings resume at 09:30 hours tomorrow, Wednesday 24 October 2007. Charles Bourgeois, former lawyer for Perry Dunlop, is scheduled to take the stand Wednesday and Thursday.
The entire day today (23 October) seems to be given to an all-counsel meeting. Very unusual. Especially since the gathered throng were just back yesterday from a week-long break.
I speculated yesterday that this may be more Perry Dunlop business but in truth I have no idea what business the commission considers so pressing as to warrant scrapping a full day of testimony.
Now on to Carole Hesse’s testimony.
I must say that for the short time she was on the stand Carole presented as a strong witness. She was direct in her answers.
Before recapping her testimony a reminder that (1) Malcolm MacDonald, lawyer and former Crown attorney, was charged with obstruction of justice for the role he played in $32,000 illegal pay-off of David Silmser and received a friendly absolute discharge. He died, some say of questionable circumstances, before standing trial on charges of sex abuse of young boys; (2) numerous “alleged” victims of Father Charles MacDonald have come forward, and despite the fact that Charlie “walked” I don’t know how many out-of-court settlements the diocese has paid off on his behalf, and (iii) There have been numerous “alleged” victims of Ken Seguin come forward and who knows how much Correctional Services has doled out in out-of-court settlements in which the victims are gagged?
Now, some thoughts and information gleaned from Carole’s testimony:
(1) Deschamps: Carole Hesse is the former Carole Deschamps, sister to the Renshaw brothers, all of whom were “allegedly” sexually abused.
(2) The Statement: Carole’s December 1996 statement to Perry Dunlop was entered into evidence. For some reason there is a publication ban on one or two names on the second page of the statement, one that of an “alleged” victim and the other that of an “alleged” abuser. I have contacted the inquiry offices to find out which name is under ban. Perhaps both?
The strange thing here is that both names have been in the public forum in the past.
(3) Claude Shaver: Yes, Carole said she saw Claude Shaver at Ken Seguin’s Summerstown home, not once, but twice.
The first time she saw Shaver sticks in Carole’s mind because there was some mix up with cars – either he blocked her in or she blocked him and a car had to be moved. What she recalls there is that she knew it was Claude Shaver, not because she recognized or knew he was the Chief of Police, but because as a result of the car kafuffle Ken Seguin introduced the pair. Seguin apparently simply introduced Shaver as “Claude.”
Carole asked: “Claude? Who is Claude?”
Seguin replied: “Were you born under a rock? It’s Claude Shaver, the Chief of Police.”
The second time she saw Shaver at Seguin’s Carole had stopped by to pick up her brother Gerry. Gerry wasn’t there, but from the back door she could see Shaver and Malcolm MacDonald over by the table.
(4) Father Charles MacDonald: Carole testified that she saw Father Charles MacDonald at Ken Seguin’s home a number of times. The joke was that he was like part of the furniture at Seguin’s.
(5) Malcolm: Carole was less than impressed with her dealings with Malcolm MacDonald when it came to the way he handled her brother, C-15’s, sex abuse allegations against a local priest. According to Carole the sex abuse allegedly transpired while the boy was in the Alfred training school. (the priest claims he was never at Alfred. Whether that means he claims he was never there to visit with the Christian Brothers who operated the facility, or to assist with confessions I have no idea)
According to Carole C-15 detailed his allegations in an approximately 20-page statement which he have to his lawyer – Malcolm MacDonald. The belief was that Malcolm would deal with the allegations.
It seems nothing happened. At some point C-15 wanted the statement returned. Carole spent a year trying to get the statement back from Malcolm. No luck. She eventually told Malcolm she was going to report him to the Law Society (of Upper Canada). She did. She never heard a word back from the Law Society.
(6) Oversight?: Stauffer: Commission counsel Ian Stauffer did not put one single question to Carole regarding her previous statements that Ken Seguin had confided in her that he was a homosexual and had sexual relationships with Malcolm MacDonald and Father Charles MacDonald.
Nor were there questions regarding who else she saw at Ken Seguin’s Summerstown home, or about the ages of probationers who frequented the home.
(7) Another oversight?: Perhaps what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander? Sometimes that’s the way it seems in the Weave Shed courtroom.
For example, Allan Manson (Citizens for Community Renewal) started and completed his cross-examination without identifying himself to the witness. Perhaps Jusitce Glaude’s mind was elsewhere, but, no comment on that oversight from Justice Glaude.
However, when Ian Paul (Carson Chisholm/Coalition for Action) who is new to the Weave Shed, followed suit and was about to commence his cross-examination Justice Normand Glaude stepped in with a curt: “Hang on. If you could start by introducing yourself, sir?”
In the twinkle of an eye Manson was on his feet and heading for the microphone. Manson apologized for not introducing himself and, after the fact, identified himself to Carole Hesse: “ I represent the Citizens for Community Renewal, which is a group of Cornwall citizens concerned about public institutions and the protection of children.”
(8) And another oversight?: Manson’s focus on cross-examination was Perry Dunlop and what Perry said and did.
There were no questions from Manson regarding the goings on at Seguin’s home, or the ages of probationers. All of that is information to which Carole may or would have been privy.
Nor, despite the intense interest in homosexuality conveyed by Citizens for Community Renewal during its interrogation of Carson Chisholm, did Manson pose one question inquiring into Carole’s knowledge of Seguin’s homosexuality and/or his sexual relationships with Father Charles MacDonald and Malcolm MacDonald.
(9) Minors: Under cross-examination Ian Paul elicited information that probationers frequented Seguin’s home and socialized with him while on probation. Seguin would lend them money. They also partied. Carole attended some of the parties. Beer was available in the fridge.
Paul also elicited information from Carole that probationers under age 15 would have been at Seguin’s Summerstown home.
(10) Confirmation: It wasn’t until Dallas Lee (Victims Group), the fourth lawyer to question Carole Hesse, that there was any mention of or confirmation of the fact that Ken Seguin confided in Carole that he was homosexual and had sexual relationships with Father Charles MacDonald and Malcolm MacDonald.
(11) Shaver denial: Peter Manderville (Cornwall Police Service) told Carole: “Mr. Shaver denies knowing who Ken Seguin was and denies ever being at his house.” Carole didn’t flinch: “He’s lying.”
Manderville also focused on inconsistencies between Carole’s testimony and prior statements regarding whose car was blocking whose when she first met Claude Shaver. It made little difference to Carole. As she said, that was a long time ago, what stuck in her mind was that the police chief was at Ken Seguin’s.
(12) Recommendations: One of Carole’s recommendations to the commission is that paedophiles should be dealt with speedily by the system. She is adverse to accumulating charges before going to trial.
She also recommended there should be a board to deal with young offenders and there should be no one-on-one time between young offenders and lawyers and/or probation officers. Because of the dealings she had with Malcolm’s receptionist Carole was adverse to a suggestion that it could be someone from the lawyer’s office sitting in on young offender sessions. She was adamant it should be someone independent of the lawyer to diminish chances of something happening to the child.
Good idea. Perhaps expensive, but if it spares one child the horror of sexual abuse, a good investment and well worth every penny.
(13) Perry Dunlop: Carole no longer recalls who contacted whom. She did meet with Perry Dunlop in the mid 90s. After the meeting she began to visit the Dunlops regularly and considered them friends.
I believe some in the Weave Shed will try to make hay of the fact Carole described Perry as police officer conducting an investigation. Common sense however says that since it was common and very public knowledge in those days that Perry was off on stress leave he certainly was not passing himself off to anyone as an on duty officer. Furthermore, if Carole was visiting the Dunlops regularly she would certainly have been aware that Perry was on stress leave.
Carole’s testimony was exceptionally short and sweet. I will reiterate my surprise that both Mr. Stauffer and Manson failed to question her about Seguin’s confidences. Had it not been for Dallas Lee’s line of question I am inclined to think that Carole would have been on and off the stand and out the door without any attempt to address the homosexual dimension of Seguin’s life and the rather strong connection between him, a Roman Catholic ex-seminarian turned probation officer, and Father Charles MacDonald, a Roman Catholic priest, and Malcolm MacDonald, a Roman Catholic lawyer/Crown attorney.
After the wringer Manson’s colleague Helen Daley put Carson Chisholm through on the whole issue of homosexual and paedophiles I am particularly surprised that the cat got Allan Manson’s tongue on this apparently delicate matter yesterday. Carole Hesse was a strong and believable witness whose testimony goes a long way to substantiating Carson’s testimony that most of the abusers he was aware of in Cornwall are homosexual paedophiles.
Mr. Manson apparently and strangely had no desire to avail himself of Carole’s knowledge to prove Carson right, in whole or in part.
I was also rather surprised that Ian Paul didn’t address those areas. However, he did get testimony on the record that there were minors socializing and frequenting Seguin’s home. Important.
Finally, I wait with anticipation for the day former Chief Claude Shaver takes the stand. I do hope when – IF? – that day comes all those who say they saw Shaver at Seguin’s will be there to greet him on his arrival and sit front row centre at the Weave Shed.
Enough for now,