Hearings resume at 0930 EST (9:30 am) this morning, Thursday 22 November 2007.
I think Douglas Seguin will be taking the stand. Seguin is a brother of the late Ken Seguin, the Roman Catholic ex-seminarian turned probation officer who committed suicide in 1993. There have been a number of men – including David Silmser – who allege they were sexually abused by Seguin. Correctional Services has settled out of court with a number of victims. The settlement gagged the victims. No doubt another act of perfect charity.
I say I think Seguin will be on the stand only because the schedule ended up up in the air yesterday afternoon. When it became obvious that Garry Guzzo’s testimony wouldn’t wrap up today and some of the gathered throng can’t or don’t want to sit on Friday the list of pending witnesses were categorized in a sort of hierarchical fashion.
Here’s how it goes:
Correctional services (probation) is scheduled to kick off the institutional response phase of the inquiry on Monday, and since, so we are told, that date has been scheduled well in advance it is inflexible and fixed in stone. It belongs to Correctional Services.
Meanwhile commission counsel have decided it is imperative that we hear Doug Seguin’s testimony before Correctional services starts on Monday. Ergo …..Doug Seguin can’t give way to Guzzo today. Seguin must be squeezed in before Monday.
That leaves Garry Guzzo relegated to the bottom of the hierarchical witness ladder, the conclusion of his testimony in Weave Shed limbo. His examination in chief is yet to be finished, that despite running the clock down to 6:15 pm yesterday.
So, after a full day and then some relegated to the ins and outs and ups and downs of the redactions on Guzzo’s faxed, copied and original notes we won’t get to hear his testimony until someone can find a little niche somewhere to squeeze him back into the roster. Lead commission counsel first suggested January!! Justice Glaude thinks they can do better than that.
Why Correctional services Monday slot is inviolable beats me. How many witnesses have been bumped and bounced and re-scheduled time and again over the past months? A goodly number. But, different strikes for different folks. Correctional services is slated for Monday. Monday is untouchable.
Guzzo can wait.
Doug Seguin’s testimony on the other hand apparently absolutely must be heard before Correctional services. That bumps Seguin in ahead of Guzzo.
Guzzo goes to the back of the bus.
As for yesterday’s testimony, well, it was strange. Considering the import of Guzzo as a witness and the great tizzy over his notes and redactions I found the day strangely flat. There was nothing profound. A few little tid bits here and there, but, as I say, flat.
Rather odd. I don’t know what I expected but that’s the only word at my fingertips right now to re-cap the day. Flat.
On a couple of occasions Guzzo tried to get in some testimony and was more or less called to a halt by lead commission counsel Peter Engelmann who assured Guzzo that that area would be addressed later. Later has yet to come and when it will come is up in the air. (One such are is the Ottawa police investigation of the Cornwall Police Service in early 1994. The public was informed the Ottawa police found no fault with CPS. I believe from what Guzzo said several days that falls far shy of the truth. But,, we heard nothing of that today. That will come “later.”)
For now the thorny issue of redactions has been put rest. Guzzo said he doodles a lot and probably doodled over doodles on his notes. He doodled over copies and he doodled over originals and, yes, he finally agreed with Engelmann, it would have been a good idea to tuck his original away somewhere but he didn’t and he’s sorry. When and if we see Guzzo back on the stand Im sure we’ll hear more on doodles and redactions.
Toward the end of the day Engelmann did a little chastising. He referenced an article in the Ottawa Sun from the late 90s in which Guzzo apparently implied that the OPP wasn’t doing it’s job. Engelmann essentially wondered how Guzzo could expect victims to come forward if they were led to believe the OPP was falling short!
Other tid bits:
(1) Garry Guzzo’s law office and constituency office were both broken into in the 90s. He believes there was nothing of interest for anyone at either office aside his Cornwall files..
When he reported the break-in to Ottawa police he was told to report it to his insurance agent. No investigation. That was it.
(2) Guzzo referred victims to local lawyer Howard Yegendorf. Yegendorf had launched a class action suit against Correctional Services. It was Yegendorf who got Dick Nadeau to remove Cornwall Crown attorney Murray MacDonald’s name from the Ron Leroux affidavit.
(3) Father Paul Lapierre contacted Guzzo wanting to help out and expressing concern that two of his colleagues were molesting: Fathers Charles MacDonald and Bernard Cameron. I believe Lapierre sent “alleged” victims of the two to see Guzzo. Lapierre also identified a priest from Prescott or Brockville as an abuser. (Lapierre sang like a canary on the witness stand in Cornwall, busily prifessing his innocence while pointing the finger at clerical colleagues whom he said were sexually abusing young boys. At that time he made no mention of Charlie or Father Cameron.)
Lapierre was later found guilty in another sex abuse trial in Montreal, Quebec.
(4) Guzzo classified the victims who approached him as those interested in pursuing civil action and those interested in pursuing criminal action. The former he called “me toos,”meaning they were keen to get involved in the class action suits. The latter he said were more difficult to deal with, insistent that they did not want money and, according to Guzzo “out to get their pound of flesh.”
(5) A mother and father approached Guzzo to report that their son had been sexually abused by someone whose name was known to police but had not apparently been investigated. For whatever reason the “alleged” molester has been given a moniker. I got the sense he is a priest, but could be mistaken. In this “public” inquiry we have no idea who this alleged paedophile is.
(6) Back in the 90s a well to do businessman approached Guzzo and apparently wanted to help the people of Cornwall. Guzzo said he gave the man the name of a community group. It seems there is an implication that $200,000 was donated to the group. Guzzo said he questioned that figure. He is also uncertain if any amount was ever donated/given.
According to Guzzo this businessman alleged he had been sexually abused. Guzzo felt the abuse must have been minimal because the man seemd to have gotten over it and went on to do very well for himself. (Claude Marleau was passed around like a used toy and was abused by multiple abusers. He went on to be a lawyer. As I recall from court the sexual abuse he endured and suffered had a profound impact on his life, but the average person would probably never know.)
(7) While Guzzo was attempting to lobby his government for an inquiry he had support from John Cleary, former Liberal MPP from the Cornwall area. According to Guzzo a lot of victims were going to Cleary to tell him they had been sexually abused. We also heard that although Cornwall is only 2.4% of its jurisdiction the Men’s Project apparently has a disproportionate number of clients from Cornwall.
(8) Guzzo was given the cold shoulder by Ontario Premier Mike Harris and by other cabinet officials when he tried to get action on Cornwall. He felt the matter was being ‘deep sixed.’
I’ll leave it at that.
I am once again troubled by some of Guzzo’s comments re victims. I can not conceive why anyone would think or imply that victims wanting to pursue criminal charges are “out to get their pound of flesh.” Perhaps I missed something? Surely common sense says that if a man breaks the law of the land he should be charged.
Those who pursue criminal charges are seeking justice, not a pound of flesh. Those who molest should be subject to the law of the land.
Enough. It bothers me. I am anxious to get this clarified after Guzzo’s testimony is finished.
Meanwhile, as I said, a strange strange day at the Weave Shed. Flat!
Was it because the right questions weren’t being asked? We won’t know until Guzzo’s testimony is finished, and who knows when that will be?
Another brave soul for the Join Kay in Jail list and ready to do time for Perry:
Add my name to the list of those who are willing to serve Perry’s jail time.
New Jersey, USA
I have another, just waiting to get city/state/province before posting.
Also received a copy of a letter sent off to Premier Dalton McGuinty. I will post it tomorrow and then tack it onto the Sound Off page.
Enough for now,