Passing strange

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Hearings resumed at 0930 hours (9:30 am) this morning, Thursday, 14 February 2008. Cross-examination of Brian Skinner, former superintendent of the Ottawa Carleton police will resume.

Also on the slate for today are the following:

(1) Objections to Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services Factual

(2) Overview

(3) Sean Adams

(4) Argument on Terms of Reference

I had to bite my tongue yesterday. After hearing what was chalked up as an investigation into allegations of cover-up within the Cornwall Police Service in January 1994 I had had all I could take and then some 🙂 I didn’t dare touch the keyboard until I thought things through.

So, some hours and much thought later some initial observations:

(1) When news of the out-of-court settlement between David Silmser and “the Church” first bubbled into the media in early 1994 acting Cornwall Chief Carl Johnston asked the Ottawa police to investigate allegations of a cover-up against the Cornwall Police Service. Superintendent Brian Skinner and Staff Sgt. William Blake were assigned to conduct the investigation.

(2) Skinner knew former Chief Claude Shaver. In as much as he reached to the claim that Shaver had retired by the time he, Skinner, and Blake were called in to “investigate” in early January 1994 the fact is that Shaver had retired only weeks earlier and was still very much present in the small community of Cornwall.

(3) Blake knew Cornwall police officer Brian Snyder and probably several other officers with the force. (Snyder was/is, as I understand it, brother-in-law of Bob Kilger)

(4) There seemed to be an endless stream of “I don’t knows”s and “I don’t recall”s and “I don’t think”s emanating from this former superintendent. Had that been Perry Dunlop’s former lawyer Charles Bourgois Skinner would have been laced in lavender, but, different strokes for different folks and one set of rules for the goose and another for the gander.

(5) I felt Skinner seriously downplayed the severity of the allegations of cover-up against the Cornwall Police Service.

(6) On the one hand Skinner concluded the investigation of the David Silmser sex abuse allegations was a royal mess (my word), but on the other took pains to ensure one and all understand that the Cornwall police are essentially all great dedicated guys and gals .

(7) One the one hand Skinner concluded that Heidi Sebalj, the officer eventually assigned to investigate the Silmser allegations, had made mistakes left right and centre with the Silmser allegations, on the other he was clearly enamoured by Sebalj and wanted to ensure that one and all understand that her oversights and mistakes were not her fault. (Skinner even volunteered that he had offered Sebalj a job working for him in Ottawa)

(8) Dancing. Lots of dancing. Tap. On egg-shells. Dancing of all variety from Brian Skinner

(9) In as much as Skinner and Blaike were presumably investigating allegations of a cover-up within the Cornwall Police Service regarding the Silmser allegations we never got so much as glimpse of exactly what he was looking which in his mind might constitute a “cover-up.”

(10) Skinner concluded there was no sign of cover-up. How he reached that conclusion is beyond me. I heard not a tad of evidence that there was any concerted effort by anyone to investigate anyone on the force to determine if he/she had attempted to or did execute a cover-up.

(11) There is no written documentation of the individual interviews. None! Barring the final report we are left with Skinner’s failed memory of who said what. Skinner has minimal recollection of the interviews.

(12) Skinner did not deem it necessary to interview David Silmser to determine if his account of events differed from that of Heid Sebalj or anyone else. He trusted Sebalj and relied solely on her account of events.

In an “investigation” into allegations of cover-up against the police force for its handling of the Silmser allegations, passing strange.

(13) Skinner had no interest in interviewing Perry Dunlop. None.

Passing strange I’d say. In an “investigation” into allegations of cover-up against the police force for its handling of the Silmser allegations, passing strange there was no interest in interviewing the constable who blew the whistle to hear his account of events.

(14) It never so much as crossed Skinner’s mind that Claude Shaver might be involved in a cover-up!

Passing strange.

(15) Retired Chief Shaver was not asked by the investigating officers what connections he did or did not have to the two “alleged” paedophiles Ken Seguin and Father Charles MacDonald. Nor was he asked what connections he had to the local Crown attorney Murray MacDonald. Or Charlie’s lawyer and former Crown attorney Malcolm MacDonald.

Passing strange. In an “investigation” into allegations of a police sex abuse cover-up, inm a small community like Cornwall, passing strange.

(15) Ian Paul did a masterful job in cross-examination. Ditto Dallas Lee.

(16) Unfortunately no questions were asked regarding Colin McKinnon. Did/does Skinner know McKinnon? McKinnon provided legal counsel to the Cornwall Police Service for years. He also provided legal counsel to the Ottawa police.

(17) The Ottawa police “investigation” was smoke and mirrors. There was no concerted effort or, it seems, intent, to unearth or expose a cover-up.

Yes, the flash-in-the pan investigation exposed numerous flaws in the Cornwall police “investigation” of the Silmser allegations. Good enough. That will be all chalked up to a little negligence here, a little understaffing there, a failure in communication in the other place – all by great people who were doing their very best.

Sounds like the Cornwall Public Inquiry to me.

(18) Those intent on protecting the “alleged” paedophiles of Cornwall own the Weave Shed. They have the final spinning words in cross-examination. They now have the final word with the institutional wintesses having the final say at the inquiry.

(19) David Silmser has been maligned and denigrated time and again in that Weave Shed. It is disgusting. He is not there to defend himself.

(20) I am fed up.

I am drawing excerpts from Skinner’s testimony. Will post when compiled. Interesting and very disturbing.



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2 Responses to Passing strange

  1. prima facie says:


    IN MY OPINION, either “Supt. Brian Skinner” knowingly lied “during the 1990’s” investigation AND again during his “Public Inquiry” testimony yesterday, when he “concluded”, there was no “cover-up” in Cornwall,… or Brian Skinner said there was no “cover-up”, because he had been provided with, ONLY limited information, ONLY limited or no evidence or ONLY limited or no resources, at the time, to investigate.
    I mean, he, at least, has depicted “Cornwall Community Police Services” as a kinda, inept and ineffective, group of “knotheads”, hasn’t he? (knotheads is MY term for them)

    IN MY OPINION, Supt. Skinner has not adequately emphasized the fact, he was given NOTHING to investigate, so he found NOTHING, to suggest “cover-up”…..duh….simple. WHY didn’t you mention that Supt. Skinner?

    IN FACT, “IT IS MY OPINION”, what Supt. Skinner did find, which he fails to emphasize, is evidence, that his investigation was being obstructed, manipulated or interfered with, by Members of the “Cornwall Community Police Services et al”. The aforementioned, which would suggest to any reasonable person, with “GOOD INTENT”, let alone a highly seasoned professional “Cop”, there appeared to be a “cover-up” of a “cover-up”, therefore, for one thing, requiring an impartial, forensic and/or judicial investigation be conducted by “outside parties”. (good luck!!)

    Tell me, Superintendant Skinner. Regarding my “informed” belief and understanding, surrounding the “vulnerable” Constable Heidi Sebalj, did you become an unsuspecting “captive” to Heidi’s very attractive personality and beauty, like many others did? Did this possibility impede or minimize the significance of the investigation? In your testimony yesterday, Supt. Skinner, you testified, you offerred her a job in your offices and you would train her….Hello…counter-transference anyone? AS you know Supt. Skinner, MANY of the single and married police constables found Heidi Sebalj to be very “appealing”, to say the least. (further concern for secrecy??)

    HOWEVER, I believe, there was sufficient information at the time, which would lead any “unconflicted” individual to conclude that, the “Ottawa Police Services” investigation, was being manipulated and obstructed, among other things, by the acts and acts of ommission, conspired and orchestrated by Members of the “Cornwall Community Police Services et al” and their “collaborators”.

    HERE’S WHAT I KNOW: At the time, I listened to a local, noon, radio news report, I believe by a “Mark Pilot”.
    He reported that the Ottawa investigation was over. I was shocked. There was no real notice of this possibility and I thought it was very sudden. From my workplace in Cornwall, I immediately contacted “an individual”, with whom I was acquainted with. This “individual” was involved in the investigation. I contacted this person on their cell phone, as they were leaving the City of Cornwall, that very same afternoon.

    In conversation, I stated something like, “what the hell are you guys doing? How can you be ending this NOW?” The “individual” replied to me, something like, “..this was just terrible!” “I want out of this City as quickly as possible and as far away as I can get.” “Finding records or documents was like pulling teeth, no one cooperated or assisted…everything was like looking for a needle in a hay stack.” “They did everything possible to obstruct our investigation!!” “AND, that Deputy Chief St. Denis, well he did everything, absolutely everything to screw us up, slow us down, hide things from us, you name it, he did it.” “I’m not wasting my time around here with this type of manipulation!!” “No one wants an investigation around here!!”
    This individual appeared to be very angry.

    The aforementioned recounting I have shared with you, was of course, NOT with Supt. Skinner, but obviously an “individual” involved in the investigation.

    At the time, I conveyed the aforementioned events to Garry Guzzo and several other “parties” who were following the events and “covering my back”, “so-to-speak”. I also provided them the “name” and how I knew the “individual” involved. (see Garry Guzzo in this website.)


    UNTIL this “individual” and other individuals with significant information, decide to step forward, “speak-out and blow the whistle”, for themselves, “so-to-speak”, this “chirade” will continue.

    I AM CERTAIN, there are individuals who worked with or who are currently working with; 1)the “Ottawa Police Services”, 2) the “Cornwall Community Police Services”,
    3)Administrative Staff in Law Offices in Cornwall and other venues, 4)the Ontario Attorney General’s Office, Solicitor Generals Office, 5)various municipal, provincial-state and federal government offices in Canada and the United States, including Canadian Senators and the Chief Privy Council’s Office, 6)Children’s Aid Offices, 7)Young Offender Services, 8)Health Services,
    9)School Boards, 10)Probation and Parole, etc., etc., and all related, support staff and support services;
    ….WHO HAVE “the facts”, but for whatever reason ARE AFRAID!!

    IT WOULD be very effective, if the above, who know each other, could MEET and ORGANIZE.
    I would certainly assist, with others, in any way possible.

    AT ONE TIME, Garry Guzzo stated that, “…this goes right to the top.” Make no mistake about it, IN MY OPINION, “it overflows.”

    Don’t forget, it was the “Papal Nuncio” to Canada, a political, Representative, Ambassador of the “Holy See”, who intervened on behalf of the “Diocese” and hired, the very esteemed and powerful, David W. Scott, Q.C., David Sherriff-Scott, Esq. et al.

    “There was a cover-up in 1993 and there is a cover-up today.” “I have no trust in the Ontario Justice System.”

    FINALLY: As many of you have read references and similarities to, “The Franklin Cover-up-Senator Decamp”, re: Franklin, Nebraska, Omaha-Lincoln, Nebraska and other venues (Google “Franklin Cover-up”), I believe, the “Cornwall Cover-up”, “so-to-speak”, is at least equal to or greater than, as serious, devastating and potentially dangerous, as the events depicted and referenced in, “The Franklin Cover-up.”

  2. prima facie says:

    February 14, 2008

    SHAME!!! SHAME!!!! SHAME!!! SHAME!!!! Commissioner Glaude and the Attorney Generals Office….SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

    IS anyone watching this “CRAP” today…the flexible, obliging, butt-kissing Skinner agreeing with everything the likes of Callaghan and Neville are directing his way….am I glad I decided to “get out of law”!!!

    THIS IS TRUELY SHAMEFUL!!!!!!! and as my Mommy used to say, “what can you do about it?” WHAT A JOKE…..does no one else see the travesty?

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