Perry is a political prisoner. He has spent 147 days in jail – for stepping up to the plate to protect children, and then daring to say he has lost faith in the justice system. This is the institutional response to allegations of childhood sexual abuse.
Six days to Perry’s birthday. He will be 47 on 22 July 2008. If you haven’t done so already there is still time to get a card or note off in the mail:
Perry Dunlop c/o OCDC
Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre
2244 Innes Road
Monetary gifts can be sent to Helen or deposited at a bank. Perry needs money for his canteen supplies. As we all know only too well Perry can’t work, Helen’s on disability and money doesn’t grow on trees.
Yesterday was the 8th anniversary of Perry’s father’s death. He didn’t mention it to me. I heard from other sources it was day of reflection for Perry. He misses his dad, now I am sure more than ever.
As of noon yesterday Perry still had not had his meagre possessions returned. He is so totally at the mercy and good will of the guards. He may be an inmate but he doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment. I understand his yard time has been hard to come by these days too. Is this the pressure going on for the final few weeks of coercion? To get him down to the Weave Shed at all costs? Or is it just laziness on the part of a handful of guards?
Hearings resume at 0930 hours (9:30 am) this morning, Wednesday 16 July 2008. Jacques Leduc will return to continue his examination in chief.
All I can say after yesterday is that if the children of Cornwall had half the protection on the streets and in the sanctuaries as Jacques Leduc has on the stand in the Weave Shed there’d be no need of an inquiry.
I have never seen the like of it. Leduc’s team are all up and down like yo-yos in there – objecting to this, objecting to that or protesting or explaining the other thing – if it’s not Steven Skurka it’s Marie Henein, and if it’s not Henein it’s David Sheriff-Scott, and if it’s not Sheriff-Scott it’s Manderville, and if it’s not Manderville it’s Skurka. The only one I don’t see hopping to her feet in protest is Danielle Robitaille.
Robitaille is Leduc’s lawyer courtesy of inquiry funding. She’s been in there day in and day out for months on end, hopping up and down in her client’s defence on occasion but rather infrequently. She was in charge. Robitaille is still there, but seems come time to take the stand Leduc may have dug up the financial wherewithal to pull in some of the heavy hitters from his former ‘dream team’ – and Robitaille it seems has been plunked firmly at the back of the bus.
What sweet deals have been hammered out behind closed doors on Leduc’s behalf by Skurka and Henein we can only guess. I suppose by the time Leduc is off the stand we’ll have a fair to middlin’ notion. If there’s not a boo or whimper from the gathered throng about Leduc’s response to allegations of sex abuse against him we’ll know there was a deal. I shall wait with baited breath.
Meanwhile it’s more than intriguing to watch Sheriff-Scott (the diocese and Larocque) and Manderville (Cornwall Police Service) circle the Leduc wagons. They’ve obviously received their marching orders.
Hard. I truly am have deep difficulty watching this Leduc Testifies charade play out. On the one hand – barring the yo yo activity – it’s a little like watching grass grow, and on the other I can not stop thinking of the young innocent lads who went haying for Mr. Jacques Leduc – the boys who “allege” they were molested and/or sodomized by Leduc.
I can still in my mind’s eye see the young lad who was all of 20-years-old when he took the stand at the first Leduc trial. I keep saying he looked all of 15, and he did. Just a child.
Skurka and his cohorts went after the boy with a vengeance. When the Crown objected Justice Colin McKinnon snapped at her to sit down “He’s not a child.”
He’s not a child.
McKinnon might have asked the parents if the trembling boy fighting back tears on the stand was a child. He might have asked the parents who coaxed and cajoled the young lad to stick with his job when the boy was doing his darndest to avoid going over to Leduc’s to do chores. The boy absolutely did not want to go over there anymore. He did not want to be near Leduc. How old was he when it started? When he landed the job? I don’t recall off hand – perhaps 12 or 13?
How could the parents know? How could they have guessed? They just could not for the life of them understand what had happened to their boy, and especially with Jacques Leduc being so good to him and all. And after all he had been properly raised and he had an obligation to do his job. Until the police came knocking on their door they had no idea. How old was the boy then? Fifteen? Sixteen? No more than that. A child.
Yes, McKinnon might have asked the parents if that boy on the stand is a child – the trembling boy with the hushed quivering voice and the unwanted tear trickling down his cheek.
Leduc watched the show. He sat in that courtroom alongside his team of lawyers – kept their water glasses topped up, a little whisper here and there as they lunged for the child’s jugular. He scribbled away on a note pad from time to time. Mostly, he just sat there on the sidelines and dispassionately watched, and listened, and watched.
Then there is the other boy. And his parents. They went through much the same thing. Came the time the boy just did not want to go over to do haying or chores for Jacques Leduc any more. Even after Leduc paid for his orthodontic work – he wanted no more to do with him. His parents pressed. He left home. When he finally told his parents he swore them to secrecy. He didn’t want a soul to know. And then he saw the young lads haying at Leduc’s. He was tortured. What to do? And then his mother couldn’t bear it anymore – she broke down in the welfare office. ‘Call Perry Dunlop.’
The ‘dream team’ did their dirty jobs. Yes, jobs. Plural. And Leduc watched. He poured. He listened. Dispassionately.
No one in the upper echelons seems to care much about the boys and what Jacques Leduc did or did not do to them. No one. A stay here. A stay there. Away he goes. Free as a bird.
Nor does anyone in the upper echelons seem to care that if indeed what those boys had to say in the courtroom at “trial”#1 is fact then indeed other young lads are probably at risk. It’s all just sort of inconsequential.
So, here we are, and there’s Leduc on the stand at this “public” inquiry. We’re playing the game by his rules. What he did, or did not, or might do to young lads is irrelevant.
It can’t get worse than that can it?
Then we’re tortured as they flounder along. Leduc doesn’t recall this, he can’t remember that – but oh yes indeed he remembers the other thing with great detail and clarity. And he doesn’t know this one, he doesn’t know that one and he had minimal social contact with the other one.
There he is, a Roman Catholic canon lawyer who apparently saw moral matters such as sodomy and homosexual activity through a secular lens – and who had not the slightest concern that Father Charles MacDonald, a priest accused of sexually abusing a young boy, was out and about with ready access to children and free to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and hear confessions.
Quite frankly, as a Roman Catholic I am ashamed that the likes of this man has been allowed to practise canon law in the Church.
A few further points:
(1) Leduc testified that there was a meeting 25 August 1993 between he, Bishop Larocque, Malcolm MacDonald and possibly deacon Gord Bryan regarding the $32,000 pay-off. There had been no activity regarding the David Silmser allegations since February. Three thoughts on the timing:
(i) David Silmser has always said he was told by police in August that Charlie would not be charged. It was then that he agreed to a pay-off.
(ii) And then there is what has been dubbed “the VIP meeting” on Stanley Island. In his affidavit Ron Leroux stated:
On or about a Friday evening in late August, 1993-early September, 1993, I was told by Ken Seguin that there is going to be a gathering a Malcolm’s summer home on Sunday. He stated that Bishop Larocque, Claude Shaver, Ron Wilson, Malcolm, Father Charlie, and others would be in attendance. He said they were having a get together on the Island.
In a later statement Leroux identified Leduc as one of those who attended the VIP meeting.
I realize there are many who are keen to dub Ron’s muddled testimony a recant. I don’t agree. Ron Leroux should never have been permitted to take the stand. He truly didn’t know whether he was coming or going. Further to that, his testimony has not borne the scrutiny of cross-examination.
(iii) And then there is the testimony of Karen Derochie regarding the “alleged” visit by Jacques Leduc and Malcolm MacDonald to the office of lawyer Duncan MacDonald and Duncan’s subsequent upset with Sean Adams. That was sometime in 1993 – phone records seem to indicate August 1993.
Think of it. Three “alleged” Roman Catholic sexual predators – the bishop, the lawyer for the “alleged” clerical predator, and a canon lawyer – discussing a pay-off to hush up an “alleged” victim of clerical sexual abuse!!
Incidentally, 25 August 1993 fell on a Wednesday.
(2) Jacques Leduc articled and practised law for four years with the law firm Adams, Bergeron and Sherwood. I understand that the Adams is Ron Adams, father of Sean Adams.
(3) Leduc testified he took some courses and did some reading to get his pre-requisites to study canon law. I am hard pressed to see how he could possibly have secured the credentials demanded in philosophy and theology in this fashion.
Vaillancourt told a group that the pre-requisites had been waived for Leduc. I am inclined to believe Vaillancourt. I would still like to know who waived them and why?
(4) It seems that back in 1986 Leduc and Father Denis Vaillancourt had some intriguing notion that if a victim was “predisposed” to homosexuality that predisposition could have a bearing on the victim’s “consent” to the abuse. The following exchange starts with commission counsel Karen Jones referring to Vaillncourt’s conclusion that one of the four Deslaurier victims he met had such “predisposition.” As you will see, in short order Glaude had had enough of this line of Q&As :
MS. JONES: And Father Vaillancourt’s answer, of the four that he met, one would have that predisposition and I believe he’s referring to victims of Father Deslauriers?
MR. LEDUC: I think that’s a fair assessment, yes.
MS. JONES: Okay. But that’s the context —
MR. LEDUC: Yes.
MS. JONES: — rather than reading the whole interview?
MR. LEDUC: Yes.
MS. JONES: Okay. So he’s saying then of the four victims that he was aware of, one of them seemed to be predisposed to homosexuality.
Now, my question to you is what would be the relevance — because you’re the one who posed the question, what would be the relevance of anyone having a predisposition to homosexuality with regards to making a complaint of historical sexual abuse?
MR. LEDUC: It would go, in my mind then, as to a matter of consent.
MS. JONES: So if someone was homosexual, there would be a greater chance of consent by the victim or a lesser?
MR. LEDUC: No, it was a matter —
MS. JONES: What do you mean then?
MR. LEDUC: No, it’s a matter of what are the facts.
MS. JONES: I don’t understand your response, sir.
MR. LEDUC: The question put was to establish whether or not these — this conduct could in any way be explained as a matter of consent.
MS. JONES: What conduct?
MR. LEDUC: The sexual misconduct of Deslauriers.
MS. JONES: So what —
MR. LEDUC: And whether or not the individuals who were victims could be challenged and said that you actually consented to this.
MS. JONES: That’s what I’m trying to get at.
MR. LEDUC: Yeah.
MS. JONES: The sexual misconduct by Father Deslauriers is one aspect. What relevance would it be if a victim was or was not homosexual? What relevance does that have to the sexual misconduct of Father Deslauriers?
MR. LEDUC: Today I would agree with you that it has no relevance whatsoever.
MS. JONES: So what was the relevance to you in 1986?
MR. LEDUC: In 1986, the relevance for me was whether or not there was an issue of consent.
MS. JONES: So, again, if someone then was homosexual, was it your opinion then that that would mean that victim would have consented to sexual misconduct by Father Deslauriers?
MR. LEDUC: No, I believe it was an issue to be canvassed. That was not my opinion. It was an issue to be canvassed and that’s why I asked the question.
MS. JONES: I guess I’m going to just try one more time here. Clearly, because you bring it up a few times in the interview —
MR. LEDUC: Yes.
MS. JONES: This is just the first time that I’m highlighting it.
MR. LEDUC: Yes.
MS. JONES: I just want to know what your opinion was with regards to a victim’s homosexuality or not and what that had to do with the — if I could finish my question, please — and what that would have to do with any sexual misconduct by Father Deslauriers? That’s my question.
MR. SKURKA: In my respectful submission,Mr. Commissioner, Mr. Leduc has answered the question. It may not be satisfactory to my friend, but he’s answered it.
THE COMMISSIONER: One last try.
MS. JONES: Are you able to enunciate that,sir? In 1986, what did you think was the relationship?
MR. LEDUC: In 1986, I thought it was an issue. The homosexuality of the victim could have been an issue in a matter of determining whether or not there had been consent.
MS. JONES: Okay. What would have been that issue? This is what I’m trying to get at. You’ve highlighted that this could be an issue. In what regard?
MR. LEDUC: Whether or not the activities had been consensual or not depending on all kinds of circumstances which are — which are viewed today completely differently.
THE COMMISSIONER: Mrs. Jones, I’m sorry; I’m going to have to take a short break.
(5) According to Justice Normand Glaude Father Gilles Deslaurier is not “necessarily” a paedophile. There is evidence that Deslaurier “was — well, partly, I guess, but mostly adolescents”
MS. JONES: Now, in that last excerpt, reading that together with the excerpt that just was read about working in the old-age home or however you want to call that, would you agree with me that with both of those excerpts it seems, with your line of questioning, with your statements, that your concern seems to be much more focused on the fact that Father Deslauriers may have been a homosexual rather than a pedophile?
THE COMMISSIONER: Well, first of all, I don’t know that we should be using the word “pedophile” because of the strict definition of what pedophilia is. I mean, I think the evidence with this priest was that he was — well, partly, I guess, but mostly adolescents, wasn’t he?
MR. LEDUC: Yes, that’s true. This person was convicted of these issues.
THE COMMISSIONER: No, no, no, don’t get me wrong. I know he was convicted. I know he sexually assaulted people illegally, but I don’t know that he should be called a pedophile necessarily. He’s a predator, no doubt about it, but pedophilia determines an age or something like that.
How exactly Deslaurier should be classified while remaining politically-correct is unknown. After all these months and years there is still no precise definition of terms in the Weave Shed.
And that’s enough for now,