Do lawyers run the world?

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22 DAYS TO FREEDOM DAY:  04 October 2008.

 Time served behind bars for caring about children and losing faith in the administration of justice:  

209 days.

 Perry served a six month sentence for civil contempt of court!!!  He is now serving an additional 30 day sentence for criminal contempt of court. No early release.  Unlike other inmates Perry will serve every single day.

This is the institutional response to allegations of childhood sexual abuse.


Perry is settling back in to an old cell.  He has his newspapers.  He has his meagre possessions.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  He’s doing just fine.


Angelo Towndalehas taken the stand and  completed his cross-examination today (Friday, 12 September 2008).  Bill Carriere’s cross-examination has resumed his cross-examination.  Peter Manderville and Justice Normand Glaude sparred.  I thinkMonsignor McDougald’s sick pass has been approved and he will not be taking the stand.

Today is Friday.  Hearings will run through lunch and recess in the early afternoon.


A few points and comments from Bill Carriere’s testimony of yesterday, 11 September 2008:

(1)  Some CAS officials saw and should have known the $32,000 pay-off was illegal.

After Perry Dunlop turned over David Silmser’s (Dave) victim statement to the CAS Project Blue was struck to investigate the Silmser allegations.

Jacques Leduc was contacted.  Leduc apparently refused to disclose the settlement documents related to the $32,000 pay-off.  Leduc allegedly claimed the documents were confidential.

However, strangely and interestingly enough Malcolm MacDonald – former Crown attorney and lawyer for Father Charles MacDonald – disclosed the paperwork to CAS. According to notes entered into evidence, Malcolm indicated he would like the CAS to sign an undertaking:

which the Society agrees to keep the material he is about to provide confidential within the Society, and as well to return the material to him once it has served the Society’s purpose.”

A CAS lawyer was consulted.  According to lead commission counsel Peter Engelmann the undertaking was signed.

Malcolm apparently told Greg Bell (CAS) he, Malcolm, could defend Father Charlie in his sleep. He told CAS Southdown had determined Charlie was not a paedophile. He said he had cross-examined and believed Charlie’s denials.  Malcolm also indicated he was a good friend of Charlie’s.

And, Malcolm provided CAS with a variety of documents, including a Southdown report on Charlie, some letters which Heidi Sebalj received – and a copy of the full release and undertaking not to disclose, the settlement document, the certificate of independent legal advice signed by Sean Adams and David Silmser.

I am intrigued that Malcolm turned over the papers.  Malcolm presumably was the one and only one of the legal trio involved in brokering the pay-off who knew of the illegal clause, and presumably he alone knew because it was he who clandestinely inserted the clause!  But, Malcolm turned over the documents with the illegal clause and all to CAS. 

Leduc – who presumably knew nothing of the illegal clause and for that matter had presumably not so much as looked at the documents since they were signed – refused to turn over the documents.  If there was no problem and everything was above board, why not turn them over?  CAS officials knew there had been  pay-off.

A final note regarding the pay-off.  CAS documents note that “considerable financial settlement was made to the alleged victim, a sizable portion of which was contributed by the accused.”  I don’t know that $32,000 could be considered “considerable,” and wonder what dollar figure was given as Charlie’s “sizable” contribution?

(2)  As part of Project Blue CAS contacted David Silmser (Dave).  Sean Adams apparently told Dave to clear his contact with CAS through Malcolm MacDonald

MR. ENGELMANN: All right. And there’s a note here that says:

“His lawyer advised him to call Malcolm  MacDonald and indicate he will be speaking to CAS but not publicly.”

Which he did do.

MR. CARRIERE: I see that.
MR. ENGELMANN: Any recollection of being informed about that; that Mr. Silmser would have indicated that his lawyer, Mr. Adams, is asking him to call the priest’s lawyer, Mr. MacDonald, re permission to speak with you?

Carriere has no specific memory of that.

(3)  During an interview Dave disclosed to CAS that he had been molested by Marcel Lalonde, a Roman Catholic school teacher. 

Lalonde was teaching at the time. 

There was no attempt by CAS to track down information on Lalonde .  CAS did not contact school officials.  CAS did not contact police.

Why no concern for the safety of children here?

Carriere believes it was legal reasons which precluded pursuit of these child sex abuse allegations.  Carriere testified that all they had was a “partial statement” from David Silmser.  According to Carriere the feeling probably was that “agencies could be liable if they launched investigations without the grounds.” 

(4)  CAS was in contact with Dave Silmser before Ken Seguin committed suicide. 

Malcolm allegedly blamed David Silmser for Seguin’s suicide.  Malcolm told Dave that if he, Dave, hadn’t phoned Seguin the night before, Seguin would still be alive.

CAS  wanted to meet with Dave to further discuss his sex abuse allegations against Marcel Lalonde.  As a result of the suicide, Dave pulled back.  He wanted time before any further interviews with CAS. According to Greg Bell’s notes:

“David Silmser indicates regarding our speaking further about his abuse and particularly with respect to the teacher, Marcel Lalonde, that he wants to take a week or two to settle his head. Doesn’t want any other suicides on his conscience…… “I tried to dissuade him from accepting Ken’s suicide as his responsibility.”

In early January 1994 Dave’s victim statement aired publicly on CTV.  Dave refused to have nay further dealings with CAS.  He said he didn’t know who to trust.

It was around this time he got a new lawyer.  Shortly thereafter word was out publicly that the pay-off was illegal.

(4)  CAS wanted to interview Father Charles MacDonald. Charlie however was in Southdown for treatment and therefore unavailable.  A questionnaire of sorts was sent to Charlie.  The questions put to him were apparently quite general vs specific to Dave’s allegations. Carriere explained that there was concern as to how to put the questions to Charlie since there was thought that it would be Malcolm, not Charlie, who would draft the response.

(5) 15 November 1993 CAS (Greg Bell I believe) talked to Helen Dunlop.  According to Bell’s notes Helen

“also indicated her husband would know things from a different perspective and that he was actually a little disappointed I was not calling to speak with him. I indicated it sounds as though I should do so and would look into this.”

CAS officials met with Perry a couple of times in late November. According to notes Perry allegedly made reference to “other perpetrators involved in a ring and that this includes Malcolm MacDonald.”

Another excerpt from Greg Bell’s notes:

“Set interview meeting with Constable Dunlop. He related he would like to get back to me in a couple of weeks as there are currently some issues for him which need to be resolved. I indicated we understood from the last meeting with him that there were other perpetrators in a ring which relates to children still at risk. He indicated yes. He related he’d call me back in about two weeks when some things are settled.”

There was apparently no subsequent interview with Perry.

It should be noted here that at this time Perry was under investigation by his own police force for going to CAS in the first place.
(6) At least some CAS officials knew of sex abuse allegations against Malcolm MacDonald. 

It is my understanding that despite such knowledge CAS officials continued to work with Malcolm MacDonald during their Project Blue investigation. 

After testifying at some length Carriere had this to say:

MR. CARRIERE: You asked me earlier whether or not I was aware of the allegations with respect to Malcolm MacDonald and him being part of a ring. I find it difficult to think that I would have known that and continued to have Greg work through Malcolm MacDonald to Father Charlie knowing that information and not discussing it with the Diocese, for instance. It just — it seems like it was like business as usual with Malcolm MacDonald, and knowing that information I can’t see how I would think it would be business as usual with that allegation.


At some point CAS disclosed its notes to police. Material related to allegations against Malcolm MacDonald was redacted.  Carrier thinks this was done following legal advice!!!

(7) CAS officials a number of altar boys at St. Andrew’s, the parish Charlie was at at the time the David Silmser allegations became public. 

As I understand it some parents refused to allow their sons to participate.  CAS allegedly found no boys admitting to sexual abuse by Charlie.

Boys do not tend to admit to sexual abuse at the time.  Perhaps it would have been wiser to interview the parents and ask for any significant changes in their son’s behaviour, school grades?    There is generally an almost stereotypical change in the behaviour and academics of boy’s who have been sexually abused by an adult male. Parents tend to notice the change and have no idea what prompted it, but they do notice the change in their son.

Those part of the Project Blue investigation did not track and/or interview those males who had been altar boys in other parishes in which Charlie had served.
(8) In January 1994 CAS became aware of allegations that as many as 12 boys many have been abused by Milton MacDonald.  (father of Crown Murray MacDonald)

On 04 March 1994 Carriere wrote to CAS lawyer Elizabeth MacLennan that: 

“…at this point we have nothing more than vague unsubstantiated rumours.

 I’d like to review the status of this matter when you return in order to strike a formal position.”

The decision was that this was out of CAS jurisdiction.  On 17 March 1994 Carriere wrote to MacLennan:

– “A Milton MacDonald, currently residing in the Lancaster area, allegedly had sexually molested a number of children many years ago. The victims are now adults and thus out of our mandate to investigate. I also indicated that we have no information indicating that any children were currently at risk.”

– “We also indicated that we’d heard rumours that the OPP were investigating Milton MacDonald and we believe that our information might possibly be of some interest to them.”

– “Sergeant Hurlbutt indicated the OPP did not have any information at the present time that indicated that anyone currently under the age of 16 had been sexually molested. Sergeant Hurlbutt assured us that if any information concerning a child under the age of 16 came to light they would advise us immediately.”

A follow up note however indicates that one of the Milton MacDonald victims, a paper boy, was age 13 at the time of the abuse and was then 14.

That would presumably put the sex abuse allegations against the Crown’s father within the CAS jurisdiction.  However, by April 1994 Carriere was setting out reasons as to why CAS would not be involved:

“This is an extra-familial abuse allegation and the individual’s parents are aware, willing and able to protect him. He does not appear to be in need of protection under the provision of the CFSA.”

During testimony Carriere explained:

MR. CARRIERE:  Sir, we were involved in this, but what this refers to is that he’s not in need of protection because his parents are protecting him.

Can you believe this?  Can you believe it?!!

(9) Milton MacDonald was eventually charged and convicted.  Some time later CAS attempted to have Milton’s name added to the Child Abuse Registry.  No luck: (1) Milton Macdonald was not viewed by the register as a caregiver, (2) the register insisted the victim’s name appear and the victim did not want his name to appear.

Bottom line:  the registry will register only those abusers who are deemed by someone in the registry to be in a position of responsibility!

(10)  Seems there are some sort of health issues with Greg Bell.  I have the sense we will not see him on the stand.

(11)  After finishing his examination in chief and before talking of the impact this has had on him Carriere had this to say:

Diane Lahaie some time ago said that if I cried she’d have to slap my hand so I’m going to try not to cry.

To date Carriere has not cried.  That aside, Lahaie is legal counsel for the Ontario Provincial Police.

Does this constitute coaching?

(12)  Do lawyers run the world?  Seems to me they run the institutions.

(13)  Why do concerns over possibly tarnishing an adult’s reputation trump concerns over the possible rape of a child’s soul? 

Enough for now,



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14 Responses to Do lawyers run the world?

  1. Reality Checker says:

    A man went to a brain store to get some brain to complete a study. He sees a sign remarking on the quality of professional brain offerred at this particular brain store. He begins to question the butcher about the cost of these brains.

    “How much does it cost for engineer brain?”

    “Three dollars an ounce.”

    “How much does it cost for programmer brain?”

    “Four dollars an ounce.”

    “How much for lawyer brain?”

    “$1,000 an ounce.”

    “Why is lawyer brain so much more?”

    “Do you know how many lawyers we had to kill to get one ounce of brain?”

  2. Sylvia says:

    🙂 Perhaps that explains the mess we’re in? 🙂

    On the same vein, and since we have a glorious three week break ahead of us, and since it’s time for a few good chuckles, and with absultuely no offence against any persons living or dead intended, I’ll add mine:

    Q: What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 70?

    A: Your honor.


  3. Reality Checker says:

    You do sometimes have to laugh and make a joke of the absurdness of all of this!!!

    I don’t think there’s no other way through it 🙂

  4. Shirley says:

    There is perhaps one lawyer who ‘doesn’t run the world’ and that would be Lawrence Greenspon….he just ran!
    No offence, Mr. Greenspon:(

  5. prima facie says:

    It seems no one knew anything and no one knew how to do anything and no one asked for help, when confronted with allegations of child sexual abuse.

    Yet, since 1993 and before, many of the trusted and “responsible”, prominent members of the community, including Clergy, certainly had the “know how” and “insight”, regarding protecting themselves. “They” knew how how to secure unlimited financial resources and legal representation, until “the end of time”. “They” knew how to secure unlimited financial resources and other, so as to, file multiple civil litigations and defences, other legal representations, etc., etc., surrounding real and/or perceived criminal cases.
    “They” had unlimited resources, to retain experts, to “spin” their stories.

  6. jane Lessimore says:

    I am in Australia having arrived for the birth of our new grand daughter(Milly). What a wonderful week to also hear that perry will now be able to see a light at the end of such a dark tunnel. I cannot express the shere expressions of delight when we all read your blogg and learned of the wonderful news. Our love to Perry,helen and the girls what a wonderful thanks giving it will be, love to be a fly on the wall. I sat listening to a John Denver Cd yesterday and had great joy in remmebering the times perry sat and played his guitar ot us all at my sisters home in Duncan. Such happy memories and I’m sure we will do it again!
    Thank you again Sylvia for all the updates.

    Jane lessimore ( Wales).

  7. Reality Checker says:

    After following the Cornwall Inquiry for a couple of years now there is one issue that I believe has not been addressed in expert or witness testimony at the Inquiry that I would like to see brought to the forefront. That issue is WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION. To my knowledge there has been no indepth examination of that topic at the Inquiry or the flawed laws and legislation in Canada that are supposedly put in place to protect WHISTLEBLOWERS. The mandate of the Inquiry is to examine institutional responses to historical abuse – dealing with and protecting whitleblowers in said institutions is part of the response.

  8. Sylvia says:

    Congratulations Jane on the birth of little Millie 🙂

    Good point RealityChecker. Yes. Why no “expert” evidence on whistleblowers when Glaude “framed” his inquiry over two long years back? No ‘expertise’on rings, none on cover-ups, and, as you point out, none on whistelblowers. What does that say?

  9. Sylvia says:

    And prima facie, right on. No one knew anything, but one and all sure seemed to know how and where to find a lawyer, and they sure seemed to know how and where to find the $$$$$s to maintain and nurture said lawyer.

  10. Shirley says:

    Reality Checker and Sylvia…I went online and typed in Protection for Whistleblowers. Here are a couple of interesting links.

    It’s pretty obvious our Canadian laws regarding protection/persecution of whistleblowers is seriously flawed.
    As in Perry’s case, there WAS NO PROTECTION, only PERSECUTION.

  11. Reality Checker says:

    Canada IS NOT a good place to be for Whistleblowers….

    Here is another link…


  12. Sylvia says:

    Check the emails on Sound Off!

    Scroll down for the Letter to the Editor from Ian Bron, Secretary for Canandians for Accountability. Excellent letter.

    Another whistleblower site to check out: FAIR

  13. RealityChecker says:

    For those who are interested this is an excellent program! (don’t know what the plans are for the fall airing on TVO)…

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