Hearings resume at 0930 hours (9:30 am) tomorrow morning, Wednesday 22 October 2008. Tom O’Brien. former Executive Director of the Stormont, Dundas Children’s Aid Society will take the stand – or, more accurately as you shall see below, at some point, for a brief spell, he will take the stand.
Another institutional witness on and off the stand at break-neck speed. Former CAS employee Greg Bell is finished. It’s all over. On the stand at day’s end yesterday for just over half-an-hour, finished today. Lickety-split! Swish bang!! Done!! Just like that!!!
The plan was to start Thomas O’Brien, the next CAS witness, at day’s end.
Justice Glaude took things in hand and over-ruled objections, and, we’re all set to roll again tomorrow.
This Tom O’Brien testimony set-up is quite a dandy. …
Seems there are a multitude of reports from an array of persons to whom O’Brien turns to for medical assistance, everything from medical doctors, to physiotherapists, to acupuncturists, to a chiropractor last visited a few years ago. All offer recommendations regarding O’Brien testifying, including, as I understand it things like the following: Mr. O’Brien should not testify for more than two hours per day, preferably with a break in between; Mr. O’Brien should be given a summary of the questions which will be put to him in advance; Mr. O’Brien should not be subjected to stress; Mr. O’Brien should be excused at the first sign of trouble. Things like that.
But, Mr. O’Brien apparently does want to testify.
So, it seems an arrangement was worked out with O’Brien to satisfy most or all recommendations. And, unbelievable as it sounds, it seems the idea was (is?) that O’Brien would be on and off the stand in two hours.
Yes. Two hours.
Two hours all up – for the man who was Executive Director of CAS for twenty odd years! No examination in chief. That, believe it or not, has all been worked out for him in advance.
To that end, a form of ODE or something akin to an ODE (Overview of Documentary Evidence) has been produced. The plan is to read the “ODE” into the record – in O’Brien’s absence (spare the full two hours), swear O’Brien in and then get him to approve the ODE or whatever this thing is, and then move right smack into cross-examination.
No exam in chief. No questions put to him on the stand by commission counsel. Not a one.
Dallas Lee strenuously objected. He raised excellent points, one being concern that Mr. O’Brien will be long gone (my words) before cross-examination is complete, another that Lee estimates his cross-examination alone will take two hours, and yet another that the ODE business was likely worked out by commission in conjunction with CAS and Lee wants to hear what O’Brien has to say, not what CAS has to say.
Citizens for Community Renewal and I believe the Coalition backed Lee.
A female lawyer from Children’s Aid opposed. No surprise.
Surprises in the Weave Shed are becoming few and far between.
As it stands, Mr. O’Brien will testify as per the pre-arranged plan. I gather if things go beyond two hours tomorrow he may be back. Who knows?
I can’t for the life of me imagine the point of this ridiculous exercise. Why bother putting him on the stand?
But, we shall see what comes of it 🙂
Which reminds me, more testimony business was addressed yesterday, two matters which were past due: (1) Glaude’s reasons for excusing Monsignor Donald McDougaldfrom testifying as a diocesan witness, and (2) the matter of officer Ron Lefebvre who has been seeking to be excused as a CPS witness on medical grounds. Here it is:
(1) Justice Glaude’s Reasons for excusing Monsignor Donald McDougald(text from the transcript)
After having reviewed the motion record of the Diocese and hearing brief oral arguments on the motion, I granted the motion requested and indicated that written reasons would follow in due course. The evidence on the motion is set out in the motion record of the Diocese, Exhibit M16-A1 with Exhibits A and B of the enclosed affidavit marked as confidential.
In this exhibit, I reviewed the affidavit of Paul Taylor sworn September 4th, 2008 and Exhibits A through D, which were correspondence from counsel to Dr. Quan and vice versa.
Exhibit E of the affidavit was struck as after arguments on its propriety, I determined it would not be appropriate for it to be considered in the motion.
Correspondence between counsel and Dr. Quan addresses the issues I elaborated upon in the motion — in the Lefebvre motion dated July 2nd, 2008. In particular, the reports addressed Monsignor McDougald’s current medical condition, a history of the treatments he has received and is continuing to receive, and a prognosis of the medical concern in the short term and in the future. In addition, the reports address memory deficiencies and also set out some indication of the harm that could arise should he testify at the Inquiry.
It is clear from the correspondence sent to Dr. Quan by counsel that he was well aware of the circumstances of witnesses and, in particular, what this witness would face while testifying at the Inquiry. Dr. Quan was provided, among other things, with information about the set up of the Inquiry and its rules, the anticipated evidence of Monsignor McDougald, types of questions he would face, the number of counsel involved, my decision on Lefebvre and a number of other actual considerations.
After having reviewed the written submissions, I was satisfied that it was appropriate in the circumstances to excuse Monsignor McDougald from testifying unless convinced otherwise by counsel in oral submissions.
I heard brief oral submissions from counsel for the Coalition who asked me to consider the possibility of accommodative measures. I then heard from counsel for the Diocese who submitted that on the basis of the medical evidence provided, accommodation was not possible in this case.
I agree with the submission of counsel for the Diocese that in the circumstances of Monsignor McDougald, accommodation is simply not possible. This issue was well canvassed in the medical reports file.
Having now heard from a number of Diocese witnesses, it is indeed unfortunate that Monsignor McDougald is unable to testify. He was clearly involved in the Diocese institutional response to the Silmser complaint and others as the Bishop’s delegate under the protocol in place at the time.
I trust that Commission Counsel, through the use of an Overview of Documentary Evidence or through some other means, will attempt to fill in the gaps left as a result of Monsignor McDougald’s non-attendance.
(2) Status of request to excuse Officer Ron Lefebvre.
According to Peter Manderville (Cornwall Police Service), the long awaited medical report on Officer Lefebvre somehow fell short of the mark. Arrangements have been made for Lefebvre to go for an independent assessment “later this month” with the hope that that will produce a report which addresses “all of the issues” the commissioner needs to make his decision.
The matter will be addressed yet again on Thursday, 13 November 2008.
Geraldine Fitzpatrick was not a figment of my imagination after all. Peter Chisholm (CAS) asked Greg Bell if David Silmser had been at CAS before he went to police back in December 1992. Negative.
So, that’s apparently that 🙂
Note the victim’s statement given to the Freeholder. Amazing is it not? A predator known to be high risk to re-offend is out and about in Cornwall – and not a soul knows who he is or where he is!!! There’s a publication ban on his name – because he was a young offender when he committed the atrocities against a young boy. And because presumably had he been tried back then he would have been put in a reformatory and there are no reform schools now!
Can you believe it?
So, if there was a reform school he’d be put in a reform school? I don’t think so.
Put him back in jail! If jail time was good enough for a decent human being like Perry Dunlop then it’s certainly good enough for a sexual predator who has molested and destroyed the lives of how many children and is a known high risk to re-offend?
This is insane. Truly truly insane.
There is a desperate need for reform of the Criminal Code of Canada when it comes to sexual predators. A desperate need. And an equally desperate need for lawyers and judges who have more passion for the rights and safety and souls of vulnerable children and teens than they do for the Charter rights of known sexual predators.
Judges and lawyers know better than all of us put together what’s going on in the courtrooms when it comes to sexual predators who prey on children and teens. They should be leading the battle for reform. Where are they?
Perry hit the links today. A good day on the golf course with a few close friends. He’s slowly settling back in. All is well. And, by the way, Drake the dog was in seventh Heaven when Perry arrived home. The dog was literally trembling he was so excited to see and hear Perry. All is well :).
Enough for now,