Bad weather. Hearings resumed at 1030 hours (10:30 am) this morning, Wednesday, 10 December 2008. Retired Detective Inspector Pat Hall is back to continue his cross-examination.
Things are running well behind schedule now. Hall’s cross examination will not finish today. By the sound of it there will be at least another 10 hours of cross. That takes it into tomorrow, the last scheduled day of hearings for this week. The wrap up for this week is tomorrow
Nest week is the final week of testimony before Christmas. There will be hearings Monday to Friday inclusive next week. There is one OPP witness and two AG witnesses left over as witnesses from this week.
There 18 days of hearings scheduled in January starting Tuesday 06 January2009. Then the AG-McGuinty ax falls.
Eighteen days to hear from, let me see, to name but a few: Crown attorney Murray MacDonald, former Crowns now judges Robert Pelletier and Peter Griffiths, longtime AG office staffer Murray Segal, Crown Shelley Hallett.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Well done Premier McGuinty. Well done.
Yesterday’s transcripts are posted. Read them. Please do read them.
I have been sifting through and will cover a number of points now. I still want to get back and finish. There were issues raised in Dallas Lee’s cross which I really want to look at, particular the matter of Hall’s comments re Perry allegedly taping their meetings. Something crossed my mind on that. I must take a closer look.
For now, the following observations and comments:
(1) Charter concerns?
There was much to-do made of Perry’ Dunlop‘s contact with victims. Helen Daley (Citizens for Community Renewal) seems to think Project Truth should have put out a press release advising that victims were not to speak to Perry.
A rather interesting choice of words by Hall who, as you will see, says they, Project Truth, had “no authority” to tell people not to speak to Perry.
– Ms. DALEY: Was any thought given to putting out a press release informing people that it would be much better to come to Project Truth first or the Cornwall Police if they need to disclose an allegation of this sort; in other words, inform the public that for the sake of the process and the fairness of any process, they should not be speaking to Dunlop but, rather, should come to the appropriate authority?
– MR. HALL: Well, first of all, we had no authority to tell people they couldn’t speak to Mr. Dunlop.
– MR. HALL: I mean, I don’t think it would be appropriate to say — to go out in the public and say “Don’t speak to Mr. Dunlop. Call us.”
And note this. Hall allegedly told fellow Project Truth officer that people can be told they don’t have to speak to Perry: “ We can tell the person they don’t have to speak to him [Perry]; they don’t have to say anything, but we can’t tell people you can’t talk to people.”
The truth of the matter is “they” were constantly after Perry. They told him not to talk to people. And I do believe they told John MacDonald for one not to speak to Perry, and, for that matter, not to speak to David Silmser?
Is there perchance a little belated concern on the part of Hall and others that there has been a gross violation of Perry and the victim’s Section 2 Charter rights? Here it is, Section 2 of the Charter, “Fundamental Freedoms”:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
a) freedom of conscience and religion;
b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d) freedom of association.
Food for thought?
Anyway, despite this presumed desire to ban all contact between Perry and victims Project Truth officer Tim Smith actually sent Perry to talk to David Silmser:
MS. DALEY: … I guess it’s Officer Smith’s decision but your notes reflect that what Dunlop is told that he can go to Silmser and he can set him straight. Do you remember that?
MR. HALL: Yes.
A bit of a contradiction?
(2) Witnesses not interviewed
A raft of people identified int he Dunlop-Fantino materials and the letter to the Attorney General as possible witnesses and/or victims were never so much as contacted let alone interviewed by Project Truth officers because a decision had been made that if those people had anything to say they would have come forward and they never came forward. That was the end of that.
MR. HALL: These people didn’t contact us.
These were names we derived from a list. And I believe Detective Constable Seguin acquired a list of potential altar boys, the people that we thought were altar boys at one time.
And I made a decision that we weren’t going to go knocking on doors because we had contacted some people and they were very upset at a police officer knocking on the door, even though they had nothing — the neighbours, everybody suspect if the police is here there’s something unusual going on. So we made a decision that we weren’t going to go out and start soliciting complaints, so to speak; that if somebody had a complaint they would either call us or call somebody, maybe even Mr. Dunlop, to bring it forward. That’s mainly why these weren’t addressed.
Hall says altar boys. According to Dallas Lee the names were not exclusively those of altar boys. There were names of females in the group as well.
(3) PT a ruse?
As part of its mandate OPP Project Truth officers were presumably investigating the Cornwall Police Service. And that mandate we have been told was presumably derived solely from the materials Constable Perry Dunlop passed on to Julian Fantino and the Ontario Attorney General.
Despite this it seems there was no lack of conspiring between CPS and PT officers and endless time and energy wasted on how to ‘get’ Perry Dunlop.
I am truly beginning to wonder if the Project Truth probe was no more than a ruse to ‘get’ Perry? Why else this seemingly on-going collusion between suspect (CPS) and “investigator” (Project Truth)? Why else dub Perry the bad guy and question his every word from the get go while simultaneously characterizing alleged suspects as the epitome of honesty and integrity?
Here’s one example:
– MS. DALEY: Was there ever any discussion that you had with his service about discipline or terminating his employment?
MR. HALL: No. They knew we had a problem. I mean, it was quite obvious there was a problem. I know Staff Sergeant Derochie and I discussed at different times what could be done. I think, quite frankly, they didn’t know what to do with him. That’s my view. Okay?
MS. DALEY: And —
MR. HALL: And it wasn’t up to me to tell them what they should do.
MS. DALEY: Were you able to offer them any suggestions as to what they could consider doing?
MR. HALL: Investigation. That’s what we asked for back in the summer of ’98, Inspector Smith and myself in a conversation with Inspector Trew, but they wanted something on paper. So in my view, being forced to do something, to say “Now we’ve got an official complaint in writing; we’ve got to do something.” We discussed it with our headquarters in Orillia and that would be construed as we were investigating Mr. Dunlop, which we didn’t want to do.
MS. DALEY: I understand that.
So as you saw it, the only real potential remedy would have been an investigation and perhaps the mounting of charges, but for the reasons you’ve given us, your service wasn’t in a position to request Cornwall to do that?
MR. HALL: No. I mean, even if you’d investigated him and laid charges, it was still no guarantee he was going to give us what we — we didn’t know what he had.
Helen Daley was busily stoking the fires to advance the CCR theory that Cornwall is awash with homophobes who made it difficult for homosexual victims of sex abuse to come forward.
She didn’t get strong confirmation of her theory from Hall, but she pressed, and, as you can see, managed to squeeze out a “could be” for one CCR’s pet theories that “homophobia” was an impediment in the Project Truth investigation:
MS. DALEY: In the course of being involved in Project Truth, was it difficult for people who were in fact homosexual to talk about that?
MR. HALL: I’m sure it was.
MS. DALEY: And is that because of a certain atmosphere in this — a local atmosphere that was somewhat homophobic?
MR. HALL: It could be, yes.
MS. DALEY: Did you detect that in your work?
MR. HALL: Well, I didn’t have a lot of direct contact with the interviews. My officers had done the majority. I mainly interviewed police officers, Crown attorneys, the Bishop. So I didn’t do a lot of victims or alleged victims.
MS. DALEY: I understand.
But you were obviously in close contact with the officers who did?
MR. HALL: Yes.
MS. DALEY: And is it your — was it your impression that homophobia was a bit of an impediment to Project Truth in the sense that people found it very hard to discuss that orientation?
MR. HALL: Yes, it could very well have been, yes.
Will Hall’s hesitant “could very well be” eventually morph into Daley or whoever submitting that Hall said homophobia was an impediment to Project Truth? That’s the way these things take on a life of their own.
We shall see 🙂
Helen Daley seemed all set to get it on the record that the only successful Project Truth case was a success because there was no Perry Dunlop involvement.
Wrong! Daley had her basic facts wrong. You can see by the following exchange that this line of erroneous thought didn’t quite pan out for Daley:
MS. DALEY: Am I right, sir, that the one set of charges that was laid under the Project Truth banner that did succeed were those against Jean-Luc Leblanc?
MR. HALL: Yes.
MS. DALEY: And, as far as you’re aware, Dunlop had no interest in that case and had nothing to do with any complainants?
MR. HALL: Mr. Dunlop had anything to do with complainants?
MS. DALEY: Yes.
MR. HALL: Yes, he met one of them, who was also a victim of Malcolm MacDonald. He met him in the mall at the shopping centre here and had a discussion with him one day, because he had knew him because he taught him the VIP program in the school —
MS. DALEY: All right.
MR. HALL: — if I recall.
MS. DALEY: And do you know whether or not the charge that was laid at the instance of that individual, that complainant, succeeded or failed?
MR. HALL: Yeah, Mr. Leblanc pled guilty to
MS. DALEY: All right, there was a guilty plea?
MR. HALL: Yes.
MS. DALEY: Right.
Why don’t we take our break and I’ll finish when we come back?
Yes indeed. Time for a break.
When Daley started up again, a slight shift, – but back she went after Perry…
MS. DALEY: Moving to a slightly different area, I want to talk about — I guess it’s a variation on a theme because it still involves Officer Dunlop …
And smack dab she stepped into yet another error in her take on things.
Seems Daley was of the mind CPS Inspector Rick Trew was named in Perry’s lawsuit. Away she went on that line, first getting Hall’s assent that he had known Trew previously and saw him as “an officer of integrity.”
Daley’s line of questioning promptly fell apart when she discovered that Trew was not after all named in the lawsuit and therefore Trew was not accused therein of involvement in “corrupt practices.”
But, Daley rallied on. On she went to get on the record what great fellows the CPS officers sued by Perry were:
MS. DALEY: And all I want to know about from you, sir, is when you thought about that, did you think there was any real live possibility that those officers had, in fact, been corrupt and done the things that Mr. Dunlop alleged?
Hall’s response? “No.”
Named in Perry’s suit, amongst others, was former Chief Claude Shaver.
Hall didn’t think Shaver could have been corrupt da, da, da?
Hall, you will recall, was presumably investigating “paedophile activity both historic and ongoing in the Cornwall, Ontario area” in which
“ The alleged suspects are prominent and respected citizens of Cornwall, and include lawyers, Catholic priests, a Catholic Bishop, teachers, probation officers, businessmen, a former Chief of Police and the present Crown Attorney”
and in which
“it is alleged the suspects were able to terminate investigations and prosecutions against them by abusing their positions of trust within the community. It is alleged the Crown Attorney, the Diocese of Cornwall, and the Cornwall Police Service conspired to obstruct justice in these matters.” “
What can I say? What can I say?
What kind of games were going on when the Project Truth mandate was drafted? What kind of games were they playing?
(6) Scoffing at Helen?
Daley virtually scoffed at Helen Dunlop’s concern about the death threats against the Dunlop family:
MS. DALEY: Did you get the impression at all in speaking with Mrs. Dunlop about the death threats that in part she was — and she kept on you and on you and on you about the death threats; right, sir?
Is really a how dare Helen be concerned that the death threats against her family were not being investigated?
(7) More spin.
Hall testified that as far as he was concerned Perry’s sole interest was to advance his, Perry’s, civil claim, and that Perry had no interest in seeing paedophiles convicted:
MR. HALL: Okay. Mr. Dunlop makes allegations against several people. We investigate. We lay charges. And at the point the charges were laid he can say “Yeah, charges are here now. I was right in what I said.” Whether they’re ever convicted or not I don’t think was a major concern of his.
(8) ‘No ring/no clan’
In an April 1999 Ottawa Sun article Michael Harris wrote:
– “After investigating the case for five years, [Detective Inspector Tim] Smith is not convinced that there ever was a paedophile clan.”
– “There is no evidence of a group or clan of active paedophiles operating today.”
– “Only five of the accused to date know each other.”
– “There is no evidence of common victims.”
That was presumably well before Project Truth had started whatever “investigation” they ever conducted on those allegations. Looks like Smith had reached his conclusion before the “investigation” got off the ground?
Furthermore, the truth of the matter is that (i) more than five of the accused knew each other. Many knew each other. I am not about to dig them out right now, but many of the accused knew each other, and (ii) there were common victims. Many.
Hall was present at the Michael Harris interview in which Smith put out this erroneous information for public consumption.
In further 1999 media coverage CBC reporter Maureen Brosnahan reported Hall’s superior Clancy Grassman as follows:
“There is no evidence at all that there was any type of organized ring or common thread through any of this.”
Hall claims the operative word in the latter is “evidence”!
Bottom line, looks like Project Truth officers had negated the allegations of a ring well before they ever “investigated” them.
According to Daley the two Project Truth websites served to deter complainants from coming forward because they didn’t want to see their allegations posted on a website.
To my knowledge the one and only complaint in that regard came from the then common-law wife of a victim.
(9) What’s the agenda?
What exactly is the CCR agenda? They say renewal of institutions.
Institutional renewal in the mind of CCR seems to be directly proportional to its tarring and feathering of Perry Dunlop.
Perry is long gone. CCR should rejoice. Problem solved. The institutions are presumably renewed.
Why then did CCR apply for standing and funding at the inquiry?
Enough for now,