Letter to Editor re Bishop Reynald Roleau omi

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 We are shocked, but not surprised, by what bishop Rouleau has recently been saying to the press regarding the crisis in Igloolik, after the return of Dejaeger to Canada.

“How come that could have happened and we saw nothing?”, bishop Rouleau is quoted in Catholic bishop travels to troubled Nunavut hamlet – North – CBC News.

The truth is that bishop Rouleau knew what had happened in Igloolik long before Dejaeger was arrested in Belgium in January 2011. He knew of the abuse inflicted by Dejaeger when he was in my office, while negotiating a settlement to address the crisis perpetuated by Dejaeger’s abuse in 1989 at the government office in Baker Lake. He knew of the abuse inflicted by Dejaeger when has was charged in 1990. He knew that, even though Dejaeger had pleaded guilty to the charges in 1990, he had “omitted to talk about the abuse he inflicted to other children, because further charges were laid against him in 1991. And again in 1993. And again in 1994. And again in 1995.

Bishop Rouleau expresses his concern for his employee Krotki “who is not responsible”. Krotki knew about the history of his predecessor, he knew about the charges against him from Igloolik as well, he knew where Dejaeger had been living since 1995. That was no secret, except to the inhabitants of Igloolik and the RCMP officers. Dejager’s address and telephone number was and is still listed in the international repertory of the oblates, to be consulted online : http://issuu.com/ronchi.sante/docs/personnel_europa. While the oblates were negotiating with the survivors in Igloolik none of them, nor the RCMP were told that Dejaeger was living freely, in a nice villa, doing light work, in Belgium.

Rev. Van said their focus is on the future. The people of Igloolik should not focus on the past. Fair enough. Rev. Van says some people in Igloolik are reluctant to forgive. Forgive what exactly? The bishop and his colleagues seem to forget one, but majorly important, step. Truth should precede reconciliation, otherwise the healing can never start. The list of the lies of the oblates in this file is very very long. It extends all the way to Belgium and France and Italy. The time for the truth is now. Both the survivors of Dejaeger and their families and neighbors have a right to know the truth. Just like the horrible facts about the Nazi’s, the past should not be forgotten. the truth needs to be known so that the victims can finally be recognized as victims and start to heal and move on to have a happy life.

The truth needs to be known so we can learn from the past and all do our best this never happens again. Never. There is nothing more important than the safety of our children. Whether these children are born in Nunavut or Belgium, Australia or Brazil.

Michel Bertrand, M’chigeeng, Ontario, social worker with the then Government of NWT, 1989-1990

Lieve Halsberghe, victims advocate, SNAP Belgium

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