Deadline extended for N.B. church sex victims

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Vancouver Sun

November 2, 2010 11:03 AM

By Brad Bouzane, Postmedia News

Former Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache will delay compensation recommendations for dozens of New Brunswick victims of sexual assaults within the Catholic Church to allow time for more victims to come forward.

Photograph by: Mathieu Belanger, REUTERS

Compensation recommendations for dozens of New Brunswick victims of sexual assaults within the Catholic Church have been delayed to allow time for more victims to come forward.

Former Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache had been prepared to deliver his recommendations on Monday. The diocese, however, upon the advice of Bastarache, extended the deadline for new application until Dec. 1.

Bastarache has said “between 45 and 47” people were involved in the abuse linked to former parish priest Levi Noel and others. Noel was sentenced in January to eight years in prison for sexual assaults on young boys between 1958 and 1981.

Of those, though, nine chose not to take part in the compensation process through Bastarache.

“Before completing the process, Mr. Bastarache will attempt to meet with the victims who hesitate to participate and invite them to reconsider their options,” Father Wesley Wade, vicar general for the Diocese of Bathurst, N.B. said in a news release Tuesday.

“The diocese also appreciates the difficult task of the victims themselves in coming forward with their wounds and sufferings and looks forward to the opportunity to apologize . . . and provide them with compensation in accordance with Mr. Bastarache’s recommendations,” the release said, also praising Bastarache’s work on the matter.

Wade would not address the issue Tuesday beyond the news release.

In an interview last week, Bastarache would not disclose how much total compensation would be recommended, saying it will be up to the diocese to decide whether to make it public.

The former judge was hired earlier this year to locate potential abuse victims associated with Noel, who pleaded guilty to 22 charges in January.

Because he was sought out by Bishop Valery Vienneau to find the victims and to gauge an appropriate amount of compensation for the individuals — who will remain anonymous in the report — Bastarache said he expects the payments to go through quickly.

The process would see victims receive compensation without having to relive the details of their abuse during a court action, which is why he was surprised a number of victims chose to exclude themselves from the process.

Bastarache, who retired from the Supreme Court in 2008, said he felt the nine who declined to participate had “nothing to lose” because they retain the option to refuse the amount and seek damages through the court system.

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News
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Deadline extended for N.B. church sex victims

Montreal Gazetter
November 2, 2010 2:03 PM
By Brad Bouzane, Postmedia News

Compensation recommendations for dozens of New Brunswick victims of sexual assaults within the Catholic Church have been delayed to allow time for more victims to come forward.

Former Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache had been prepared to deliver his recommendations on Monday. The diocese, however, upon the advice of Bastarache, extended the deadline for new application until Dec. 1.

Bastarache has said “between 45 and 47” people were involved in the abuse linked to former parish priest Levi Noel and others. Noel was sentenced in January to eight years in prison for sexual assaults on young boys between 1958 and 1981.

Of those, though, nine chose not to take part in the compensation process through Bastarache.

“Before completing the process, Mr. Bastarache will attempt to meet with the victims who hesitate to participate and invite them to reconsider their options,” Father Wesley Wade, vicar general for the Diocese of Bathurst, N.B. said in a news release Tuesday.

“The diocese also appreciates the difficult task of the victims themselves in coming forward with their wounds and sufferings and looks forward to the opportunity to apologize . . . and provide them with compensation in accordance with Mr. Bastarache’s recommendations,” the release said, also praising Bastarache’s work on the matter.

Wade would not address the issue Tuesday beyond the news release.

In an interview last week, Bastarache would not disclose how much total compensation would be recommended, saying it will be up to the diocese to decide whether to make it public.

The former judge was hired earlier this year to locate potential abuse victims associated with Noel, who pleaded guilty to 22 charges in January.

Because he was sought out by Bishop Valery Vienneau to find the victims and to gauge an appropriate amount of compensation for the individuals — who will remain anonymous in the report — Bastarache said he expects the payments to go through quickly.

The process would see victims receive compensation without having to relive the details of their abuse during a court action, which is why he was surprised a number of victims chose to exclude themselves from the process.

Bastarache, who retired from the Supreme Court in 2008, said he felt the nine who declined to participate had “nothing to lose” because they retain the option to refuse the amount and seek damages through the court system.

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

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