The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

December 16, 2009

Police, church, province failed – Ontario abuse inquiry

 

A $50-million probe into rampant sexual abuse in Cornwall, Ont., ended yesterday without answering the key question it had faced – whether a sophisticated pedophile ring evaded the law for years while its influential members were preying on local children.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/commission-slams-police-authorities-in-abuse-inquiry/article1402004/
 
CORNWALL – Police, government, the Catholic Church and other institutions failed to respond to decades of alleged and real child sexual abuse here by probation officers, clergy, teachers and others, a public inquiry has found. In a devastating 2,400-word report, Cornwall Inquiry Commissioner Normand Glaude found a combination of systemic failures, insensitivity to historic abuse complaints and an official reluctance to act. “Institutions were reluctant to be forthright and own up to mistakes, fearing scandal or criticism more than they feared the breach of their duty to the vulnerable and the public,” Mr. Glaude said in a speech yesterday while unveiling his four-volume report. “For some, this resulted in revictimization by the institutions from whom they sought help.” He makes it clear, however, he found no evidence of any official cover-ups. Instead, the report says local institutions ill-equipped to deal with allegations about their own employees, whether a probation officer, teacher, priest or child-care worker, acted defensively and often in self-interest.  Mr. Glaude singled out the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services for particular censure. The report describes how the ministry took no action against a Cornwall probation supervisor and another employee who failed to properly report two former probation officers who had engaged in sexual and other improprieties with young probationers.
 The report’s recommendations include:
– An internal investigation is needed if a probation or parole officer is suspected or has been charged with sexual assault or abuse.
– Police should be required to inform public and religious institutions and justice partners that an allegation of sexual assault or abuse has been made against one of their employees.
– Bishops, priests, employees and volunteers should encourage people who disclose sexual abuse or assault to report the allegation to police.
– The Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall should have rigorous procedures for evaluating candidates it plans to present for study at its seminary.
 
None of these recommendations are binding so do not expect any positive changes, related justice to improve, in Canada’s often pretentious justice and police system

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