Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Cornwall Public Inquiry

Well, some interesting things have come to light, at the end of last week, regarding the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

Child Abuse victims need justice. Part of that is the acknowledgment that a crime was committed and the perpetrator of that crime brought to justice. This is critically important for their healing as individuals and it's critically important for our society to protect and recognize the value of our children.

My concern is that there appear to be various agendas at work in this particular case. While all the agendas claim concern for the victims as their motivation, I'm not entirely sure that's the case, and frankly, it's a sad state of affairs for the victims.

Since I don't know any of people, organizations, their characters, their motivations, it's impossible for me to say who's right and who's wrong based on anything but the facts that I see spelled out for me.

However, in this case, everyone claims to have the facts, and yet, a lot of the key facts, to some extent have been discredited. I can't comment on the specific Victims statements and whether they have or have not been discredited because I haven't read everything posted yet.

In Perry Dunlop's situation, it's really hard to tell whether he's having problems now because he was a whistle-blower, or whether they are caused because he became overzealous in his and his brother-in-law's independent investigation of the case. One victim states he was pressured by Mr. Dunlop to falsely claim he was abused by someone. Is it true? I don't know, and frankly, it would be difficult to prove for certain one way or the other.

In the OPP's situation, it's really hard to tell whether the investigations were not done thoroughly or whether their investigations were in fact thorough and done according to standard investigative techniques, and then tainted later. Investigations can be tainted if questions are asked improperly and then result in leading to people to say and recall things in a way that supports the investigators conclusions. On the other hand, investigations can also be tainted due to political pressure.

Generally speaking, I believe that, under normal circumstances, most OPP officers are quite professional, very concerned about child abuse, and would have done a thorough and proper investigation. The fact is that over 100 charges were laid. Can we really hold the OPP responsible for the fact that there were no convictions?

My questions to the Inquiry are simple.

Why was there only one conviction, when the OPP laid so many charges?

Why did it take Perry Dunlop's exposing this to get it investigated?

Regarding Mr. LaRoue's Affidavit. Were the victims at the parties identified and did they confirm his statement?

Is it true that some of the perpetrators were considered "above the law" and were not charged and if charged were not convicted for that reason? On the same vein, were those perpetrators well connected enough that they were able to put political pressure on the OPP and influence the results of the investigations?

Giving reasons that "make sense" should not be enough in this Inquiry. People, on all sides, should be required to provide proof that the reasons given are legitimate.

And ... I've decided not to comment further on the case, other than to say, that I wish the victims well, and when all is said and done, I hope they get justice, despite all the other agendas at play here.

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