Justice Colin McKinnon
Acknowledges his prior involvement with Perry Dunlop
during the first day of the Proceeding and Ruling
on the Application for Stay of Proceedings (20 February 2001)
at the Project Truth sex abuse trial of Cornwall lawyer and Roman Catholic Church canon lawyer Jacques Leduc
Justice Colin McKinnon provided legal counsel to the Cornwall Police Service for years, and to former Chief Claude Shaver – both before and after his early retirement. What other officers and/or Cornwallites McKinnon represented over the years is unknown. McKinnon also assisted the CPS lay charges under the Police Services Act against then Constable Perry Dunlop.
Despite his conflicts Justice Colin McKinnon took the bench at the Project Truth sex abuse trial of Cornwall lawyer and Roman Catholic Church canon lawyer Jacques Leduc. (Leduc helped to broker the $32,000 pay-off of David Silmser on behalf of the Diocese. He has been seen at the home of Ken Seguin, as has Claude Shaver, although Shaver allegedly vehemently denies it.)
McKinnon was confronted with a small dimension of his known conflict of interest in court on 19 February 2001. In response McKinnon, accompanied by Crown attorney Shelley Hallett and S/Sgt. Garry Derochie, headed over to the police station to “refresh” his memory. Scroll down for an excerpt from his comments in court the following day.
Note that McKinnon says he was consulted by CPS in February “with respect to Perry Dunlop and specifically with respect to his disclosure of a statement to third parties.”
We know that on 11 January 1994 Bryce Geoffrey filed a complaint against the Cornwall Police Service, A/Chief Carl Johnston and Constable Heidi Sebalj. And that on the same date Leo Courville of the Cornwall Police Service Board issued a Press Release essentially pointing fingers at Constable Perry Dunlop (the press release was compiled with the assistance from S/Sgt. Luc Brunet and A/Chief Carl Johnstone. No mention was made of the fact that the investigation had concluded four days prior and the conclusion was that no discipline would be imposed!)
We also know that on 21 January 1994 David Silmser filed a Citizen’s Complaint against Constable Heidi Sebalj. (File Number 94-01)
And we know that McKinnon was involved in that complaint – presumably against Sebalj – at least by 09 February 1994 – before any officer statements had been received or interviews conducted.
Finally, and most important, we know that, according to Perry Dunlop’s Will State on 07 January 1994 S/Sgt. Garry Derochie submitted his report on the internal investigation re Perry disclosing the file to CAS which concluded, according to the Will State that Derochie “had uncovered no evidence to suggest that my motives in providing the Children’s Aid Society with a copy of the victim’s statement were other than out of concern for the safety of the community. He concluded that no discipline should be imposed.”
However, below, and from the mouth of Justice McKinnon himself, we see that at least within two weeks of the Silmser compliant the CPS had set its sights on Perry. McKinnon was consulted in Ottawa on 09 February 1994 by CPS, with respect – according to McKinnon himself – “to Perry Dunlop,” and specifically, again according to Justice McKinnon, “with respect to his [Dunlop’s] disclosure of a statement to third parties.”
In other words, while on one hand the CPS had presumably absolved Perry, and shortly thereafter was fielding David Silmer’s Citizen’s Complaint against Constable Heidi Sebalj, it was at the same time busily consulting its lawyer, Colin McKinnon regarding Perry’s disclosure to “third parties.”
At the end of the day Constable Sebalj was exonerated – and, thanks to Colin McKinnon, David Silmser’s compliant seemingly morphed into charges under the Police Service Act against Constable Dunlop.
Less than seven years later McKinnon took the bench at the sex abuse Project Truth trial of Jacques Leduc. He “forgot” he had anything to do with Perry Dunlop.
NOTE BELOW that the Cornwall Police Service waived privilege regarding this matter! All of these McKinnon/CPS files should be available to the public and Justice McKinnon should be put on the stand to testify! The CPS IS CLAIMING PRIVLEGE! On all sorts of “legal”documents!
Justice Colin McKinnon (20 February 2001)
Yesterday, I asked to see any files at the Cornwall Police Service which I may have touched in the course of my retainer as counsel to the Cornwall Police. Just by way of background, I acted for seven or eight police services in Ontario over a number of years. I had, shall we say, an expertise that was acknowledged in the area of the Police Act, currently the Police Services Act, and I was retained by these police services to advise with respect to police discipline. Advise in respect of whether individual police officers had committed offences against discipline. Acting for these seven or eight police services became a significant part of my practice, and I dealt over the years with literally hundreds, hundreds of cases.
When the name Perry Dunlop came up in this trial, it certainly was going around in my mind. It certainly rang a bell. And that is why I took the precaution yesterday of going to the police service to determine whether I had any involvement with the Cornwall Police Service in relation to Constable Dunlop. And indeed I did. I have not seen my own files, which are in storage and take, even expedited, about a week to get out. But I think there was sufficient information in the Cornwall Police file to refresh my memory to the extent where I think I can speak quite clearly and with certainty as to what my involvement was. I may say also that I, before making these remarks, sought a waiver of privilege from the Cornwall Police Service. That waiver of privilege was communicated to me this morning through Chief Repa and so I am permitted to speak about this matter, privilege having been waived by the Cornwall Police.
In February of 1994, I was consulted, at my office in Ottawa, by the Cornwall Police with respect to Perry Dunlop and specifically with respect to his disclosure of a statement to third parties. My view was sought. Clearly the file discloses that I took the view that the disclosure of that statement by Constable Dunlop constituted an offence against discipline. In May of 1994, I sent by courier to the Cornwall Police a series of documents relating to two officers, one who will remain unnamed, and one who was Perry Dunlop. In both cases, I sent out draft charges based upon the information I had received, and specifically with respect to Constable Dunlop. I set out charges, three counts relating to the disclosure to Mr. Abell of a copy of a statement that had been the subject of an on-going investigation within the Cornwall Police. I am going to make that document the next exhibit on this application for stay.
Following his disclosure McKinnon was actually prepared to return to the bench after and if the application for stay failed!
Crown attorney Shelley Hallett objected as follows:
“With respect, Your Honour, to Your Honour continuing to sit on this trial, in the event that the application for a stay is dismissed, it would be the Crown’s position that that would be perceived that there is a conflict of interest, Your Honour, that would be perceived, if the defence continues to mount the defence that the complainants in this case are vehicles for Constable Dunlop to allege false allegations of sexual misconduct by Jacques Leduc. If that continues to be the defence in this case, then I cannot see how Your Honour can continue to sit and be perceived as impartial. And, I have serious misgivings about certainly making this submission, but I feel it has to be made, Your Honour.”
Leduc “walked.” On Perry Dunlop’s back!