[The following commentary and article was posted by Dick Nadeau on his projecttruth.com website]
This editorial appeared in the Standard-Freeholder, Friday March 2, 2001. It never ceases to amaze me how the men at the paper take such a knee-jerk reply with absolutely no thought on investigating what really happened. I know that they are under orders to bury any dissenting opinion by the Catholic Laity whose members threatened to pull all their advertising and tried to have Claude MacIntosh fired. They were successful at the Seaway News. Bob Roth did get fired, only to reappear this week in a “guest column”. Without Bob Roth’s “perspective”, why read the Seaway News? I guess the editors found that out.
The Freeholder is not reporting the news as a “newspaper” but as a complement to the Catholic Laity’s point of view. What we read are the results of their coercion and extortion and their affect on the Freeholder’s bottom line. And anytime there’s an excuse to pillory and blame Perry Dunlop, they sure take that advantage as a means to distort the truth and mislead the public. Much like Skurka did in the smoke-filled “stay” hearing.
Remember that the Catholic Laity is chaired by two ex-Children’s Aid Society executives who for some 18 years did not prosecute pedophiles but rather covered up their activities by not doing so. They are also Knights as are the editors of the Freeholder.
Judge made right decision
Jacques Leduc is a free man after a judge decided the Crown attorney deliberately withheld crucial information from the defence. In rendering his decision, Judge James Chadwick said the right to a fair trial is at the heart of the justice system in Canada. In a democratic society, perhaps no rights are more important than the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and the right to due process.
What’s disturbing about this case, aside from the horrific allegations of abuse brought forth by several complainants, is the role played by the Crown attorney. Prosecutor Shelley Hallett was found to have kept information from the defence regarding the involvement of Perry Dunlop in the case.
And therein lies the rub. Dunlop made a name for himself – and became something of a local hero – when he spent seven years in the 1990s working to bring accused pedophiles to trial. What may become Dunlop’s legacy is not his courageous stand against a perceived conspiracy and institutional coverup, but rather his appearance as a tainter of witnesses, forever impacting the ability to bring those charged to trial.
As each Project Truth case now comes before a judge, it will be difficult to access the damage Dunlop’s personal investigations have caused. We have already watched as one accused was deemed unfit to stand trial, charges were dropped against another, a third was found not guilty and now a fourth has been set free due to willful non-disclosure. A further four accused died. At the end of the day, this case was not about the guilt or innocence of an accused man. It was about the actions of a Crown attorney and a former cop.
The community is best served by a justice system that will not permit such actions. In terms of our constitutional rights, justice has prevailed.
What a bullshit editorial. “Justice has prevailed”???? What “due process”???? “the right to a fair trial”???? Let’s correct a few things. This trial was not about a Crown Attorney and a triaformer cop. This trial was about judges and a defence aided and abetted by Project Truth officers.
Crown Shelley Hallett knew nothing about the note in OPP Const. Jos Dupuis’ notes. It was never disclosed to her. Further, Crown Shelley Hallett never knew about the over-lunch meeting with defence attorney Skurka and his very close friend Tim Smith who was the original Inspector with Project Truth and Pat Hall, Jos Dupuis and Steve Seguin, all Project Truth officers. I am told they were all subpeonaed by the Defence. What went on in that closed-door meeting ???
Shelley Hallett was thrown under the bus, caught totally by surprise by the allegations against her. She was so overwhelmed that she could not offer any defence against the allegations. There was never “wilfull non-disclosure” on her part. The non-disclosure came from Project Truth. Why? I don”t know. I have my own ideas. One thing I do know. There was no reason for judge McKinnon to grant a stay application hearing.
After I stood up and asked him to excuse himself from the bench because of his work (prior to becoming a judge) with the Police Services Board and for ex-Chief of Police Shaver in 1993-94, he went to the police station to apparently look at some of his files and then came back and admitted he was in a conflict of interest regarding Perry Dunlop and his personal work as a lawyer for Chief Shaver. He admitted that he had been involved in Perry’s first trial under the Police Services Act for “discreditable conduct” and the appeal of the not-guilty finding and in three areas of his discipline. He had also acted for Chief Shaver in threatening libel actions against those who did not want Shaver around. Like he forgot that??? You don’t forget that kind of close involvement with Dunlop.
Here’s what judge McKinnon had to say about Dunlop before he was asked to leave the bench. He pretends to know nothing of Dunlop.
The following is taken from the court transcript. I have removed the witness’ name from the transcript following the ban on publication of names.
Halllett: It seems to me that what – at the end of the day will be the most relevant is what questionable contacts Constable Dunlop has had with various witnesses in cases that are proceeding through the courts and not just what contact he has had because, as Your Honour may well know . . .
McKinnon: But when he had these contacts, was he a police officer?
Hallet: Pardon me?
McKinnon: When he had all these contacts . . .
Hallet: I’m just about to . . .
McKinnon: . . . was he acting as a police officer?
Hallet: . . .get there. Well, that is an issue, Your Honour. And Your Honour has heard about her contacting Constable Dunlop, not for the purpose of his police skills or occupation, she contacted him at his home in his private capacity . . .
McKinnon: Yes. But I’m just wondering, through these years and all these . .
McKinnon: Was Constable Dunlop an officer with Cornwall Police? Was he being paid?
Hallet: No, he wasn’t, Your Honour. He has worn various hats over the years
and one of them has been as counsellor, as a person who might provide advice and direction for further assistance and counselling to persons who felt
that they had been sexually assaulted, sexually molested over the years in
the Cornwall aea. So he became somewhat of a local hero for the concern that he expressed about bringing these cases to the surface and, as a result of that, became someone who people would call. And, Your Honour’s heard that evidence from her about why she called him. He didn’t initiate the contact with her. She called him.
McKinnon: No, I’m just wondering when he took on the hat of counsellor, was he being paid as a police officer or was he . . .
Hallet: No, he was still working as a police officer but he certainly wasn’t assigned to the investigation of these matters.
McKinnon: But was he being paid?
Hallet: He was working as a police officer but his contact would be in his private capacity. As I understand it, similar to her situation where people would call him, call him privately for advice, what should we do, who do we go to, that sort of thing, not as a police officer. People weren’t contacting him as a police officer.
McKinnon: But if he was holding himself out as a counsellor. Was he holding himself out as a counsellor at the same time he was a police officer sworn to . . .
McKinnon: Is that at the same time?
Hallett: I think that yes, there’s an overlap, Your Honour. Yes, that’s
true, there’s an overlap.
McKinnon: Is that under investigation?
Hallett: Oh it has been the subject of investigation. Yes, Your Honour,
absolutely. And in fact, the results of this investigation, that I’ve just
referred to, was . . .
McKinnon: Is that ongoing?
Hallett: The investigation was a lengthy one, Your Honour, and an opinion was sought from Crown counsel, not myself and no one I associate with, not even in the building I work in. And based on this investigation, it was not recommended that charges be laid. . . . Now, just in terms of Constable Dunlop acting as a counsellor. . .
McKinnon: So, all these notes, which were eventually provided to the police authorities by Constable Dunlop, were made by him, I take it, while he was being paid as a police officer?
How much hypocrisy does one want? Like he doesn’t know who Perry Dunlop is? Why all these mind games? He should have declared a mistrial right then and there. But we have this stay application to deal with and along comes judge Chadwick who should have declared a mistrial but no, he grants the stay while excoriating the Crown Shelley Hallett to no end as had Skurka.
Chadwick had to know that the stay would be appealed, plus you don’t insult Crowns without insulting the Attorney General. He knew that the remedy was a mistrial but he failed to do so. Remember that a “stay” is extraordinary in law. And yet the Freeholder kept the story alive from Skurka’s point of view that the stay was unappealable. I knew two weeks ago that there would be an appeal and it took one phone call to get that information. The stay will be overturned and a new trial will begin with different judges and possibly a new Crown and this time, if Perry is needed, he will be properly served, have his expenses covered and he will appear.
The conduct of judges McKinnon and Chadwick is now under investigation. Judge McKinnon has served the CBC with a notice of libel. I’m sure that he won’t go any further than that. There’s too much in his background that he won’t want to go through disclosure. There’s also a chance that both judges could be removed from the bench.
There was corruption in this trial. That’s what editorials are for. To find fact and report. Of course, nothing like that ever happens at the Freeholder. And again, everybody that I’ve talked to or e-mailed me, feel the same way about the paper. Some have called for a boycott of the paper. Some, in their own way have, by cancelling their subscriptions.