Let’s not make Perry a martyr

Cornwall Standard Freeholder

16 January 2008

It was no big surprise that former Cornwall police officer Perry Dunlop didn’t show up Monday for his scheduled appearance at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

He made it perfectly clear that he had no intention of being on hand Monday, despite the threat of having the Ontario Divisional Court issue a bench warrant for his arrest.

Last fall, the same divisional court found Dunlop in contempt of court when he refused to testify at the inquiry after taking the witness stand.

Dunlop, depending on who is providing the analysis, is viewed as either a celebrated whistleblower or rogue cop who carried out a vigilante investigation while serving with the Cornwall force.

It was Dunlop and a legion of supporters who campaigned to have a public inquiry, so it is somewhat ironic that he not only refuses to testify at the inquiry but condemns it as another vehicle designed to “shoot the messenger.”

The latter assertion is a figment of Dunlop’s imagination. There is not a nanogram of evidence to support his outrageous allegation.

Instead, a case could be made that Perry Dunlop is dodging what could be tough cross examination by some of the institutional lawyers, particularly from David Sherriff-Scott, who represents the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, the Cornwall Community Police Service legal team of John Callaghan and Peter Manderville and Mike Neville, lawyer for Father Charles MacDonald.

So the question is what to do with a hostile Perry Dunlop?

Best thing for all concerned would be for the court to levy a small fine and allow the inquiry to carry on without him. Jail would only serve to make the reluctant witness a martyr and would create a major distraction.