|Garry Guzzo, an Ottawa lawyer and former PC MPP is also a familiar and respected figure in Cornwall, initially as a district court judge whose duties frequently took him to Cornwall, and later as the Conservative MPP who became a tireless advocate for the victims and citizens of Cornwall.In his efforts to get a public inquiry for Cornwall he encountered opposition and obstacles at every turn – including staunch opposition from his party leaders, former Premiers Michael Harris and Ernie Eves.
Garry Guzzo testified at the Cornwall Public Inquiry on 13, 14, 21, 22 and 30 November 2007, and on 15, 16 January 2008
|25 April 2008: Did City Police News Release Fuel Child Sex Abuse Conspiracy Theory?19 January 2008: Guzzo’s tales unravel on stand18 January 2008: Guzzo all wet on allegations…..
17 January 2008: Guzzo fuelled innuendo: lawyer; Admits many statements were exaggerated or ‘rhetorical’
17 January 2008: OPP Lawyer Suggests Former MPP May Have Undermined Police Work 16 January 2008: Heated Exchange At Inquiry
16 January 2008: Guzzo wants to put former premier on stand: Former judge, MPP tells Project Truth inquiry to summon Mike Harris
16 January 2008: Guzzo under fire at inquiry
15 January 2008: Video Tapes Shouldn’t Have Been Destroyed – Former MPP Guzzo
28 December 2007: January promises inquiry fireworks
11 December 2007: Guzzo likely to return to testify in the new year
01 December 2007: Talk to ex-premier, Cornwall inquiry told
01 December 2007: Guzzo Could Not Say If Harris Interfered In Abuse Investigations
30 November 2007: “Former Premier Harris’ actions questioned by inquiry witness” & related article
23 November 2007: Guzzo says threat to ‘name names’ wasn’t serious: Ex-MPP pressed his government to act on Cornwall allegations
23 November 2007: Allegations The Premier’s Office Influenced Abuse Investigations
23 November 2007: Guzzo points finger at former bishop; Former MPP testifies OPP officer said he had proof of hotel visits
22 November 2007: Villeneuve dismissed allegations: Guzzo
22 November 2007: Cornwall crusade irked ex-premier Garry Guzzo tells sex abuse inquiry of ‘war of words’ at Queen’s Park
22 November 2007: Guzzo Claims Political Roadblocks Went Up On Abuse Claims
21 November 2007: Some Provided Names Do Not Match Documents At Inquiry
21 November 2007: Names don’t match up; Documents don’t match Guzzo suggestions, says expert
15 November 2007: “Names in Guzzo files coded for anonymity” and”
13 November 2007: Confidentiality battle pits Guzzo against inquiry Former MPP willing to go to court to avoid naming sources, alleged Cornwall victims”
15 November 2007: Inquiry will send items to forensic experts to find out the names of those he blacked out; ‘I’m not certain when I did that’
14 November 2007: “Confidentiality battle pits Guzzo against inquiry” & “Document Expert To Review Inquiry Witness Papers”
14 November 2007: “Guzzo Sent Back To Cottage” & related article
13 November 2007: CBC Radio (audio) Day one of Garry Guzzo testimony – redactions (RealTime Media Player)
13 November 2007: Garry Guzzo/Steve Madely Interview CFRA Radio
13 November 2007: “Guzzo To Take The Stand” and “Guzzo will hit the stand today at inquiry”
21 August 2007: Accused should come forward and testify at inquiry: Guzzo
28 July 2005: Guzzo: Glaude unqualified
29 May 2003: Bill 45 introduced in legislature
29 May 2003: Bill 45 Second reading: Gary Guzzo Legislature 29 May 2003
30 May 2001: Cornwall Case not fully closed (Garry Guzzo challenges his government on repeated police failures to crack paedophile ring in 90s)
12 October 2000: Second Reading Bill 103
16 January 2008: Guzzo Transcript 16 January 2008
15 January 2008: Guzzo Transcript 15 January 2008
30 November 2007: Guzzo Transcript 30 November 2007
22 November 2007: Guzzo Transcript 22 November 2007
21 November 2007: Guzzo Transcript 21 November 2007
15 November 2007: Guzzo Transcript 15 January 2008
14 November 2007: Guzzo Transcript 14 November 2007
13 November 2007: Guzzo Transcript 13 November 2007
22 November 2007 (Blog) Disorganized confusion
21 November 2007: “We have seen the blasphemy for ourselves”
Guzzo Lobbies for Action
14 January 2000: Garry Guzzo letter to newly appointed Attorney General Jim Flaherty
03 April 1999: Garry Guzzo letter to Premier Mike Harris’ Chief of Staff, Ron McLaughlin
23 February 1999: Garry Guzzo Letter to Premier Michael Harris
18 September 1998: Garry Guzzo letter to Premier Michael Harris
Bill 185 introduced in Ontario Legislature
Monday 11 April 2005
Bill 185, An Act to establish a commission to inquire into the investigations by police forces of complaints of sexual abuse against minors in the Cornwall area / Projet de loi 185, Loi visant à créer une commission chargée d’enquêter sur les enquêtes menées par des corps de police sur les plaintes de mauvais traitements d’ordre sexuel infligés à des mineurs dans la région de Cornwall.
The Speaker (Hon. Alvin Curling): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.
The member from Nepean-Carleton.
Mr. John R. Baird (Nepean-Carleton): A commission was promised during the last election; it was promised when the appeal period ended for the last case. But we have yet to see an announcement. This bill, which is a repeat of the Gary Guzzo bill — Gary, who was, of course, the hard-working member for Ottawa West-Nepean, fought so hard on this issue — is just a gentle reminder to the government that they made a commitment that should be fulfilled.
Guzzo trashes tape bungling: Destroyed videos held key evidence,
irate MPP says
Canoe.ca, Tuesday, May 28, 2002
by Kathleen Harris
A local MPP is accusing Ontario’s attorney general of taking a two-faced approach to the issue of handling criminal evidence.
Ottawa West-Nepean Tory MPP Garry Guzzo has written David Young about videotapes that he claims contained evidence pertaining to an alleged pedophile ring in Cornwall.
The 26 tapes, seized in 1993 during the execution of a search warrant on an unrelated weapons investigation, were later destroyed by Ontario Provincial Police.
“How can the Ministry of the Attorney General be so pious about activity in Niagara region yet apparently abetting the destruction of evidence of crime in Cornwall?” asked Guzzo. “Do the same rules apply?”
Last week, Young raised concerns about a proposed rule of conduct for Ontario lawyers that would allow them to suppress criminal evidence. In his public remarks, he emphasized it’s an offence to conceal evidence and worried the lawyers’ proposal could lead to a miscarriage of justice.
Guzzo believes the destroyed tapes had incriminating homemade footage which could have become key to Project Truth, the sweeping probe of child molestation launched in 1997.
But during a recent pre-trial hearing for Father Charles MacDonald, court heard that the controversial tapes in question were actually commercially produced pornography.
An officer had been assigned to view each of the tapes, which were properly logged at the Lancaster OPP detachment.
Police offered to give them back because they were not illegal, but the man signed a waiver because he didn’t want them. The tapes were later destroyed.
Det. Insp. Pat Hall, who led the Project Truth investigation, believes Guzzo is being misled about the tapes’ contents. There was no taped evidence of sexual abuse of children, he said.
“At least I haven’t seen any and none of our officers have,” he said.
A skeptical Guzzo insists the tapes shouldn’t have been destroyed.
“There are a number of lawyers in caucus who are having trouble grasping the apparent differences in the ministry opinion regarding evidence of crime,” he said.
|[David Young replaced James Flaherty as Attorney General 08 February 2001]16 October 2001
Hansard: Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Mr Garry J. Guzzo (Ottawa West-Nepean): My question is for the Attorney General. During the Leduc trial in Cornwall in the months of February and March of this year, a previously sealed Ontario Provincial Police file was left open for over 24 hours.
Mr Leduc is a lawyer in Cornwall. He’d been charged with 16 counts of sexual abuse of children. He’s also the lawyer for the Archdiocese of Alexandria and was the lawyer when they paid over $32,000 in hush money to have a criminal charge withdrawn. People with access to that previously sealed file have reported over 30 sections were included, each one pertaining to an individual under investigation by the OPP. Some of these people have been charged with criminal offences and some have not. Of those who have not been charged, one is reported to have contained over 1,000 pages of evidence and another 600 pages of evidence. Interestingly enough, some of those who were charged are reported to have files limited to less than 30 pages.
You reported in August that there would be no further charges forthcoming. I have to accept that. I haven’t seen that file; you have. But I would ask you today, sir, if you would assure the House and the residents of eastern Ontario that this file, this evidence, will be secured and remain in the hands of your department pending criminal cases before the courts, civil actions before the courts and any private prosecutions which might follow.
Hon David Young (Attorney General, minister responsible for native affairs): As the member is undoubtedly aware, the Project Truth investigation has concluded that at this juncture there are no further criminal charges to be laid. That conclusion was made after consultation with the Attorney General’s office. That is a usual way of proceeding. The crown was asked for some advice; that advice was provided. But ultimately, it is up to the investigating police officers to decide whether or not to lay a charge. In this instance, the decision was to not lay any further charges.
I will say to the member that any information that was shared with the crown attorney’s office was returned to the police, as is the usual course. But I will also say to you that the crown attorney’s office will maintain and retain copies of the files, as is appropriate, pending completion of the court process that’s in place now and for any additional period of time that is appropriate.
Mr Guzzo: If I have an undertaking from the Attorney General that this material is going to remain in his hands, I accept that. I think it’s rather significant, though, and very important to notice that it’s difficult: it’s obviously difficult for the crown and the police to get convictions on matters that are 30 years old, even if in fact the alleged victims went to the police and crown attorney 25 and 20 years ago and were rebuked by the people in the CA’s office and the police department at that time. But we also know that some of the corroborative evidence that is necessary was destroyed. The films that would provide the corroborative evidence were destroyed. They were illegally seized; they were not returned to their appropriate owners and they were illegally destroyed. You have this evidence and you have control of this evidence, and it’s for that reason that the people of eastern Ontario look to you, sir, to maintain not copies but the originals that will aid in other prosecutions that might come forward.
Hon Mr Young: I can assure the honourable member that any information shared with our ministry in the course of the investigation will be appropriately retained pending completion of any and all court proceedings relating to this matter. I also say to you that this material will be retained for an additional period of time as is warranted.
|Ottawa CitizenCopyright Canadian Press Aug 28, 2001TORONTO (CP) – An Ontario politician who threatened to publicly identify those he claimed were involved in an alleged pedophile ring in Cornwall, Ont., says evidence was destroyed by Ontario provincial police.Garry Guzzo, a Conservative backbencher in the Ontario legislature, says police destroyed at least 26 homemade pornographic videotapes years ago that proved the existence of the ring.But police, who said last week there was no evidence of any ring after an exhaustive four-year probe called Project Truth, said Tuesday the destroyed tapes were deemed to have nothing to do with the alleged ring.Det. Supt. Jim Miller of the OPP’s Criminal Investigation Bureau said the tapes are “not related to Project Truth,” but were seized during another police investigation taking place in Cornwall at the time.He said the tapes were reviewed by Project Truth detectives and officers found they were unrelated to their investigation.He did not expand on what that investigation was, but acknowledged the confiscated videotapes were destroyed by police. He said it is common to destroy such tapes when the investigation they pertained to is over and there is no further need for them.Signed court documents say police seized and then destroyed the videotapes after they executed a search warrant for weapons at the home of Ron Leroux _ a close friend of Ken Seguin, a veteran probation officer who shot the footage.Seguin, an alleged member of the ring, committed suicide in November 1993, shortly after the tapes were discovered, and died before he was charged.Guzzo said the “kingpins” of the alleged pedophile clan – several prominent members of the Cornwall, Ont., community – appeared on the videotapes with young boys.Last week, provincial police concluded there was “no evidence” to substantiate allegations from at least 69 complainants that prominent members of the Cornwall, Ont., community conspired to sexually prey on boys for more than four decades.As a result of the probe – the fourth investigation into the alleged pedophile ring – 15 people were charged with a total of 115 offences ranging from gross indecency to indecent assault on a male and sexual assault on a male, but they never constituted a ring, police said.
Police also ruled there was insufficient evidence to lay any charges against several members of the alleged ring whom Guzzo has threatened to identify in the provincial legislature.
“They were quick to destroy the tapes,” said Guzzo, provincial politician for Ottawa West-Nepean, who has taken an active interest in the case.
Because they were destroyed, Guzzo has never seen the tapes. He said he learned the details of them in the course of his own exhaustive investigation.
Church officials have said the persistent, scandalous tales of a secret clan of eastern Ontario pedophiles likely won’t be silenced by the police investigation.
“It’ll probably never come to an end in the minds of some people who are willing to believe the worst,” said Msgr. Donald McDougald, the vicar general of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall.
INVESTIGATION INTO CHILD ABUSE
12 June 2001
Ontario Provincial Legislature
Mr Garry J. Guzzo (Ottawa West-Nepean): My question is for the Solicitor General. On July 31, 1998, Detective Sergeant Pat Hall of the OPP, the lead investigator in the Project Truth investigation in Cornwall, signed a receipt acknowledging documentation served upon him by the citizens’ committee of that city.
As a result of that evidence, an additional 40 charges were laid by Project Truth, following July 31, 1998. These documents are the same documents that were served on two branches of our government on April 8, 1997. July 31, by my calculation, was 67 weeks after April 8. My question is this: as the top police officer in the province, would you explain to this House, to the people of Cornwall and to the people of Ontario, particularly those serviced by the OPP, how this could have come to pass?
Hon David Turnbull (Solicitor General):
Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton West): What are you going to do about it?
Hon Mr Turnbull: I find it passing strange that a former Solicitor General would be saying what he is saying. You know it is inappropriate for the Solicitor General to be involved in day-to-day operations.
The Deputy Speaker (Mr Michael A. Brown):
Mr Guzzo: Also to the Solicitor General: two weeks ago in this House, your colleague the Attorney General refused to speculate on how long it might take to provide you and the Ontario Provincial Police with legal opinions on charges still pending. Mr Miller of the OPP has been reported as stating that he has been waiting for over one and a half years for an opinion on one file. During a recent trial in Cornwall, it was reported that all OPP briefs with regard to these matters were dated 1999 or earlier. This means that at the end of this month all of these opinions will have been awaited for a period of one and one half years.
Minister, you are the client here and the Attorney General is your lawyer. I’ve canvassed the lawyers in our caucus to see if any of them have known of any situations where we’ve kept the client waiting one and a half years for an opinion, and I have been assured they know of no such situation. My question is simple: I want to know how long you’re prepared to wait, three months, three years or, as in the case of the training school debacle, are we going to wait over three decades?
Hon Mr Turnbull: Legally such an investigation has got to be thorough. Police and crown attorneys must be able to make determinations free from interference from politicians. It would be most inappropriate for me or in fact any member of the government to direct the police or crown attorneys to lay criminal charges against any person. I’d like to remind all members that the book is not closed on the possibility of additional charges.
MPP won’t name alleged pedophiles
Updated Wed. May. 30 2001 9:29 PM ET
A Conservative MPP has decided that he won’t name names of suspected pedophiles in eastern Ontario in the legislature. Garry Guzzo had repeatedly said he would name the men to prompt a public inquiry into the Cornwall pedophile ring.
But after meeting with Ontario Attorney General David Young Wednesday morning, Guzzo issued a release saying he’s delaying comment on specific individuals to give the government time to report back on whether there will be more charges against suspected pedophiles in Cornwall.
At the urging of respected colleagues I will delay comment on any specific individuals for a reasonable period of time to allow my colleagues, the attorney general and the solicitor general, to honour their commitments to report back on pending charges, Guzzo said in the release.
Police have already charged 15 people with 115 sex offences, stemming from complaints from boys in the area who said they were pulled from detention centres and repeatedly abused by a group of pedophiles.
But Guzzo maintains that three high-powered Cornwall men have still escaped charges, despite what he calls overwhelming evidence. Guzzo also believes that the two previous investigations into the allegations resulted in no criminal charges, because of a deliberate cover-up.
Guzzo has introduced a private member’s bill calling for a public inquiry into the investigation carried out by the local detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police.
CTV’s Mike Duffy reports that Guzzo, a former judge and lawyer, has been fighting to right the wrongs pedophiles did to young men in the area back in the 1960s and 70s. He even left the bench and joined politics to find justice for the victims.
Guzzo’s threat divided Cornwall constituents, between those who say he should expose the last three names, and those who say he risks ruining the reputations of innocent men.
Of the 15 who were charged, only seven still face charges, including priests. Four men died before their cases made it through the courts, another was found unfit to stand trial, charges were dropped against one, another was acquitted and a judge approved a stay of proceedings for the eighth man.
Naming names in the Cornwall sex abuse scandal
WebPosted Mon May 28 11:13:48 2001
CORNWALL, ONT. – The Roman Catholic Bishop of Cornwall is among four people who have been investigated by police as part of their probe into allegations of sexual abuse in the eastern Ontario city.
Court documents show that police collected volumes of information regarding Bishop Eugene LaRocque and three other priests.
The police submitted those files to Crown attorneys more than 18 months ago. But so far there has been no decision on whether charges are warranted.
Now a Tory backbencher in the Ontario legislature has publicly announced that he’ll name names and he has told CBC Radio he’ll name the bishop.
The latest investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in Cornwall, known as Project Truth, began almost four years ago.
The head of that investigation has testified in court that his team of officers identified 68 suspects. More than a dozen were charged; 26 have died.
Documents submitted during a recent court proceeding show that one of those who were investigated was the Bishop of Cornwall, Eugene LaRocque.
Inspector Pat Hall testified that Project Truth compiled three volumes of documents on the bishop consisting of more than 1,000 pages of information.
The volumes were given to the Crown attorney’s office in September 1999. It was supposed to decide whether charges are warranted against the church leader. So far no decision has been made public.
Decisions are also pending in investigations involving three other priests.
Gary Guzzo is a Tory MPP from Ottawa. He’s also a former provincial court judge. He told CBC Radio he will name the bishop as a suspect in the Ontario legislature.
For two years he’s been demanding an inquiry into the Cornwall scandal. He wants to know why the investigation appears stalled.
“It’s fine that 20 people have been charged with 115 counts. I’m suggesting that the top people have not been charged and I want the inquiry to inquire into why this has taken place and that’s why I will be asking the question,” Guzzo said.
Bishop LaRocque was part of a deal in 1993. It saw the Catholic church pay $32,000 to a ormer altar boy. The man had accused a Catholic priest in Cornwall of molesting him. As part of the deal, the man was to stay quiet and withdraw the complaint he had made to police.
But the deal became public and several police investigations then began into allegations that priests and other prominent people were part of a sex abuse ring in Cornwall.
Reached at his home in Cornwall Sunday night, LaRocque said he was surprised.
He said it’s the first he’s heard he would be among those named by Guzzo in the legislature.
LaRocque says he is innocent. He says the original allegations against him date back to 1961. But he says he had never set foot in Cornwall at that time.
LaRocque said he wants to speak with his lawyer before saying anything more.
Guzzo slams ‘stonewalling’Cornwall pedophile ring investigation
The Ottawa Sun
Friday, October 13, 2000
TORONTO (CP) – Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Garry Guzzo attacked his governement’s “stonewalling and complete obstructionist course” yesterday over what he believes was a bungled police investigation into a pedophile ring in eastern Ontario.
The Tory backbencher’s private member’s bill calling for a public inquiry into the police investigation into decades of alleged sexual abuse in the Cornwall area was sent to committee for debate yesterday, despite his Tory colleagues who mostly ignored the vote.
Out for justice
“Are we really here to try and protect pedophile group?” Guzzo asked the legislature.
“Is that what this country is all about?
‘Is that what the party, whose government I represent, is all about?
“I sincerely hope not.”
So far, police in the Cornwall case have laid 114 charges involving 15 individuals during a three-year probe into the alleged sex scandal.
Two of the accused have since died.
Guzzo also told the legislature he believes the pedophile ring is still operating.
The bill will now go to the legislature’s justice committee, where Guzzo hopes it will hold public hearings in Cornwall.
Before the vote, Attorney General Jim Flaherty decried the bill, saying it could get in the way of justice.
“In the interests of justice and to ensure that we do not hinder these cases as they proceed, holding a public inquiry now could jeopardize these cases, ” he said.
Guzzo rejected the notion, saying an inquiry can go”hand-in-hand” with a police investigation.
He pointed to the public inquiry set to begin next week in Walkerton over an outbreak of E.coli bacterial in the water that killed six people.
Police say criminal charges may still result from the Walkerton tragedy.
Complaints about a pedophile ring in Cornwall first began to emerge in the early 1990s, with allegations that it involved high-standing community members such as lawyers and priests.
Lack of evidence
But the Cornwall police could find no grounds to lay any charges.
In 1994, the Ontario Provincial Police were called in but also declared there was no evidence to base any charges.
Years later, the provincial police relaunched its investigation under the name of Project Truth.
In April, investigators laid at least a dozen charges against four men including two clergy and a former school bus driver over sex offences that date back to the late 1960s.
A tangled web in Cornwall
The Ottawa Sun,
Thursday, October 12, 2000
by Steve Madely
When ottawa Rideau MPP Garry Guzzo rises in the Ontario Legislatrue today he will have some unusual political allies. Guzzo has lined up support from Liberal Opposition leader Dalton McGuinty and New Democratic Party leader Howard Hampton for his Private Member’s Bill on the Cornwall pedophile scandal.
What is unclear at this stage is how much support he can expect from his own Conservative colleagues – most notably Premier Mike Harris.
Guzzo’s crusade over the sexual abuse of boys in the Cornwall area has reached a critical stage where he must now face one of the most difficult questions of his long political career: What can it mean if his own party doesn’t back him?
The time line of the Cornwall scandal goes like this:
1992-93: Cornwall police review their handling of numerous allegations of a pedophile ring involving individuals in the church, juvenile corrections system, the crown attorney’s office and the local courts. The Cornwall Police Services Board concludes there is no evidence of impropriety and declares the matter closed.
1993: Public pressure causes the Police Services Board to call in outside investigators from the Ottawa Police Service. Although the Ottawa detectives are allotted six months, they conclude after one week that they cannot carry out an independent probe and close their file.
1994: Media attention causes an Ontario Provincial Police review – concluding in a Christmas Eve news conference at which the OPP states, “No stone has been left unturned” and there is no evidence of a pedophile ring.
1995: With funding from a wealthy former area resident, who alleges that he was sexually assaulted during his youth in Cornwall, a local group carries out its own investigation. They check allegations that the ring transported victims to Florida for sex parties. In Fort Lauderdale, on what is known as “the pedophile strip” motel registration slips which appeared to be authentic seemed to establish that well-placed members of the Cornwall community had registered in a motel where complainants alleged the sex abuse took place.
1996-97: The citizens’ group assembles four boxes of evidence – affidavits from alleged victims, witness statements, and a damning sworn statement by one of the alleged perpetrators.
1997: A former Fort Lauderdale police detective, upon learning that a vacationing golfer, Garry Guzzo, is a Canadian MPP and former judge, asks for a formal meeting. The detective says years and years of registration slips exist at a pedophile strip motel – he remembers having seen several slips for patrons from Cornwall, Ont. He had been investigating whether the registration records were kept for possible extortion of the motel’s clients, but was mysteriously ordered off the investigation by his superiors.
1997: Guzzo learns of the Cornwall citizens group’s investigations and offers assistance. He learns of and subsequently serves the four boxes of evidence on the attorney general’s department on April 7. Soon afterward it is learned that the OPP has returned to Cornwall and opened the “Project Truth” investigation.
1998: After “Project Truth” results in several charges against prominent individuals, the citizens’s group claims other alleged perpetrators have not been charged and some complainants have not been questioned. The lead OPP investigator expresses surprise, then when shown copies of the evidence, signs a letter stating he has never seen the material before.
1999: Guzzo is told by an official in the attorney general’s department that the evidence served on the department in 1997 was never sent to OPP headquarters, instead it was forwarded to a “third party.”
Still at risk
2000: To date, 15 men have been charged with over 100 counts of sexual abuse, some have been tried and sentenced; others have died, some by confirmed suicide. The citizen’s group, and ostracized former Cornwall constable Perry Dunlop, in a CBC TV special to air tonight at 6:30, states Cornwall children are still at risk from suspects freed on bail and others who have not been charged. Dunlop claims, “There is a cover-up at the highest levels.”
Guzzo’s bill, calling for a Commission of Inquiry, comes to a second reading vote at Queen’s Park today. Cornwall City Council voted three weeks ago not to support his motion.
|21 June 2000
(Guzzo’s Bill 103 introduced in Ontario Legislature)
INQUIRY INTO POLICE INVESTIGATIONS OF SEXUAL ABUSE AGAINST MINORS IN THE CORNWALL AREA ACT, 2000
LOI DE 2000 PRÉVOYANT UNE ENQUÊTE SUR LES ENQUÊTES POLICIÈRES SUR LES PLAINTES DE MAUVAIS TRAITEMENTS D’ORDRE SEXUEL INFLIGÉS À DES MINEURS DANS LA RÉGION DE CORNWALL
Mr Guzzo moved first reading of the following bill:
Bill 103, An Act to establish a commission of inquiry to inquire into the investigations by police forces into sexual abuse against minors in the Cornwall area / Projet de loi 103, Loi visant à créer une commission chargée d’enquêter sur les enquêtes menées par des corps de police sur les plaintes de mauvais traitements d’ordre sexuel infligés à des mineurs dans la région de Cornwall.
The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?
The member for a short statement.
Mr Garry J. Guzzo (Ottawa West-Nepean): On Christmas Eve of 1994, at a press conference, the Ontario Provincial Police ended a 14-month investigation into this matter saying there was no evidence of a pedophile ring operating and that no charges were to be laid. They also suggested that no stone had been left unturned.
Today, after Project Truth went back into Cornwall in 1996, 114 charges have been laid, 108 for offences which allegedly occurred years prior to 1994. It begs the question, was the 1994 investigation incompetent or was there a cover-up Over $200,000 was spent by the people of Ontario, private citizens, to do the police work between 1994 and 1996 to provide the evidence for Project Truth. It seems to me that those people should be reimbursed for doing the work of the Ontario Provincial Police
MPP demands inquiry into pedophile ring
CBC News Online
Last Updated Thu Mar 18 08:35:32 1999
CORNWALL, ONT. – A Conservative government member is demanding a judicial inquiry be called into allegations that a pedophile ring is operating in Cornwall, Ont.
MPP Gary Guzzo, a former judge, has expressed concerns about police investigations into the situation. Allegations of child sexual abuse by prominent citizens first surfaced more than five years ago.
Guzzo (Ottawa-Rideau) says since he looked into the situation at the request of area residents, he’s concerned that the police haven’t gotten to the root of the problem.
“Something is definitely wrong, something is amiss,” Guzzo said.
Last fall, he raised his concerns in a letter to the premier. There was no response. Last month, he sent the premier another letter.
Guzzo says he’s concerned that despite several investigations by police, key people in the scandal have not been apprehended. Police have failed to interview several witnesses even though they have known about them for more than two years, he says.
“I hope to have all my friends with a legal background in caucus understand the sensitivity of this and join me in having it resolved and resolved properly.”
Allegations of abuse first surfaced after a man alleged he had been abused as an altar boy by a local priest. Cornwall police began investigating. Then the man received a $32,000 settlement from the Roman Catholic Church. One of the conditions was that the Cornwall police drop their investigation. They did.
There were several more investigations. In late 1997, the Ontario Provincial Police finally set up a special unit, Project Truth. More than a dozen prominent people in Cornwall, including clergy, lawyers and business leaders, have been arrested and are awaiting trial.
But Guzzo says he believes a lot more people are involved — and he wants assurances that police are doing everything to protect children and root out the problem once and for all.
Written by CBC News Online staff
12 October 2000: Bill 103 Second Reading