|Garry Guzzo (then an Ontario Progressive Conservative Member of Provincial Parliament) 14 January 2000 letter to Jim Flaherty, newly appointed Attorney General in the Ontario Progressive Conservative Michael Harris government) (This a text version of the scanned copy)|
|OntarioLEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLYGarry Guzzo M.P.P.
Queens Park Office:
Queen ‘ Park
M7A 1 A8
Tel. (416) 325-8177
Fax (416) 325-8204
1400 Clyde Avenue
Tel. (613) 727-2657
Fax (613) 224-3306
January 14, 2000
The Honourable Jim Flaherty
Re: Supreme Court of Canada Appeal
I will not be in Ottawa on January 18, 2000 when the appeal of the B.C. court case is heard by the Supreme Court of Canada but I would like to register in writing some concerns expressed to you some time ago with regard to our government’s participation in this matter.
First, during my eleven years on the bench I heard many (far too many) child sexual abuse cases. I started with two or three per year in 1978 and was dealing with two or three per month when I retired in 1989. However, there was much to learn from these matters, particularly, the reluctance on the part of the victims to deal with the issues even years later in adult life. To have children deal with these issues is a delicate, slow, time consuming and frustrating experience. Many times the child could not speak the words required even in the privacy of a medical practitioner’s office, let alone in a court room. Psychiatrists then resort to allowing the child to use other methods to explain their circumstance, i.e. by relying upon an anatomically correct dolls or by drawing pictures. I often times wondered who would believe me if my brief case carrying such files with this evidence were lost or stolen.
I do appreciate our government’s position in attempting to limit the use of such material as contemplated by the drafters of the legislation but the existing law does need some fine tuning – particularly in light of the recent explosion in the number of legal cases.
I have read with interest the January 11, 2000 Press Release and your comments in particular with regard to protection of children. I note with interest your views as follows:
1. “The Attorney General has a special responsibility to be vigilant in protecting our children.”
2. “Our Government and the people of Ontario have no higher priority than protecting children from harm.”
3. “It is crucial that we continue to take steps to help to ensure that children are not victimized.”
4. “As a Government we have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect societies most vulnerable members from the harm of sexual exploitation.”
My concern, of course, relates to my fears for children in Eastern Ontario, namely, Cornwall, where a pedophile ring has been operating for over 30 years. Your predecessor of happy memory, Mr. Harnick, was forced to provide two outside crown attorneys to this file after the former crown attorney, Mr. MacDonald, was finally charged in early of 1999. Unfortunately Mr. MacDonald has passed away here in Florida just recently and, of course, Dr. Peachey passed away in Cornwall earlier without having to face trial. Neither our former crown attorney nor Dr. Peachey has been given the benefit of due process but both had faced the preliminary hearing and had been committed to trial.
In order that you might review my apprehension herein I am including the following documentation:
1. Letter to Premier Harris, September 18, 1998.
In particular I would ask you to refer to issues raised in paragraph 1 of page 2 of my letter of February 23, 1999 to the Premier.
I would also ask that you refer to the final paragraph of page 2 of my letter of April 3, 1999 to Mr. Ron McLaughlin and the dilemma raised in paragraph 2 of page 5 of same letter. Please do take time to refer to the evidence books one and two in the matter of the Ontario divisional court hearing in the decision of Justice McRae. These are referred to in page 6 of my letter of April 3, 1999.
Mr. Minister, recent evidence provided in a victim impact statement in cases where pleas of guilty have been recorded, are most disturbing. One victim turned to defence counsel and shocked the court room by stating that he had attended upon the defence counsel over ten years ago, when he, the defence counsel was a crown attorney in Cornwall.
It is now beyond doubt that a pedophile ring existed and continues to exist in Cornwall. It is clear that no matter how hard committed citizens push certain people will never be charged. Yes, even more distinguished people than retired coroners and retired crown attorneys. When that victim confronted the former crown attorney for the Province of Ontario who now acts as the defence counsel in these matters, it was clear that all the evidence in the case was available and brought to the proper authorities over ten years ago! Yet Christmas Eve of 1994 the Ontario Provincial Police held a press conference in Cornwall stating that no evidence existed to lay any charges let alone find evidence of a pedophile ring. The OPP stated on December 24, 1994 that “no stone was left unturned”.
However, today we see a subsequent investigation has caused twelve people to be charged with 96 counts – 88 of which seemed to have been committed (allegedly in some cases) prior to 1994. The police chief in Cornwall between 1984 and 1994 continues to remain outside the country and refuses to talk to Project Truth officers. Project Truth officers come to Ft. Lauderdale in May of 1999, three years after private citizens come to Ft. Lauderdale to gather information and evidence at their own expense.
Jim, I know that you have not had your lawyers’ gown on for some time. I do hope that when you do slip into it on Tuesday that you remember your oath taken the day of your call to the bar in Ontario. Then, if you would, re-read my letter of April 16 and attachments to Minister Bassett, as she then was! Ask yourself what answers you might give when called to account for this debacle which continues in the eastern part of the province.
1. ‘The Attorney General has a special responsibility to be vigilant in protecting our children.”
Please, Mr. Minister, do not limit yourself to pictures and computer printouts of possible offenses when the real child victims are just 100 km to the east!
Your humble servant for Ottawa West-Nepean,
Garry J. Guzzo
cc: The Hon. David Tsubouchi, Solicitor General