|Cornwall News AM 1220
November 14, 2007 — Garry Guzzo had to make an unplanned trip to the family cottage. The former Ottawa area M-P-P was ordered by the Cornwall Public Inquiry to return today with all of his orginal documents relating to historic sex abuse allegations. Guzzo believes the documents may be at his Kingston area cottage. Guzzo had produced some photocopies with names blackened out but now can not remember who he censored. Lead commission counsel, Peter Engelmann tells AM 1220 News the names are important. Hearings resume this morning at 9:30am.
Guzzo ordered to produce documents for inquiry
Cornwall Standard Freeholder
14 November 2007
Posted By Terri Saunders
A former judge and MPP has been ordered to bring original documents to the Cornwall Public Inquiry believed to contain names of victims, alleged victims, accused perpetrators and employees of public institutions.
Garry Guzzo told Comm. Normand Glaude he’s not prepared to provide all the names contained in documents he’s provided to the inquiry so far. In most cases, the names have been blackened out. “I will challenge this to the divisional court and the court of appeal,” said Guzzo. “I apologize, but that’s how strongly I feel about it.”
“Let’s get through this,” said Glaude, “and then we’ll be off to the court.” Guzzo was on the stand for about two hours in total Tuesday afternoon, the bulk of which was in a closed session. While he did provide some names which he had blackened out on a number of documents, he failed to give the judge everything he was looking for.
Guzzo said he wasn’t prepared to start speculating as to who he might have spoken with in the past nor was he willing to guess at any names. “I didn’t ask the person for identification; I had to take them at their word,” said Guzzo. “I cannot testify to the accuracy of their information.”
Glaude said he wasn’t asking Guzzo to testify as to whether any allegations he might have heard were true, but rather to the contact he would have had with victims, alleged victims and public institutions.
Guzzo said he’s willing to discuss those sorts of details, but he’s holding firm to his belief anyone who approached him in confidence while he was a sitting member of provincial parliament is entitled to the protection of their identity if they want to remain anonymous. “If people spoke to me, I would protect their anonymity,” said Guzzo. “It’s a constitutional right for a person to petition a legislator and ask the matter be kept confidential.”
In May 2001, Guzzo threatened to “name names” in the Ontario legislature, but backed down when officials suggested more charges would be laid by the OPP’s Project Truth team, then into its fourth year of investigating abuse allegations in Cornwall.
No further charges were laid by that team following Guzzo’s decision to hold back on the names.
Commission officials told Guzzo they are not as concerned about making names of such individuals public, and suggested publication bans could be put in place if the commission feels they are necessary.
“You can understand why it might be important for us to know these names,” said Peter Engelmann, lead commission counsel. “To make them public is quite another thing, but when it comes to officials at institutions, there may be linkages, there may be connections. I don’t know the answers, and I won’t know them without knowing who (these people) are and what their connections are.”
Guzzo also talked about a report he says was compiled by the Ottawa Police Service in the 1990s in which the Cornwall Police Service was found to have acted properly during the course of investigations into abuse allegations. Guzzo said he’s since been told by a number of members of the Ottawa Police Service that report is not as flattering as the public has been led to believe and is, in fact, “scathing.”
“(They) told me … you should get your hands on that report,” Guzzo said.
While in the closed session, Guzzo was asked to provide the commission with the name of a city lawyer whom the former MPP claims was the first person to contact him about “what was going on in Cornwall.” Guzzo said he didn’t need to provide the name because commission counsel already knew who the lawyer was.
“I’m asking you to provide us with that name,” said Engelmann. “You gave me that name,” said Guzzo, “and you asked me if that was correct.”
At that point, Glaude stepped in. “We’re in camera,” he said. “Let’s not play games.” “I’m not,” said Guzzo.
The former MPP has now been ordered to travel to his cottage in Westport, Ont., about 50 kilometres north of Kingston, to retrieve any and all original documents related to Cornwall matters. Guzzo s expected to return to the stand this morning at 9:30 a.m.