Guzzo wants to put former premier on stand

Former judge, MPP tells Project Truth inquiry to summon Mike Harris

Ottawa Sun

Wed, 16 January 2008


CORNWALL — A former Conservative member of the Ontario legislature says an inquiry probing the institutional response to allegations of systemic child sexual abuse in the Cornwall area should hear from a former premier.

Garry Guzzo, who represented Ottawa-West Nepean, said Tuesday that the inquiry should question former premier Mike Harris about his role in how the Project Truth investigations were conducted.

In August 2001, Ontario Provincial Police ended a four-year probe of the alleged pedophile ring, dubbed Project Truth, concluding the allegations were baseless.

A total of 114 charges were laid against 15 high-profile men in the 1990s, but the courts ultimately convicted just one man who had no connection to the alleged sex ring.

Guzzo took the stand Tuesday in lieu of ex-city police officer Perry Dunlop, who had been scheduled to testify at the inquiry.

The lawyer for the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese tried repeatedly to get Guzzo to admit he was “mistaken” over whose name appeared on registration slips from a seedy Florida motel known to attract pedophiles.

Guzzo testified previously he had a meeting with provincial police Det. Insp. Pat Hall, who was working on the Project Truth investigations, in which he said Hall had registration slips from the Saltaire Motel which indicated Bishop Eugene LaRocque stayed there on occasion.

“(Hall) did not obtain these slips, he did not see the registration slips and he never had the registration slips bearing the name of my client, Bishop Eugene LaRocque, did he?” David Sherriff-Scott asked Guzzo.

“Well, I think you’re wrong about that, sir,” Guzzo replied.

Guzzo also answered questions about why he wrote letters to Harris over the destruction of pornographic video tapes that were believed to have belonged to Ken Seguin, a now deceased former probation officer.

Guzzo, a former judge, said he had been told there were 24 films, some commercial, and some homemade which had been filmed using a camera mounted at the foot of the probation officer’s bed.

Guzzo’s cross-examination is to continue Wednesday.

Dunlop, who now lives in Duncan, B.C., with his wife and three children, has been called to return to the Ontario Divisional Court in Toronto after defying a court order and failing to show up at the inquiry on Monday.

“Perry’s not fighting,” Helen Dunlop said in an interview Tuesday evening. “I just wish they would put this much money into going after the pedophiles as they have in going after Perry Dunlop.”

The former police officer has been ordered back to the divisional court on Jan. 28, at which time a panel of three judges will deal with him on the finding of contempt of court for refusing to testify at the inquiry in the fall.

They will also rule on whether or not Dunlop’s no-show Monday constitutes a contempt of court at the divisional court level, said Peter Engelmann, inquiry lead commission counsel.

When asked whether they will appear at the divisional court hearing, Helen Dunlop said they will not be there.

“I think we’ve made our stand,” she replied. “If they put Perry in jail, it will send an international message that Canada is a safe haven for pedophiles, that Canada is soft.”