February 11, 2006

A time to 'clear the air'

The Ottawa Citizen

Bob Rupert, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, February 11, 2006

Cornwall Mayor Phil Poirier says he has "mixed emotions" about the judicial inquiry that opens Monday into allegations of decades of sexual abuse of young people by adults in positions of power and trust.

The inquiry will also look into allegations that powerful institutions within the community, including the Roman Catholic Church, two police forces and other organizations and institutions, failed to respond adequately -- sometimes not at all -- to the victims' cries for help.

Mr. Poirier acknowledges that the community had a problem, that the "air needs to be cleared" and the victims need "closure," but he worries the inquiry will reopen wounds that had begun to heal, and will again put Cornwall in national headlines portraying it as a community where young people are not safe.

Describing the inquiry as "a double-edged sword," Mr. Poirier says, "On the one hand, it is important to bring closure to everybody involved -- the victims, the people who were accused, the police, the Children's Aid, the church -- everybody.

Posted by kshaw at February 11, 2006 09:03 AM