Abuse alleged in the Mont d’youville: agreement on the authorization of the action, not on the fault of the religious authorities
The collective action of 280 former residents of the orphanage in the Mont d’youville, who say they are victims of 70 assailants, will most likely go forward. But before authorizing, the superior Court must, however, settle the question of whether the Sisters of Charity of Quebec and the CIUSSS of the National Capital will also be prosecuted for their faults and their neglect.
Two years after the filing of what is shaping up as one of the remedies the most important in Quebec against a religious community, the lawyers for the plaintiffs and those of the Sisters of Charity of Quebec have an agreement that the case be heard on the merits. No dispute about the fundamental and, therefore, on the composition of the group of the alleged victims, or all those and their succession, who have suffered a sexual assault, physical or psychological, then they were placed in the orphanage of Beauport, between 1925 and 1996.
All parties also agree to discuss what is called in law the ” fault of others “, that is, acts of aggression allegedly committed by the employees, lay people and the nuns working at the orphanage.
An educator and former administrator of the Mont d’youville, John-Anthony O’reilly has pleaded guilty in 2010 to sexual assault and physical assaults on six young.
Since the filing of the proceedings, the lawyers of the victims have received almost daily calls from former students who identified other perpetrators and tell their stories. Where the explosion, but over the months, the number of alleged victims and abusers the potential.
The debate, and it is of size, would therefore mainly on the issue of fault direct of the religious authorities. According to the lawyers of the plaintiffs, the Sisters of Charity of Quebec have committed several unforced errors because they were not put in place measures to prevent or stop the abuse of the children housed at the Mont d’youville.
In their eyes, it is clear that the religious authorities knew of the abuse. “They have been complicit by their willful blindness and have preferred to support an abuser and protect their reputation “, said Robert Kugler, one of the lawyers of the plaintiffs.
The issue of fault, direct the religious community, which has managed the Mont d’youville, and the CIUSSS, who had taken over the building to set up offices in the youth centre, has a great importance for the victims.
This is only if it can convince the court of the existence of a fault directly that she will be able to claim punitive damages.
The lawyers of the Sisters of Charity of Québec ask the court to Étienne Parent to remove from the debate the issue of fault direct. “The applicants do not establish the facts that demonstrate the knowledge of the abuse by the authorities of the religious community, calls Me Christian Trépanier, in the name of the Sisters of Charity of Quebec. It is in the presumptions.”
The lawyer has also pointed out that the Sisters have ceased to directly manage the Mont d’youville from the summer of 1973.
The virtual audition, followed by a crowd of about fifty people, continues to be a major part of the day with the argument of the counsel for the Sisters of Charity of Quebec and CIUSSS-CN.
There will be no debate on the prescription
One of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, Robert Kugler, pointed to the “major development” of the last week, or the deposit of the bill in the national Assembly of Quebec, which makes indispensable recourse in damages for victims of sexual assault and physical abuse during childhood. The issue of prescription, which was moving up here to the use of the Mont d’youville, does so more.