Variety 104 - October 15, 2004

by Lorne Wiebe

The Real Project Truth

Having moved here about five years ago, I quickly learned of the messy underside of Cornwall. I pulled out the bulging Project Truth file buried in our newsroom's archives and began to read. It almost read like fiction -- allegations that seemed too unbelievable to be true. The rumors that were circulating around town for years, followed by one investigation and then another. Private investigations, city police investigations, provincial police investigations and then finally, the slew of charges hitting some of the city's highest profile people. I've seen charges laid and then withdrawn. Court cases move forward and then falter. Judges ruling this way and that. Threats that names would be read in Parliament of those who hadn't even been charged because some thought they were a threat. I have met victims of abuse and politicians who have promised to get to the bottom of it all. I have spoken with those who council abuse victims and I have read abuse horror stories on a local website. It is almost all too "fantastic" to comprehend. What many believe to be the final courtroom chapter is now underway. Regardless of its outcome, a public inquiry is needed immediately after. No delays. No excuses. This city deserves to know what went on here. The "real" Project Truth has not yet begun.