Thu, November 18, 2004

Way clear for Project Truth inquiry: Premier

By TOBI COHEN, Ottawa Sun

Thousands of sex abuse victims may finally get some answers now that the province has agreed to hold a public inquiry into allegations highly placed officials operated a pedophile ring for decades in Cornwall. Premier Dalton McGuinty announced yesterday that a full inquiry would be held as soon as possible now that Crown prosecutors have decided not to appeal the acquittal of Jacques Leduc -- the last person to be tried in connection with the scandal.

ONE STEP CLOSER

"I have always believed that the people of Cornwall deserved a public inquiry," McGuinty said. "Now that the criminal proceedings related to this case are over, residents in the area can be assured that steps are being taken to launch a public inquiry."

The announcement comes as good news to Paul Scott, a spokesman for Cornwall's Citizens for Renewal, who's been pushing the province to take action for years.

"I feel wonderful. The fog that Mr. McGuinty described way back when in Cornwall has indeed begun to rise from Cornwall," Scott said yesterday.

"It's the beginning of the end of our trials. I say beginning because there's lots to do. The work really begins now."

Although optimistic, Scott said he's not convinced the inquest will deliver all the answers they're looking for.

WATCHDOG ROLE

Scott said Citizens for Renewal will seek standing at the inquiry and is prepared to put up a fuss if the inquiry's scope is inadequate.