Canada's Parole System: A Midway Carousel
More fear and loathing from La Belle Province.
Francois Despres was given 15 years for stabbing a man 50 times and beating him with a cricket bat.
Then Corrections let him out.
Less than sixty days later he crossed paths with 65-year-old Denyse Abel and proceeded to stab her 32 times - but Abel survived and is now suing the attorney-general and Corrections Canada for $1.2 million.
Right on Granny!
The National Parole Board denied Despres early release in 1993, '95, '96, and '97. Then in 2000, Corrections Canada decided that Despres would benefit from a change of scenery, so they let him out; never bothering to consult with the NPB who had denied him parole those four times.
Now I'm not sure what the official release date is for Despres' current sentence, but you and I both know it'll likely be before the next Olympics.
As for Denyse Abel, I hope she gets every nickle of that $1.2 million. Better yet, put her on a province wide tour to demonstrate to taxpayers that the constant retrialing of offenders and subsequent civil suits caused by a soft parole system is milking the country to its financial capacity.
Who Killed Theresa?
Ce blogue est une investigation de le meurtre de ma soeur, Theresa Allore. Il y a 30 ans Theresa est mort aux secteurs de Compton, Sherbrooke et Lennoxville, Québec.
Life isn't fair, Justice is blind... and dysfunctional, and some cops aren't smart and dedicated like on tv.
Si vous avez information contact Sue Sutherland: CP 45 Succursale Lennoxville, Sherbrooke J1M 1Z3,Canada:firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 514-264-7830
Friday, January 30, 2004
Canada's Parole System: A Midway Carousel
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Violence and Canadian Universities - More Problems
The University of Saskatchewan has a problem with campus safety. In the past six months there have been two rapes on campus and a number of incidents of sexual assault. Fed up with a slack campus security force and a school administration crippled with inertia, students and parents have taken matters into their own hands circulating a petition that now has close to 1,000 signatures calling on the University to conduct an independent safety audit.
I have been sitting on the fence with this one, in part naively believing that the mainstream press would pick up this story. In frustration I wrote an article on the subject and sent it to the op-ed pages of the National Post and the Globe and Mail - Canada's two national newspapers. I was disappointed, but not surprized when the pieces were rejected; left fuming when I learned the reason for the rejection. An editor with the Globe and Mail explained to me that since the story hadn't appeared in their paper yet, the time wasn't right for commentary on the subject - in effect this was like saying the rapes didn't take place until the Globe and Mail said they took place.
So how long do we have to wait for the mainstream media to pick up on this story? Apart from some pieces by CBC Saskatchewan, there has been nothing. More to the point, when will the national media wake-up and realize that violence on college campuses is a subject that parents and students take very seriously in both Canada and the United States?
At the University of Saskatchewan, the biggest obstacle students and parents are running uo against is the university itself. Never mind that the two incidents of rape are well documented - I myself have communicated with the families of both victims; they both appear very real to me - and that they occured over a span of six months; the University of Saskatchewan is still referring to these rapes as "alleged assaults". It is bad enough to be violated in the manner these women have suffered; even more degrading to be in effect called a liar by those persons you thought were supposed to be working for your best interest.
Still, though the parents and families are shocked at this callous reaction from the School, I am not surprised. The murder of my sister, Theresa Allore while a student on the campus of Champlain college / Bishop's University in Quebec in 1978 was the culmination of events that were unfolding for a full year prior to her death. Before Theresa died there had been a total of 10 sexual assaults reported on campus; all of them decried by students in the college paper, while being ignored and pooh-poohed by school administration. twenty-five years later we have a similar situation unfolding in Saskatchewan: Canadian university administrations must get it through there thick-headed skulls that violence on campus is their problem, and they must take ownership in finding a solution.
U of S is not alone here. In a recent discussion with victims advocates from accross the country problems with campus security were pointed out to me at the Universities of New Brunswick, Manitoba and Calgary. That pretty much covers the country coast to coast. If there are signs of progress, they're not coming from the Schools. The University of Saskatchewan's women's center recently secured a government grant to employ a part time victim's advocate to act as an arbiter for the students. It should be noted that the head of the School's women's center is a student who took on the grant-writing task in addition to her full school work load.
Also, in two days the University of Saskatchewan is hosting a forum to discuss the recent problems on campus. While students and families seem well prepared for the event, the School has made the very bad decision of sending campus security to act as its envoy - in effect sending a parking enforcement officer to a summit on campus violence.- School administration should be at the table themselves.
Still, there are some signs of progress. Just yesterday the University administration finally agreed to have an independent safety audit conducted for the entire campus (past audits were conducted "inhouse" by campus security). Hopefully, parents and students will be able to convince the administration, some way, that campus safety is a full time responsibility, equally important as test scores, endowments, and competitive rankings. As one student wrote on the U of S petition, " I think that the university needs to recognize the needs of students, and stop focusing on their academic ranking on the Maclean's university list". Hum... now there's a thought.
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
WES CLARK & MICHAEL MOORE
Ya! That's the Ticket!
Now I admit the Democratic race is not my oeuvre, but allow me to weigh in on the subject of Wesley Clark (Warning: I will spin this around to an argument about Canada and violence).
It's bad enough that everytime he smiles Clark looks like a ventriloquist's dummy... and draping himself in girth of America's number one Canadian ass-kisser is a sure way not to capture the White House. Yes, I'm talking about Michael Moore - whose idea was it in the Clark camp to latch on to this guy?
I am no lover of guns or the Conservative party, but Michael Moore and his distortions of Canadian society must be addressed; if only to keep Canadians in line. The last thing we need is Canada feeling self-satisfied. Yes, Bowling For Columbine is old news now, but I've been chewing on this one for a while and I'd like to have my say.
I have no problem with Moore asserting that Canada has less gun violence than the U.S., but when he conveniently drops the gun part and makes the broader statement that Canada is a less voilent society than the States, I've got to take issue:
Clifford Olson, William Fyfe, Robert Pickton. No the names aren't as well known as their American counterparts, but these three men committed crimes to equal or surpass the likes of Gary Ridgeway and Ted Bundy.
And what's this business about Toronto being safe? Tell that to the parents of Cecilia Zhang or Holly Jones. Jones was found, in pieces along the shows of Lake Ontario. Anyone want to go boating?
No guns? I've felt safer in Watts then I would ever be strolling the Jane / Finch corridor. Toronto subsidized housing is idealic? Come to my home town of Saint John, New Brunswick. I'll show you some projects. They don't call it "the Rifle Range" for nothing.
What was I talking about? Oh ya, the Democratic Primaries... well anyway, Wes Clark's a wooden puppet, and Michael Moore's still a weenie - my fair and balanced analysis of the situation.
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
What was I just saying about parole?
Recent conversation with an American friend:
- So you're from Canada, right?
- Yes, but I immigrated to the States.
- Do they have the death penalty in Canada?
- No, we believe it's too barbaric.
- Well what about life imprisonment?
- Oh yes, we have that. Well, sort of.
- How sort of?
- Well in Canada mandatory life sentence is 25 years.
- 25 years?
- That's for the worst of the worst. But in some cases they could be paroled after serving 2/3rds of their sentence.
- So in Canada life in prison means 16 1/2 years?
- Pretty much. Life = 16.5.
Oh there's a doozy in this week's Ottawa Citizen. A board of investigations for the National Parole Board has slapped Corrections Canada on the wrists for failing to adequately assess the risk potential of "psychopath" (their usage), Conrad Brossard.
Brossard was imprisoned for violent offences beginning in 1966. Then he was released. Then he was convicted of murder in 1970. But he was released again. Then he was convicted of attempted murder in 1980, but he escaped. Then he was convicted of attempted murder in 1987 while on... (that's right) parole!
How many is that? I've lost count. Wait, I'm not done yet.
Then Brossard was again granted parole in early 2002.
The 55-year-old was granted permission to work in a nursing home where he proceeded to abduct a senior citizen and stab her to death with a pair of sissors.
Apparently, when Brossard was up for the 2002 parole, there was no chronology of his past offences in his file so the parole board let him go. Corrections Canada was also chastized for the use of freelance psychologists in Quebec (did I mention this all took place in Quebec?); who are high on value but none too bright:
"Using freelance psychologists is a management choice that has the benefit of saving a great deal of money for the Quebec region, although it has the disadvantage of lacking quality control,''
So what's the upshot of all of this? Nothing. The board of investigation, appointed by both Corrections Canada and the National Parole Board, absolved the parole board of any blame, saying it acted properly on the information laid before it.
What information??? There was nothing in the guys file!!!! Shouldn't somebody swing for that!!!!
But wait... I haven't got to the punch line. Are you ready for it? It's real good... here it comes...
Brossard will be eligable for parole in 2029.
Monday, January 26, 2004
Two sobering statistics:
- One in six women are assaulted while in college.
- Sixty percent of college-aged males say they would commit sexual assault if they knew they could get away with it.
That's the bad news. The good news is that thanks to organizations like the non-profit, Security on Campus there is at least a dialogue in the United States about the ongoing problem of violence on college campuses.
Security on Campus posts all kinds of useful resources on the subject of campus violence. There are college crime stats, updates on legislation, even a section on which schools are being sued for failing to comply with the Campus Security Act. There are also sections about club drugs and types of sexual assault such as aquaintance rape. For students and parents who may feel these subjects are taboo, this site is a goldmine of critical information.
Still on the topic of campus violence; though many students who fall victim to sexual assault often become overwhelmed by their ordeal, it is heartening to read that four students at Duke University decided to turn their tragedy into something productive. In yesterday's Herald Sun newspaper, there is an article about students starting a school magazine on the topic of sexual assault. Saturday Night - Untold Stories of Sexual Assault at Duke was created by victims who want to change the culture in which rape is allowed to happen. Started with seed money from friends and family, the magazine which is distributed throughout the Duke campus includes testimonials from students who were sexually assaulted on campus within the last two years. One of the best entries begins like this:
How are you doing? How have you been feeling since you took something so personal and private from my friend, against her will, and left her with scars that go far deeper than her face, chest, arm and thigh?
So far the idea is a hit. About 3,000 copies of Saturday Night are produced each month and these are quickly scooped up around campus.
Pointing to the traditional apathetic attitude surrounding violence on campus, co-creator, Allison Brim startes, "There's a pattern at Duke... People get upset. It lasts for a couple of weeks and then dies down."
This is not a problem unique to Duke, believe me. Hopefully the buzz created by Saturday Night will start a wave of similar publications on other college campuses.
Saturday, January 24, 2004
Guy Field is Dead
I was in my office talking with a colleague when I got the call that I really wished I hadn't answered on speakerphone:
- This is the National Parole Board, is this Mr. Allore?
Before I had the chance to tell my colleague that, no, I did not have a relative serving hardtime, he had the grace to discretely leave my office.
- Mr. Allore, we were curious... why do you wish to attend the parole hearings of ten Quebec offenders?
Yeah, so I wrote a letter to the chair of the parole board, Ian Glen. So what? Doesn't everyone?
I have to confess I have a kink when it comes to Quebec crime. I'm pretty much an expert on the era of 1977 - 1981; that grand time when Quebec cops styled themselves after Kojak, smoking cigarettes and sporting really REALLY big ties. Actually what led to my contacting the parole board was a communique I'd read on Corrections Canada's notice board:
Décès d'un détenu de l'établissement Archambault
Le 21 octobre 2003 vers 8h40, Guy Field, un détenu de l'établissement Archambault, pénitencier fédéral à sécurité moyenne, est décédé de mort naturelle au Centre régional de soins de l'établissement. Agé de 70 ans, Guy Field purgeait depuis le 2 novembre 1978 une sentence indéterminée pour meurtre au 2e degré.
Guy Field was dead. He died in prison. Now I am practically the last person on the planet who knows who Guy Field was and what he did to be sent away for 25 years.
Guy Field was the "monstre de Levis". In 1977 he terrorized a tiny suburb on the South shore of Quebec City. Field abducted a child, strangled her and performed unspeakable acts on her dead body. Google Guy Field today and you will find nothing; only this brief blurb - in French - on a corrections newsletter. There is no record of the harm he inflicted, and the lives he destroyed; which in a way I suppose is fitting and just.
But it got me thinking. A mandatory life sentence in Canada - assuming all parole requests where denied - is twenty-five years. In November 2004 - right around the time that Field died of "natural causes" - he might have been eligable for parole. Did Field die naturally, or did someone take matters into their own hands and stop Field.
It's not an impropable thought. In the last year, five prisoners have died at Archambault penitentiary; all deaths were "morts naturelles".
But this is a sidetrack to my main concern. Guy Field got me thinking - All those offenders who were put away between 1977 - 1981; what ever happened to them? It's been twenty-five years; there time's up. They'll be getting out now, or in the next few years, if not sooner if they were granted parole.
So this led me to writing the Parole Board. I went trolling for bad guys. I picked ten of the worst offenders from the late seventies - guys that did really unspeakable stuff (crime buffs take note: a good source are the old "Almanachs Du Crime Au Quebec" which were published by Photo Police. Also note: anything by Photo Police is not for the weak stomached).
So I wrote the parole board and asked to see the parole determinations for these ten offenders, and if they were still imprisoned, for the opportunity to attend a future parole hearing. This is my right, and any Canadian's right, as a citizen of that country.
- Mr. Allore, not to pry, but does this have anything to do with your sister, are you thinking that these men might have in someway been responsible?
I couldn't believe the parole officer would have the nerve to ask this - under the rules of Access to Information, they have no right to ask such a question. I took it in stride:
- Madam, as you can see, most of these offenders were imprisoned BEFORE my sister died. So it would be unlikely that they were responsible for her death.
Alright.... Well, we're going to grant your request. It just seems odd. people don't usually ask to attend ten parole hearings.
I have no intention of attending ten parole hearings, but I didn't tell her that; this was my way of finding out if these guys were still incarcerated. If they were, then NPB would have to notify me of their next parole hearing (pretty clever, I know; but it wasn't my idea - I got it from a victims advocate in Toronto).
Then again maybe I will attend all ten hearings. Shouldn't someone stand up and tell people about what has been forgotten? Shouldn't someone speak for those victims who have been silenced and cannot speak for themselves?
Friday, January 16, 2004
Part V - They Decided To Publish The Letter
Response to last week's letter from current Bishop's student:
Last week Bishop's student, Rebecca Blinn complained about me in The Record for spamming her with email. She was right to do so. Though I regret my decision to send out these emails and have since apologized to Ms. Blinn and other School alumni who I may have offended, I still must take issue with Ms. Blinn's decision to use her letter as a pretext to say my complaints against Champlain College are unjustified.
Because my sister's case is currently under investigation by the Montreal Sûreté du Quebec, there are limits to what I can say, but in order to demonstrate to Ms. Blinn - and others - that I am not chasing windmills, allow me to show the connection between a 25-year-old murder and the present Champlain Administration.
Champlain maintains that it had - and has - done everything to cooperate with the authorities in connection with the death of my sister, Theresa. However, in 1978, Champlain Administration failed to disclose to my parents, the local police, a private
investigator, and the Sûreté du Quebec the identity of the Director of Residence - therefore the person in charge - at the King's Hall Residence. Instead they mislead authorities - and my family - and pretended that a twenty-five-year old female grad student was in charge of the facility. The true Director of Residence was never interviewed, referred to, or interrogated in the course of the original investigation. His name does not appear in any of the files of Leo Hamel, the original Lennoxville investigator; Robert Beaulac, the '78 private detective; or in Roch Gaudreault's case file for the Sûreté du Quebec. It was as though the Director of Residence for Champlain College never existed.
When a young student disappears from a college residence, and is later found dead less than a mile from that residence, I would think one of the first people the authorities would want to interview is the Director of Residence.
It is well-documented in the school archives that the Director of Residence at that time was supervised by the then Director of Student Services. The Director of Student Services in 1978 is now the current Director General for Champlain College. Indeed, by my last count, close to one-third of the staff and administration from 1978 are still working at Champlain. So I find it hard to swallow that Champlain College - and members of the community for that matter - don't know what I'm driving at, and fail to see my point.
In her letter Ms. Blinn asserted that to her satisfaction, newspapers had reported on the matter of my sister's death and found no real incriminating evidence against Champlain College. When last I checked, newspapers are not in charge of criminal investigations. The crime of murder is precisely what the Montreal Sûreté du Quebec are currently investigating. When that process is through - only then - may a spectator to this affair "possibly" assert with any degree of confidence that Champlain College did nothing wrong.
There are other matters. Ms. Blinn states that she trusts the local police force and School staff. I wish that I had the same degree of confidence. But we are not talking about "sticky situations". This is about violence and sexual assault against women; issues not to be trivialized. Champlain / Bishop's present system of employing a parking enforcement unit under the guise of campus security is vulnerable to danger and woefully ill-equipped to handle issues of campus violence (sidenote: the Schools also have a Women's Centre held together by bandaids, student volunteers, and $800 in SAC funding).
I can recall one other situation similar to that of my sister Theresa. In 1986 a young women named Jeanne Clery was murdered on the campus of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. After a lot of blaming back and forth between the parents and the school, Lehigh made amends, and became one of the founders and leaders on issues of campus security in the United States.
Lehigh showed a lot of class.
Let there be no question of my motives: I wish the School to reform, to make a true effort to act in the interest of student safety. If the community is so confident of Champlain's improvement, and if Champlain feels it is doing a better job representing the safety concerns of students, then I ask this: reveal to us, Champlain/Bishop's the results of your last safety audit and show us the steps you have undertaken to improve campus living in the interest of student safety.
Chapel Hill, NC
Thursday, January 15, 2004
I Can't Seem To Get To You Through The U.S. Mail
The Sherbrooke Record newspaper won't publish my letter to the editor. They say I'm fuming because I got busted for sending spam, and now I'm using it as an excuse to get back on my soapbox. Also, I accused a current School administrator of obstucting justice and called for his resignation.
- well, ya.. -
I counted to the Record that they were trying to silence me. They are the only newspaper in the region that hasn't acknowledged that the police have reactivated my sister's case.
The Record stated that this wasn't true. That there have been over 18 stories in their paper about the case, and they have given ample attention to the matter - everyone in the region is aware of the Theresa Allore tragedy. Moreover, everytime they talk to the Surete du Quebec, the Srete says that in fact there isn't an active investigation.
Well the part about the SQ is true, and it's an ongoing problem. The Surete never confirms anything for the press. Everytime a journalist contacts the Surete, they give them their standard pitter-patter:
the case is still open because as an unsolved crime it can never be closed... if we receive new leads of course we always pursue them, but currently we have received no new information...
This, despite the fact that for the past year I have had weekly contact with a Surete investigator who is working on my sister's case. Nevertheless, as far as the Record is concerned, I've been talking to a big white rabbit.
By now I have gone through about a dozen revisions for a letter I don't even care about anymore. I've spent more time on this letter than some people dedicate to their doctoral thesis. I am so sick of this fucking letter.
Finally I say screw it - the Record never intended to publish anything I wrote, they were just stirnging me along to embarrass me. Then they throw me a bone. If I will agree to remove all the stuff about naming current employees, they'll take one more look at the letter.
What a rediculous thing for me to be wasting my time on.
Finally, the editor of the Record called me back and agreed to publish my letter in tomorrow's paper. I've wasted an entire week on this thing.
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Part III - La Guerre Perpétuelle
I've changed my mind. I've decided to respond to the woman who complained about me in the local paper.
What bothers me most is the following remark she made:
"I see no connection between a 1978 murder and the law-abiding institutions [these schools] are today. "
I've decided to show her exactly what the connection is.
So I draft a letter for publication in the Sherbrooke Record. The first version is libelous. I'm calling people liars left-right-and-centre. So I take out all the stuff about lying and send a second version. But who am I kidding? Even without the rehetoric they won't publish this: I'm basically telling them to close down Bishop's University and Champlain college: the entire English speaking population of the Eastern Townships would be out of a job.
Regrouping I decide to make my case over the phone. I call the editor of the Sherbrooke Record:
Did you get my letter?
Which one John?
(by now I've sent about a half-dozen)
That was the last one, I promise.
John, haven't we covered this ground before ?
This is different. No one's ever answered the question, "what is the connection between the School and your sister's murder?" This student asked the question...
Bla, bla, bla...
I drone on and on. It suddenly strikes me...
why am I doing this? Is this really worth reaching out to 5,000 readers who don't like you? I'm the guy who farted at their crowded cocktail party, they don't want to hear this.
John, I tell you what, let me look at it overnight and I'll give you an answer in the morning.
It's not just the letter that bothers me. Partly I've been bolstered by support. A student emailed me the following. It is troubling because this comes from a recent graduate who had no knowledge of problems on campus:
I was shocked when I read about your sister’s tragic death. Though I always knew Bishop’s Campus fauna of rumours and urban myths to be very rich, I never heard any serious stories during my stay at Champlain (from summer 2001 to summer 2003).
Up until I discovered your website through that post on my blog, I thought the story concerning a ghost in McKinnon Hall was pretty much as sinister as Lennoxville’s history would ever get.
It am outraged the student body isn’t more aware of this incident, so much so, in fact, that I am at a loss for words.
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
PETITE GUERRE - PART II
Emboldened by insomnia, I decided to c.c. my job application letter submitted to Champlain College to my brother, the editor of the local paper, the campus priest, the school football coach, and 40 college alumni.
It was the the sort of idea that appeared brilliant at four in the morning.
Later it occured to me that strangers mights not appreciate my sense of humor. I quickly scribbled off another letter:
I am sending this email because I thought you should know that before you attended Champlain College my sister, Theresa Allore was a student at Champlain and she was murdered there. This happened 25 years ago, so I am not asking for your sympathy. But over the years, Champlain Administration and their Board of Governors have fought hard to keep this story suppressed in order to protect the College's reputation. It has long been my suspicion that over the years, other young women have fallen victim to sexual assaults on campus, but the College has managed to hush these incidents.
If you would like more information on the details of the case and Champlain's involvement in the affair, please visit the website: www.whokilledtheresa.com
Also, if you experienced a sexual assault on campus or know anyone who had a similar experience in their time at Champlain, or if you have information that you feel may be relevant, I would ask that you contact
me at this email or through the website.
Finally, if you are in touch with other Champlain or Bishop's alumni I ask that you please pass this email on to them.
I thank you for your time, I'm sorry if I brought down your day, and I wish you a happy new year.
Still the damage had been done. And the response was swift and stinging:
My brother was the first to email me:
Can you drop by so I can take your temperature?
Then an alumni:
- M. Allore,
I do sympathise with your cause but could you please remove my e-mail address from your sending list.
I hope you will understand.
Still another alumni:
- What is this thing!
Please delete me from your sending list!
thank you very much!
The worst comes from a local college student.
She decides to write a letter to the editor of the local paper, but then she proceeds to copy my email at the end of her complaint. The Sherbrooke Record publishes the letter. The woman unwittingly distributes my plea to approx. 5,000 readers:
Insulted by insinuations against college
Recently I was sifting through my junk email when there was a title: Attention Champlain College Alumni. Assuming it was something for me I opened it up, and much to my surprise it was a warning about Champlain College and its 1978 involvement in the death of Theresa Allore.
The Record, The National Post and other newspapers have done articles on this case and I found no real incriminating evidence against Champlain College. I myself am insulted that Mr. Allore believes he can harass ex-Champlain students in hopes of coming to peace with the tragic and unsolved death of his sister. I am a little worried about his motives for spamming this message, and I hope that he has not caused any
problems for the school. I am saddened that this young woman was murdered and that the case is unsolved but I am confused as to why he is trying to scare off students from attending Champlain and Bishop's. I
trust in the police force and the staff at both institutions, to uphold the law in sticky situations.
As an ex-Champlain student and a present
Bishop's student, I see no connection between a 1978 murder and the law-abiding institutions they are today.
Bishop's University Student
Attached is the email I received from John Allore
I considered writing a letter back to the paper to defend myself, but then decided to let things lie.
She had her point. And I was being an intollerable pain-in-the-ass.
Sunday, January 11, 2004
Recent posting on Champlain College website:
JOB OPENINGS ON CAMPUS: CAMPUS DIRECTOR
Champlain Regional College is seeking the services of a DIRECTOR for CHAMPLAIN-LENNOXVILLE to work on a full-time permanent basis.
The Director's duties will include the following:
• Participate with other College Officers in the development, formulation and revision of College-wide objectives, plans, policies and procedures and establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure their realization and implementation at Champlain - Lennoxville.
• [bla, bla, bla, bla bla ]
• Represent and promote Champlain - Lennoxville in the local community and ensure that it is a partner in the socio-economic development of the community.
• Be a member of the Director General's Advisory Committee, attend meetings of the Executive Committee and report on activities at Champlain - Lennoxville at each meeting of the Board of Governors.
• Other tasks assigned by the Director General.
Education Graduate degree or equivalent years of schooling in an appropriate area of specialization.
Experience Eight (8) years relevant experience of which at least three (3) have been in a senior management position. Teaching experience at the post-secondary level will be considered an asset.
Other Effective communication skills in English and in French are required.
Candidates may be submitted to selection tests.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Monday , January 19, 2004
DATE OF POSTING: Friday, December 12, 2003
CLOSING DATE FOR
APPLICATIONS: Monday, January 5, 2004
Selection Committee for the Director - Champlain - Lennoxville
Attn: D Brisson
CHAMPLAIN REGIONAL COLLEGE
P.O. Box 5000
Sherbrooke ( Quebec ) J1H 5N1
January 5, 2004
Re: Application for position of Director / Champlain-Lennoxville
Dear Selection Commmittee:
Attached please find my resume that I wish to submit for the position of Director for Champlain Regional College - Lennoxville. Although my experience is primarily in Finance, I feel I possess critical skills and key experience that will prove to you I am more than qualified as a candidate for this position.
I have a twenty-five year history with Champlain College and the surrounding community of Lennoxville. As well, I maintain many strong relationships with the neighboring town of Sherbrooke, and have worked hard in the last two years at becoming bilingual. In addition I am on a first name basis with many of the current administration including my soon-to-be supervisor, Gerald Cuttting, Len Davis, and outgoing Director, Bertrand Daigneault. In fact, I believe I once met one of your first Campus Directors, Bill Matson, who once referred to my sister as a runaway-lesbian-druggy - which was his loving way of saying she wasn't worth looking for. Of course there is that recent matter of Bernie Daigneault accusing me of making "gratuitous, unfounded and untruthful attacks on (the School's) sterling reputation ", but I'm sure we can all put that behind us.
I have reviewed the Functions you have outlined for the incoming director; after reading my resume I'm sure you will agree I am ably qualified to carry out these duties. In addition, I know how much you value subterfuge; especially sweeping problems under the rug when they involve the affairs of pesky students. Although at present I do not possess these abilities, I will work hard under your tutelage to develop this special skill set.
Undoubtedly you will have a lot of questions, and most of those can be covered in the interview. Before we get to that, there is one request that I have for you.
If you would publicly apologize for your behavior with regard to the events surrounding the disappearance and murder of my sister, Theresa Allore, and admit that your comments and actions over the past 25 years - particularly your unfounded attempts to gratuitously
and untruthfully discredit her reputation - were base, hurtful and unwarranted; then I'm sure we can eliminate the interview and get right down to the drug screen and offer letter.
I thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to hearing from you
Saturday, January 10, 2004
FUNDING FOR WOMEN'S CENTRE
A year ago I wrote the following piece for a Quebec newspaper. It's about how a local university needed an adequately funded women's center.
I know, I know I shouldn't be recycling material, but here's the beauty of it: a year later and nothing's changed, Bishop's University still has a women's center run by student volunteers.
Besides, no one read the article anyway.
So here we go again...
Bishop's needs Women's Centre
Last fall I was contacted by a
Bishop's University student to assist in writing a story for the Campus newspaper about the death of my sister, Theresa Allore. The student had read about my sister - who had died while a student at Champlain College over twenty-four years ago - and she felt there were a lot of parallels between Theresa's story and activities on the campus today. Specifically in the areas of sexual assaults and date rapes; she suggested the schools still weren't doing enough to protect women. I wrote my story and that was the last I heard from the student. Until last week. She contacted me once more, and again asked for my assistance. This time it was personal. Recently, she herself had been date raped on campus. Could I help? I am only too happy to oblige.
This year is Bishop's 150th anniversary. Happy Birthday. In lieu of gifts, allow me to send a recommendation. As it is budget season again, I respectfully request that the school get with the times and pay for the funding of an adequately staffed Women's Centre. Campus women need a "safe house"; somewhere they can convene to deal with such problems as date rape, date rape drugs, sexual assault, or even just a relaxing place to grab a cup of coffee. Such a Centre should not be run by student volunteers; it must be operated with a paid staff who are trained professionally to handle these complex issues.
Currently there is no central location on campus where women can go to get assistance with sexual assault issues, and those services that are offered are inadequate. A nurse - more accustomed to dealing with sports injuries than rape - and the arcane tradition of providing a priest for consultation is not cutting it. School officials will counter that Bishop's has a Women's Centre funded by the Student Representative Council. This is not a women's Centre. It is a closet in the back of a building that received total funding of $405 from the SRC last year. I am told that a recent production of The Vagina Monologues was a successful fundraiser for the Centre. Oh great, and maybe if students hold a bake sale they can finally afford to buy themselves some pencils.
Do not ask your students to do the work of paid professionals. A women's Centre cannot operate on a student volunteer basis. In this area, Bishop's is hopelessly out of step with the rest of North America. The University of Chapel Hill where I live pays for two positions at their Centre. The University of Manitoba - pioneers in the field - also has paid staff. The University of Toronto practically has a Taj Mahal dedicated to the subject.
I ask Bishop's administration not to go-cheap on this issue. This is not just a "women's problem" it is an issue of safety, and the College must take ownership. Your young women students need to feel that the College administration supports them, that you take their concerns seriously. At its core a women's Centre needs a professional staff. Students can assist on a volunteer basis, but there must be some continuity from year to year. At least two positions are necessary; a health professional and an assistant. The health care professional would provide expertise in rape crisis response, date rape drugs - which are becoming alarmingly sophisticated - and other professional concerns. An administrative assistant could run the office, answer phones, provide weekend service (which currently is not available), and keep adequate records and documentation. If the expense is too much, get Champlain College to pony-up; they don't have a women's Centre either.
Violence against women is everybody's problem. Bishop's mandate is not solely education. You have a responsibility to the welfare of your membership. I urge the College to provide the funding that this project so desperately needs.
Friday, January 09, 2004
Bush Scooped by Waldo
Tell GW to halt the mission: Eric Muller over at Is That Legal? reveals some compelling evidence of life on Mars.
Thursday, January 08, 2004|
Monday, January 05, 2004
Oh look Karla Homolka's still in jail
In the interest of minimizing her press time, I will try to make this as brief as possible. Karla Homolka has been turned down - again - by Canadian's National Parole Board. In their recommendation the Board concluded that, "criminal elements of (Karla's) personality are still present."
After serving 10 years of a razor-slim 12 year sentence for her participation in the brutal murders of Kristen French and Leslie Malhaffy - in Canada this is called "manslaughter" - what did the parole board expect? That all that bad stuff would just go away?
Sunday, January 04, 2004
I cannot read this book
One of my favorite children's authors is William Steig. Zeke Pippin is flat out funny. Dr. DeSoto and Dr. DeSoto Goes To Africa should be required reading in every dentist's office in the country. Unfortunately I cannot speak favorably of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.
I bought Sylvester and the Magic Pebble as a Christmas present for my daughters. I had never read it. Later I learned it was voted one of the top 100 books of the century. I must be the last person on the planet that hasn't heard of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Last night before bed we read it. I almost couldn't finish.
You see the book is about this family of donkeys, and one day the donkey "child" doesn't come home. (I know it sounds silly, but stay with me) So the mother and father donkey search everywhere, but they can't find their baby. They ask friends, but no one's seen their donkey. After a year, they give up. Heartbroken, they stop searching for their lost donkey.
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is a wonderful book. I can't read it. It's too close to home. At the end of that first day when the sun goes down and their baby donkey is still missing, I almost started to cry thinking about that poor mother and father grieving for their little one - Embarrassing, I'm welling-up over a cartoon donkey.
I really think someone should have warned me. "Hey, John, that book with the donkey and the pebble? Not for you. Read something else." And I wonder what
is so upsetting. Losing my sister? The thought of losing my children? Surely we all share these fears. I'm not the only guy who's shed a tear for Sylvester.
I should say that the story works out in the end. The donkeys are reunited and everybody winds up safe inside their home (that's where the magic pebble comes in). Still, I'm really flummoxed. How could the evening go sour by something so simple as ready a bedtime story?
Saturday, January 03, 2004
More Meat - Pig Producers Cry Foul
From a 2003 year-in-review in The Gazette. Apparently British Columbia Pork Producers are upset with alleged serial killer Robert Pickton's moniker as the "pig farmer" from Port Coquitlam. An industry spokesman says, "The pork industry is disheartened when the story is labeled as the Pickton Pig Farm.... Robert Pickton never registered as a pig farmer with B.C. Pork. In fact, he had more sheep on his property than he had pigs ... Please help us by just telling the story of Robert Pickton, and not associating him with pig farming."
Common Canada - Put Pork on your Fork.
I make one offhand remark about a card game and all hell breaks loose. 19 comments and counting about celebrity poker... the topic wasn't exactly the thrust of this here blog.
Oh, yeah, the Rammoli thing... that was a joke. There's no Celebrity Rummoli in Canada. Sorry to disappoint.
Ok enough of this business, let's get back to work.
Friday, January 02, 2004
CANADA TO AIR CELEBRITY RUMMOLI
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - In response to the recent popularity of Celebrity Poker, Canada's CTV Network will air Celebrity Rummoli . Hosted by Jim Perry, the show will feature some of the "hottest" names in Canadian entertainment. First round stars to include comedian Red Green , news anchor Lloyd Robertson and the Right Honorable Adrienne Clarkson
An article in the Chapel Hill paper about the police posting crime stats on their website to aid parents in selecting off campus housing for their children. Do other police forces offer similar services?
Violence and Canadian Universities
Each year Maclean's magazine publishes its rankings of Canadian universities. Their criteria for measuring excellence is largely based on test scores and funding capacities. Maclean's never measures an academic institution's record on safety and security. Issues of campus violence never enter into the equation. My question is, shouldn't they? Isn't the quality of life on campus equally important as the quality of education?
Listen to the following story and see if it sets off any alarms. In 1986, a female student is tortured, raped, sodomized and murdered in her dormitory room by a fellow student. The killer is a known substance abuser and gained access to the dormitory by proceeding, unopposed, through three propped-open doors. In the aftermath, school officials engage in a campaign of "callousness, cover-ups and stonewalling". The institution calls the murder an "aberration" and, in an attempt to protect it's image, produces a self-serving report concluding no negligence on the part of the school, and that all safety policies were complete. This, despite the school's prior knowledge of violent crimes on campus and 181 formal complaints about propped-open doors.
Sound familiar? Indeed it does, up to this point; but then the story diverges. The victim is Jeanne Clery, an American student, and her parents, Connie and Howard Clery, sued Lehigh University in Pennsylvania for unilaterally absolving itself of blame in the young girl's death. Less than two years later, Lehigh settled the suit - and they went one step further; they agreed to make material changes to security operations on campus. Rather than letting the situation fester, Lehigh became proponents for change. Lehigh now posts the campuses full crime statistics on their web site. Their campus security consists of sworn police officers. There is even access to a sex offender database online to see if any faculty or staff have been guilty of sex crimes in the past. Lehigh went from being goats to becoming leaders in student safety and security. Not that they had any choice in the matter. Much of this change was forced on them through acts of legislation, spearheaded by the Clerys.
In 1990, the United States Congress passed the Jeanne Clery Act, the first in several pieces of Federal legislation designed to protect student interests in security and safety. The Jeanne Clery Act - also known as the Campus Security Act - requires all American universities to disclose annual information about campus crime and security policies; including three years worth of crime statistics, sexual assault policies, and the law enforcement authority of campus police. The information must be disclosed to both the students and the public. Violators can be fined up to $25,000. Subsequent Acts included the Buckley Amendment, making campus police records non confidential; A Campus Sexual Assault Victims' Bill of Rights, forcing schools to have policies in place to address sexual assaults; The Foley Amendment, which forces schools to disclose information about any student found guilty of a crime of violence or sexual offence; An Amendment to the original Clery Act forcing schools to disclose off-campus, but campus related acts of aggression; and the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, forcing schools to disclose information about employees who are registered sex offenders.
Statistics show that these measures are important and necessary. In 1987, the year after Jeanne Cleary was murdered there were 31 murders, 1,500 armed robberies, and 13,000 physical assaults reported on American college campuses nationwide. These are incidents reported even before legislation required these statistics to be disclosed. Recently, the U.S. House of representatives reported that thirty-eight percent of American college women questioned had either been raped or were victims of felony sexual assaults.
In Canada there is no Federal legislation to protect the rights of campus women. Canadian universities are not required to disclose campus crime statistics. Without statistics there is no criteria for evaluating one school's safety record versus another. Without federal requirements, Canadian Universities are free to make up there own statistics. In the year 2000, the University of Toronto - with a bulging population of 69,000 students and staff - voluntarily recorded three robberies on all of its campuses. With no one watching them, how many crimes would you expect U of T to report?
It is an exercise in frustration trying to find uniform and measurable statistics on campus crimes at Canadian universities. When asked, several women's rights organizations in Canada seemed perplexed that the question was even being asked. Why was this a priority? Some, like Educational Wife Assault in Toronto were surprised that there were no such data available. Others, like White Ribbon, felt confident that the Toronto Rape Crisis Center would have the information. They didn't. And still others implied that they had the information, but wouldn't release it for "political" reasons. In a request to the Vancouver Rape Relief & Women's Shelter, the Shelter accidentally forwarded an email to me that was intended for a supervisor. It referred to me as "that guy whose sister went missing", and read, "Let me know if you want me to respond to this man - I can send a response asking why he is particularly interested before we decide whether you should reply directly." It's been close to a year. I"m still waiting for their response.
Just as there is no Federal legislation - no Canadian campus security act - there are no uniform measures requiring Canadian Universities to establish like policies for security and safety specific to campus related issues. Universities are generally advised to follow the guidelines of the Federal or Provincial Charter of Rights - but these rules are too broad and don't address specific issues relevant to student concerns.
Federal direction is desperately needed. A 1995 Ontario Women's Directorate study showed that four out of five female undergraduates said they had been victims of violence in a dating relationship. In the same study on the subject of date rape, sixty percent of Canadian college-aged males indicated they would commit sexual assault if they knew they could get away with it.
Not that everything is rosy in the US. Many American universities fudge the numbers, or blatantly fail to accurately report campus crimes. In 1996, the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina in Lumberton bragged to the press that there had been no crime on his campus for three years. The director of Lumberton's Rape Crisis Center soon set the record straight; there had been at least three rapes on campus - they had been reported to campus police and administrators, but mysteriously were dropped from UNC Lumberton's annual statistics. In 1994 UNC Chapel Hill student, Wendell Williamson, went on a shooting rampage in downtown Chapel Hill, killing two people, one of them a UNC undergraduate. Many stray bullets crossed the street onto the UNC campus, but the shooting was dropped from statistics and no homicides were reported that year.
The enforcement wing of the American Campus Security Act, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), has also come under fire for failing to impose fines on schools that violate the Act. Under the intense scrutiny of several American watchdog groups, enforcement has been beefed up. In February 2003, two residence supervisors at Morehead State University in Kentucky were criminally charged for failing to report a gang rape in the campus dormitory. On March 5th, 2003 Security On Campus, Inc. called on the DOE to impose a $2.3 million fine on Salem International University for failure to report 84 serious campus crimes between 1997 and 1999. Currently there are legal actions pending for campus violations against 13 American Universities including Clemson, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California system.
Canadian universities have cited problems with the American Campus Crime Act as justification for not having similar requirements in Canada. "Crime statistics are very easy to toss around - but they don't put into context the criminal behaviour." Says Rosemary Gartner of the University of Toronto. Really. Three murders and six forcible rapes at the University of Arizona in 2002 - that is the only context I need to know that my children will not be attending college in that state. Similarly, Louise Fish, president of the Ontario Association of College and University Security Administrators has stated that, "Universities are very autonomous. Any legislation like that erodes that autonomy", as if autonomy was the benchmark for academic excellence. But, should universities be left to their own devices to make up their own rules? There is a stewardship implicit in the relationship between parent and student, and scholastic institution. In order to gain the public's trust, institutions should at the least be expected to follow a set of guidelines and measures that can assure us that they are capable of performing their fiduciary obligations.
If Canada had a campus crime act, Champlain College in Lennoxville, Quebec would have been forced to disclose the two severe assaults that happened on campus in 2001. Because there are no such requirements, only lawyers and administrators were aware of these two incidents; one of which involved a female student who was allegedly hit on the back of the head by an assailant with a shovel while two teachers sat passively sipping coffee in a nearby office.
Some Canadian schools do better than others. The University of Toronto, the University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia manage to post some crime stats on their websites. Similar to Lehigh, UBC has an RCMP detachment on their main campus.
In the spring of 1979, when my sister's body turned up within a mile of the Compton residence in the Quebec Eastern Townships, School administrators defended themselves claiming there was no history of violence in the area to prepare themselves for such an event. The facts clearly demonstrate that this wasn't true; there had been a pattern of violence for years. What would administrators say today? To be sure, most students - for that matter, most Canadians - are unaware of the 2001 murder of Julie Boisvenu in Sherbrooke, or the disappearance of Julie Bureau from nearby Coaticook in 2000. Students rarely read local newspapers such as the Sherbrooke Record or La Tribune. They are unaware of the 56-year-old repeat offender arrested 40 miles away in Granby for sexually assaulting a victim at gunpoint. They probably have little knowledge of the man from nearby Magog who was arrested for sexually assaulting his daughter who was dying of cancer, or of the 50-year-old man apprehended nextdoor in Sherbrooke for sexually molesting an eight-year-old victim, or of the teacher from Thetford Mines arrested for fondling fourteen-year-old students. With so much violence again on the radar screen, what are school officials doing to prepare students for a tragedy comparable to the events of 1978?
The latest statistics on campus crime show that violent crime is on the rise in universities across America. Between 1999 and 2000 the number of murders on campus nearly doubled from 11 to 20 reported incidents. Experts believe the increases have less to do with worsening crime, and may be attributed to better reporting and tougher enforcement on campuses. Without a system in place, there is no way of knowing whether a similar trend may be taking place in Canada. Most likely the Canadian trend is similar. Crime statistics in Canada tend to mirror those in the States, though with allowances being taken for economies of scale.
Recently, I voiced some of these concerns to a victims advocate in Ottawa. There response was, how do you know there's campus violence problem in Canada? Well, if no one's monitoring the situation, how do you know there isn't? Can we afford not to know? I would find it relieving if someone would tell me which Universities are the safest in Canada, and which need improvement. Perhaps for their 2004 Fall report Maclean's might want to start reviewing some university safety audits and report back on who's making the grade with campus security at Canadian universities.
Thursday, January 01, 2004
But I Digress...
An article in today's Montreal Gazette suggests pathological gamblers are prone to suicide. If they're talking about poker, the only thing more despairing than playing the game is being forced to watch others play it. Ever been invited to a party only to find it's really a poker circle and you're the only one that doesn't play? How much does that suck. You're forced to sit in the corner and pretend like you're caught up in the enthusiasm.
Which brings me to the latest television trend - Celebrity Poker. Whose idea was this? What could be duller than watching guys play poker? Watching guys play poker ON TV! And what's worse, they're "celebrities". Do I really want to watch the cast of The West Wing locked in a grueling hand of Texas Hold'um?
THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME.
For laughs, I'll tell you what to do. When the final showdown airs on January 13th, make like you're Stella to Richard Schiff's Stanley (the big gorilla). Go to the kitchen and make the fellas a plate of sandwiches. Set the plate down in front of the television for the boys to enjoy. They'll ignore you and act like you're not in the room ('cause you're not; you're in your livingroom and they're ON TELEVISION). Sit in the corner and sulk.
See, it's just like the crappiest party you've ever attended!