“This is a really bad deal,” former Orphanage resident says

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Roch Longueepee

A recent settlement that put an end to a decade-long legal battle wasn’t in the best interest of the people who claimed abuse at the P.E.I. Protestant Orphanage, says a former resident.

Roch Longueépée, who was not involved in the lawsuit but had two brothers who were, said the settlement sends the wrong message to the community and the victims.

“This is a really bad deal,” he said.

On Friday, P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice Wayne Cheverie signed a settlement order that will see the 57 plaintiffs in the case get $486,400 from the province and the P.E.I. Protestant Children’s Trust. Cheverie also signed an order that sealed the records in the case.

For its part, the province paid $250,000 toward the settlement, while the P.E.I. Protestant Children’s Trust paid $236,400.

Records filed with the Canada Revenue Agency show the trust’s assets have been shrinking in recent years and have dropped from $1.17 million in 2008 to $706,323 in 2012.

The orphanage in Mount Herbert was founded in 1907, moved to a new building in 1922 and closed in 1975.

But over the years, many former residents came forward with allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the orphanage.

“As long as the province doesn’t acknowledge the wrong that was done in this case we’ll be at risk of placing our children in the system now at risk as well,” Roch Longueépée

Longueépée was one of those residents.

When the settlement was announced, it was done in the form of a news release that said it came without any admission of liability by any party.

With the lawsuit over, Longueépée said he would have liked to have seen an apology to former residents.

“That was the least I expected,” he said.

Longueépée said he would also like to see a memorial to all the victims and wants the province to take steps to ensure what happened at the orphanage doesn’t happen again.

“As long as the province doesn’t acknowledge the wrong that was done in this case we’ll be at risk of placing our children in the system now at risk as well,” he said.

The lawyers who represented the victims didn’t serve their clients because they should have kept the case going, Longueépée said.

“I think it’s a really sad turn of events.”

 

 

 

 

Organizations: Canada Revenue Agency

Geographic location: P.E.I. Protestant Children, Mount Herbert

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Recent comments

  • James Petrie
    January 16, 2013 - 21:50

    Can you improve on how your government treats its citizens? Your government OWNERS have two buckets for the gravy. One has an L on it and the other has a C on it. One is always full of gravy. When there is a change of government the gravy is poured from one bucket to the next without the loss of one drop. You have the power to abandon both buckets, so do it. That is your first step. Don't ever vote Liberal or Conservative. Look to build new parties and don't vote for the mainline parties.

  • kim rogers
    December 20, 2012 - 08:29

    my heart goes out to you all I know the money isn't important.and I hope one day you may have peace loseing ones innocence at such a tender age is so unfair.I think the settlement was a quick fix if it could be undone I would undo if I had a choice and keep fighting government .always get what it wants and doesn't care about loss and pain

  • James Petrie
    December 19, 2012 - 07:44

    I agree with Mr. Longueépée on every point, but one, and that is, the value he puts on his evidence. The documentation that he collected pertained mostly to him and his brother, and it provided nothing that would have proven child abuse occurred in the orphanage. The audio and video recorded interviews that I collected during my investigation, of the defense and the victims, would have proven, without any doubt, that abuse happened in the Mount Herbert Orphanage. If the government of PEI allowed my evidence to play out in court, PEI would not have recovered from many years to come. The tourist industry would have become nonexistent. My heart is heavy for all the victims, including Mr. Longueépée. Considering what was on the line, there should have been a deal where every victim was financially sound for the rest of their lives. The victims are left with little as they cannot compete like you and I because of the damage from child abuse. I know the citizens of PEI, and they are good. It really comes down to the “Powers that Be” on your island: They are guilty and continue to abuse the citizens with PNP like deals for themselves and this will be your future unless you remove them; they are your mainline political parties.

    • Roch Longueepee
      December 19, 2012 - 11:03

      @ James Petrie, James, we will agree to disagree. I collected evidence on just more than me and my brother's case. I have copies of all the records and evidence I collected. As noted if anyone wants to dispute this they can contact our lead counsel Mr. Richard Bureau, | Morris Bureau Barristers & Solicitors O: 902.454.8070 | D: 902.454.8519| F: 902.454.7070, 6080 Young Street | Suite 307 | Halifax | Nova Scotia | B3K 5L2

  • John Swales
    December 18, 2012 - 17:32

    @ The Facilitator I disagree with you armchair lawyer comments. The amount agreed upon would barely be reasonable for one plaintiff. The defendants need one good lawsuit to rattle them and their insurers.

  • mej
    December 18, 2012 - 09:44

    Can you just imagine if these things were to happen in today's society. We would be screaming at government to investigate and hold responsible any workers who were accused of wrong-doing. These children had noone to help them and the perps were being let away with things by others turning a blind eye. As a society we must protect the innocent not the guilty and bring to justice those who did wrong. To not have an apology or at the very least, an aknowledgement that somewhere, the system failed these children would at least give some closure.

  • Disgusted
    December 18, 2012 - 08:57

    These people in the lawsuit have been victimized once again, first as helpless children and now again as adults. It's bad enough they suffered at the hands of the provice, but to fight 12 years for justice only to have their names plastered all over the media for a measley settlement WITHOUT so much as an apology is absolutely disgusting. Shame on them! And shame on the Guardian for displaying all their names for the public to see!!!

  • The Facilitator
    December 18, 2012 - 08:46

    In order to determine if indeed individuals were assaulted , sexually or otherwise. the matter would have had to go to court and each case subjected to the judicial process where the evidence is weighed and a determination made by the courts, based on the evidence. If the alleged actions were crimina,l it would have to be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt". If it was a civil matter, it would have to be proven "on the balance of pobability." As this did not happen, it makes sense that there is no admission of guilt as those that were involved in constructing this settlement were not witnesses to the events and therefore are not in a position to determine of the events alleged, actually happened. Given this reality, the settlement, im my view, is reasonable.

    • Roch Longueepee
      December 18, 2012 - 10:20

      Your comments are out of touch. There was plenty of evidence to prove these assaults took place. I should know, I collected the evidence. The first issue with the criminal justice system is this, the defendants in this case (aside from the trust) is the PEI Government. The police are required by statute to report their findings to provincial government. The Provincial government also controls the courts and legal system. Given they are the defendants in this case, it is a little absurd to think there would be any real unbiased result. Also in most cases there are apologies and admissions of guilt. The settlement here is far from the norm in these cases. In fact, this is the most extreme case of denial and adversarial response in a 'settlement' I have ever seen. This is a slap in the face. This was a civil case, it never went to trial to be challenged on the specific charges. I would have welcomed this. The province and trust did what most do in lawsuits, play it out long enough until claimants dies off, and settle for pennies. Taxpayers have a lot to lose in this when one considers the long term social and economic consequences of child abuse. The alternative is even more damaged children developing into dysfunctional adults whose lives can be plagued with homelessness, substance abuse, mental health and relationship problems, criminal behaviour and premature deaths often from suicide. Now tell me again how you think this is a 'fair settlement'? It seems to me victims and islanders alike got a bad deal here.

  • Sickened
    December 18, 2012 - 08:35

    I am absolutely appalled and sickened by these heartless comments made. It blows my mind how anyone could say these things about children that have been molested. Unbelievable.

  • Peiguy
    December 18, 2012 - 08:12

    I don't think handing out money will fix anything, criminal charges would. I expect that many of the victims will feel good knowing that now the Protestant fund that does a huge amount of good for today's community with that money have a lot less to use now. Were peoples lives ruined ? That's a harsh statement . Doubt all that have their handout will be honestly able to say that theirs was ruined. I did not do anything to these people so why are we ...taxpayer on the hook? Perhaps the orphanage staff , govt officials responsible for the oversight at the time should be held accountable for the costs.

  • Michael Le Clair
    December 18, 2012 - 07:51

    At no time does this young man mention money. He does share that there needs to be an acceptance of responsibility and an apology for the great wrongs done to these children in an organization whose purpose was supposedly Christian and in the best interest of the children. The settlement does not show those who were responsible for these grievous atrocities have in any way accepted moral and ethical responsibility. Thus an unacceptable 'settlement', there are many things money can simply not buy.

  • Islander for Victims of Abuse
    December 18, 2012 - 06:33

    Thank You Paul for your comments about Jeff, these comments are totally uncalled for in this situation. These victims have been further victimized and the molesters walk free if not presently deceased. I am hoping Jeff reconciders what he is saying and makes a retraction.

  • wdtony
    December 18, 2012 - 00:40

    That works out to roughly 8,500 dollars per person if my arithmetic is correct. It's not worth a life of emotional scars but at least it is a win. In some cases, the guilty go free and the victims receive nothing. I am still upset that there was not a public apology, that is something that almost never happens in these cases. Thanks to Mr. Longueepee for voicing what so many victims of these crimes must feel.

  • Roch Longueepe
    December 18, 2012 - 00:02

    I am noting a few comments here, which are largely born of ignorance and small-minded people. This was never about money, and rarely is there ever much seen for the victims in most of these cases. Monetary values in lawsuits are equated by the stature and financial worth of a person. Take for example the case of Maher Arar, who was detained and tortured for one year. He sued the federal government and was awarded 12 million dollars. I have never seen an institutional child abuse matter ever award that much to any one individual, in any case. In fact, the largest pay out was over six hundred thousand dollars. In that case it was quite clear the many years of abuse to the victim was so profound that he was chronically unemployed, lived in chronic poverty, uneducated, and was never able to achieve any meaningful relationships with others, especially family. Unless you have lived in an institution where you were deprived, physically beaten, locked up, sexually abused and psychologically devalued as a human being, you should think more carefully about what you say here. This case was about an apology from those responsible, and change for future generations of children who would come after all of us. Compensation in whatever form was never expected to be significant.

  • J. Shackleton
    December 17, 2012 - 23:32

    My heart goes out to the survivors.

  • ignorant clowns
    December 17, 2012 - 23:19

    I'm absolutely amazed by some of these comments with regard to this settlement. Anybody who has researched the history on this case knows that it included regular sexual abuse, rape and other paedophilic acts on innocent children younger than 10 years old. Many of which arrived at the orphanage within days after being born. As if that is some fault of their own. If you think $8,500 per person is sufficient to compensate for that type of suffering go ahead and sell one of your kids to a pederast ring for $8,500 and see how you feel about it. The province has wasted enough money on countless other endeavours revolving a patronage. These people deserve more.

  • intobed
    December 17, 2012 - 20:42

    I wonder how much money the government spent over the years raising the orphans. How many of the children went on to have a better life than they would have had otherwise? Look at the situations they were coming from, would our society be better off if they stayed in that type of home life?

    • Marie
      December 18, 2012 - 08:40

      To ANY IDIOT who can justify ONE child being abused because others got better care, or the abuse was better than the abuse at home, is the biggest idiot I have ever read. Child abuse....physical or mental IS SOOOO WRONG on any level. THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR ABUSING AN INNOCENT CHILD !!! Nor will money change anything. An apology doesn't do much either except that someone is finally acknowledging what was done. You made my blood boil with your stupid statement.

  • I AM SO ASHAMED
    December 17, 2012 - 20:15

    Justice Cheverie, who I admire with respect to his legal knowledge, has undoubtedly reached a decision which is fair under the terms of reference with which he had to deal. However, all Islanders should recognise the additional abuse which has taken place at this stage of the story. Please, PLEASE, identify the legal representatives for each party...and thus the truth will be known.

  • don
    December 17, 2012 - 20:03

    so it boils down to money that cures all LOL. how many billions would you all want a billion each? crap the people said sorry.

  • AMAZED
    December 17, 2012 - 19:39

    No surprise here,welcome to justice on our Gentle Island.Lawyers put more in their pockets than the abused party ever sees.

  • Concerned for Victims and their families
    December 17, 2012 - 19:31

    Well said Mr Longueepee, this back room lawyers dealing and looking after a settlement for them stammped by the Judge has got to be the lowest of the lowest. Can one just imaging fifty seven victims, no Criminal charges and the molesters are either deceased or still living and gettinf off with these horific crimes. Names these victims is wrong, what should be released here are the defendants, the money each lawyer got and by what means, than we will all see who they were really looking out for. They at no stage wanted the Government exposed or whoever else was in charge of that place over a number of years. I ask why not, to releases victims names with this small amount of compensation and admitting no liability is a disgrace, what is need here is a full blown inquiry, than watch the Judge and his lawyer frinds disappear. I do hope the victims and their failies find some peace in this but I don't think this will do anything to help them, this is embarrassing to PEI and any other Province to read about such abuse over such a long time and noone held accountable. Get a new lawyer from off Island and forge ahead if you have any strength left, these crooks should be all held accountable, charged, disbarred, removed or whatever. For what it is worth there is alot of people who are feeling terrible about this mockery of our Justice system.

  • Jeff
    December 17, 2012 - 19:19

    Get the violins out. If these people are not happy with their settlement, they should give the money back. Let it be given to someone who will appreciate it.

    • paul
      December 17, 2012 - 21:44

      Hey Jeff unless u were there u should keep your thoughts to your self..I have heard first hand what happened there and it was not very nice maybe u should know what u are talking about before u start running your lips off these peoples lives were ruined they never had a chance right from the gate must of then ended up on welfare cause they never had a chance and the ones that were on welfare will never see a cent of that money cause welfair will take it dollar for dollar where's the justice no one took blame or even said they were sorry for ruining peoples lives so Jeff my words to you is shut up cause u don't have a clue