Alaska Highway News [Fort St. John BC]
September 13, 2023
By Jeremy Hainsworth
The man alleges the late Father Joseph Eduouard Donat Boisvert groomed and abused him from 1958 to 1960 at St. Michael’s Chapel in Calgary where he was an altar boy.
A Surrey man has filed a lawsuit against the federal Catholic military authorities and the government and the Roman Catholic Church in Calgary, alleging sexual abuse by a priest of officer rank.
“The plaintiff is now 73 years old,” said the B.C. Supreme Court notice of civil claim filed Sept. 7 by lawyer Sandra Kovacs on behalf of her client, known only as R.C. in the claim.
“He is retired and financially stable,” the claim said. “He brings this action for the purpose of seeking truth, validation, accountability, system change, healing and justice.”
The case is about the alleged historical grooming and sexual abuse by Father Joseph Eduouard Donat Boisvert against R.C., the claim said.
The suit names the Estate of Boisvert, The Roman Catholic Bishop of Nicolet, The Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary, The Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate of Canada, The Most Reverend Scott McCaig, Michel Dion and the Attorney General of Canada.
R.C. was born in Ottawa in 1950 and was adopted; his mom informed him of the adoption at about age five, the claim said.
Between 1957 and 1961, the family lived in military quarters in RCAF Station Lincoln Park in Calgary where Boisvert was a military chaplain with the rank of flight lieutenant.
The lawsuit said Boisvert was involuntarily removed from Royal Canadian Air Force active service in 1968. A year later he returned to the Diocese of Nicolet in Quebec where he was earlier ordained.
Boisvert died in 2000, the claim said.
From 1958 to 1960, Boisvert served as the priest at St. Michael’s Chapel in Calgary where R.C. was an altar boy. The claim alleges this is when the grooming and abuse began.
The claim alleges it was in the summer of 1960 that Boisvert fondled R.C. while he changed into his cassock.
The suit further asserts R.C. reported the events in 2019 as other such cases came to light.
While officials met with him, R.C. said he was told no further action would be taken as Boisvert was dead. He claims this revictimized him.
R.C. seeks non-pecuniary, punitive, aggravated and special damages and compensation for past and future earning capacity.
Only the Department of Defence responded to Glacier Media’s request for comment.
“We are aware of this issue,” a statement said. “However, we do not comment on matters subject to legal action