Minister Continues Work at Drop-in Centre Despite Allegations of Sexual Abuse

By Globe and Mail
Scott Sutherland

November 13, 2008

VICTORIA - A high-profile United Church minister says he's continuing to work at a drop-in centre in Victoria but has been told by his lawyer not to comment on a second allegation of sexual abuse in Ontario.

Al Tysick, 63, known to street people and politicians in British Columbia's capital as Reverend Al, works at Our Place, a multimillion-dollar facility that provides housing, training and food for the homeless and disadvantaged.

"No comment," he said, when asked about the sexual-abuse allegation.

"It's with lawyers and it'll end up in court and that's what I'm advised to say by lawyers, so that's what I have to say," said Mr. Tysick, who is continuing to work at the centre as executive director.

Mr. Tysick was on Time magazine's list of Canadian heroes in 2006, the same year he was recognized with an award from the chancellor of Royal Roads University for his work with the homeless. He confirmed he was served Tuesday in a $2.1-million lawsuit filed in the Ontario Superior Court by a Carleton University English professor. Collett Tracey, 45, alleges Tysick took sexual advantage of her after she joined a youth group he led at Ottawa's Woodroffe United Church in 1978.

Ms. Tracey's lawyer, Joseph Griffiths, said Mr. Tysick was not fully ordained in the church at the time.

Mr. Griffiths also represents Jean Perkins, 46, who filed a $1-million sexual abuse lawsuit in the same Ontario court against Mr. Tysick in March, 2007. The Perkins case dates back to the early 1990s, when she was counselled by Mr. Tysick at a resource centre in Eastern Ontario where she also worked.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.