Known Sexual Abusers from Mount Cashel Were Sent to Teach in Vancouver Schools, Lawsuit Reveals
CFM Lawyers Press Release
February 8, 2021
VANCOUVER, BC, Feb. 8, 2021 /CNW/ - Following years of systemic child abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage, senior members of the Christian Brothers Congregation shuffled six known abusers to teach at two Catholic schools in Vancouver where some of them continued to abuse the boys in their care, according to a class action lawsuit filed today by one of the survivors.
"The abuses at the hands of the Christian Brothers at Mount Cashel are well-known," said Joe Fiorante, QC a partner at CFM Lawyers, the law firm bringing the lawsuit. "But the abuse continued in Vancouver because rather than dealing with the perpetrators, the Christian Brothers simply moved them across the country to teach at schools in Vancouver."
Between 1976 and 1983, six known abusers were transferred from the Mount Cashel Orphanage in Newfoundland to Vancouver College and St. Thomas More Collegiate with the knowledge and approval of senior officials in the Christian Brothers, who were also directors at the schools.
An RCMP investigation into alleged child abuse at Mount Cashel began in 1975 and led to confessions from two Brothers, including one who was later sent to teach in Vancouver. In the 1980s and 1990s, criminal charges for abuse at Mount Cashel were brought against all six Brothers transferred to the Vancouver area. All six were convicted of sexually or physically abusing orphans in their care at Mount Cashel.
"Following confirmed incidents of child abuse, the officials involved acted not to protect children in their care, but instead to protect the abusers from criminal charges by moving them out of Newfoundland to teach at schools where they would have direct access to and authority over young boys," said Fiorante.
The plaintiff representing the class attended Vancouver College from 1980 to 1985, for grades 8-12. While attending the school, the plaintiff was sexually abused by a member of the Christian Brothers, Brother Edward English. Edward English had confessed to sexual abuse years earlier at Mount Cashel, before his transfer to Vancouver College. He also taught at St. Thomas More Collegiate.
In 1991, Brother Edward English was convicted on multiple charges of sexual and physical abuse stemming from his time at Mount Cashel and subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The suit has been filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against a number of defendants including:
Vancouver College Limited
St. Thomas More Collegiate Limited
Brother Edward English
Senior officials of the Christian Brothers
The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John's
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver
The Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese.
Survivors of sexual assault in the Vancouver area can contact Tapestry Counselling Centre for counselling services, and the Vancouver chapter of SNAP- the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests for support and further resources.
Students at Vancouver College or St. Thomas More who are survivors of physical or sexual abuse, or those who have relevant information are asked to contact CFM Lawyers at 604 689 7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org