October 7, 2021
The Army Cadet League (ACL), the longest-running federal youth program, is named in a $5 million lawsuit alleging it employed a pedophile, says Blacklock’s Reporter.
“It implemented and maintained a system which was designed to cover up the existence of such behaviour if such behaviour was ever reported, and it failed to protect the plaintiff,” lawyers wrote in a claim filed in Ontario Superior Court.
The allegations are unproven.
Canadian courts have convicted and sentenced ACL instructors for sexual interference in the past, but dismissed civil claims by victims.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in 2018 rejected a civil claim involving a 13-year old schoolgirl after concluding sexual misconduct by a volunteer “was initiated and conducted outside the facility used by the cadets.”
In the Ontario case, a former Sudbury cadet alleges as a 13-year old boy he was repeatedly molested by a male officer. The allegations date from 1973.
Lawyers wrote the ACL failed to conduct background checks at the time and had no system to investigate allegations of child abuse.
“It denied the existence or alternatively was willfully blind to the existence of the behaviour,” read the Statement Of Claim.
The defence department said it currently screens volunteers and officers in the cadet program.