The group deplores the lack of sensitivity of the government towards them, by dragging out the legal proceedings initiated to obtain compensation. Its members have initiated a class action against the Sisters of Charity of Quebec, for the abuse they allegedly endured over the period from 1925 to 1996.

I personally have 20 years of therapy, still today I am in therapy. It took years before I could recover. »

A quote from Jean Simard, spokesperson for the victims

The 60-year-old spent less than a year in Mont d’Youville, but he says the violence he suffered there, and the one he witnessed, marked him forever.

He claims to have tried several times to communicate with both Minister Jolin-Barrette and Prime Minister François Legault. He criticizes them for not even deigning to send him an acknowledgment of receipt.

Quebec in the dock

He does not spare his words to speak of the Legault government, which he accuses of stooping to the level of their executioners, also actively defending them. They are fighting with spite and contempt against the victims.

The Superior Court has authorized a class action regarding assaults that allegedly occurred at the orphanage in 2020. Given the history of the establishment, the lawsuit targets both the Integrated University Health and Social Services Center (CIUSSS ) of the Capitale-Nationale, the government and the Sisters of Charity.

In the wake of the movement to secularize public services, the Mont d’Youville orphanage found itself under the responsibility of the Quebec state in the early 1970s. Lay people came to lend a hand to the nuns who, little gradually withdrew from the management of the establishment.

Physical and sexual abuse allegedly took place at the hands of secular and religious workers, according to the complainants. The establishment is now part of the CIUSSS of the Capitale-Nationale, and the Sisters of Charity no longer participate in the activities of the orphanage since 1996.

Lengthy procedures

We are dealing with a real judicial guerrilla, says one of the four lawyers for the alleged victims, Jean-Daniel Quessy. In particular, he wants proof of this by the fact that after years of proceedings, no defense has yet been presented.

Jean Simard, spokesperson for the victims.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Hadi Hassin

They base their defense on procedural elements or ancillary issues, he said. Paradoxically, the slowness of the process gave time for several potential victims to come forward.

This is why Jean Simard intends to go to the National Assembly with those who, like him, swear to have lived a real nightmare.

Me, if I’m going to wear children’s shoes in parliament, it’s to remind everyone that there it’s almost 600 adults in front of them, but at the start, it was 600 children who were attacked. »

A quote from Jean Simard, spokesperson for the victims

Minister refuses to intervene

Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette has no intention of interfering or commenting on the ongoing legal process.

It is up to the judges to ensure the smooth running of the proceedings in their courtroomexplains the minister’s attaché, Élisabeth Gosselin.

However, she adds that the government is very sensitive to the difficulties that victims say they experiencebut that it is a case that primarily concerns the CIUSSS and congregations.

No precise amount has yet been established for the class action, especially since the cause seems to be growing ever larger. In this context, Me Quessy mentions an amount in damages that could exceed one hundred million dollars.

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