Former Supreme Court Judge Michel Bastarache is heading a conciliation process for victims of sexual abuse in the Moncton archdiocese. Register file photo

Judge to oversee Moncton conciliation

  • June 14, 2012

Former Supreme Court Judge Michel Bastarache plans to wrap up a conciliation process with sexual abuse victims in the archdiocese of Moncton within a year.

Bastarache has been tapped by Archbishop André Richard to meet with victims of Fr. Camille Léger and award monetary settlements of $15,000 to $300,000. The archdiocese has also been offering counselling to victims through the Beauséjour Family Crisis Centre since April.

Working through Bastarache, the process will be independent of the diocesan administration and will maintain anonymity for those victims who don’t want their names publicly associated with Leger’s sexual abuse. Bastarache will also cut the lawyers, legal fees and lengthy court process from the equation.

“This process is meant to be non-confrontational, and as simple and expeditious as possible,” said Bastarache in a press release.

Leger died in 1990. He was never convicted of any crimes.

Last year a motion at the coastal village of Cap-Pelé’s town council to remove Leger’s name from a local arena received overwhelming support. In March, Richard formally apologized to Cap-Pelé residents for Leger’s string of victims between 1957 and 1980.

In a June 2 open letter, Richard said the process was aimed at healing for Leger’s victims.

“These person’s feel betrayed by the behaviour of their alleged abusers,” Richard wrote.

Bastarache led a similar process with more than 90 sexual abuse victims in the diocese of Bathurst in 2010. Just under 80 of those victims chose to settle through the conciliation process, Bastarache told the CBC. The diocese of Bathurst later received a court order to seal information about financial awards handed out by the Church.

To contact Bastarache call him toll-free at 1-855-752-0172, e-mail, or write him at Michel Bastarache, Independent Conciliator, 55 Metcalfe St., Suite 300, Ottawa, Ont., K1P 6L5. Bastarache will deal with victims in either English or French.

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