Category: Boy Scouts

KPMG’s Investigation of Scouts Canada

by John McKiggan

Recently, we covered CBC’s 2012 report on Scouts Canada that took place following an episode of The Fifth Estate. The investigation on The Fifth Estate sought to find answers to allegations that Scouts Canada had not been entirely honest about reporting each instance of sexual abuse, assault or misconduct occurring within their ranks to the authorities, as they had previously maintained for decades.

As a result, Scouts Canada then pledged to hand over previously-confidential reporting dossiers to auditing firm KPMG, who then launched an independent investigation to determine if (and when) Scouts Canada failed to report instances of sexual abuse that they were made aware of.

What follows is a brief summary of the result of KPMG’s investigation, which can viewed in full here.
Summary of KPMG Report
The 55-page report outlines KPMG’s investigative timeline, and goes into detail regarding the decision to launch the investigation, how the 486 cases were obtained from Scouts Canada (whether they were part of the initial hand-over or acquired later), and the processes through which these cases were analyzed to determine the level of action taken by Scouts Canada to address allegations of sexual abuse and assault from 1947 to 2011.

Scouts Canada and Their Failure to Report Sexual Abuse

by John McKiggan

Scouts Canada has come under fire in past years from critics and victims alike for the organization’s failure to report to the police instances and allegations of sexual abuse and assault by adult leaders against children. This apparent inaction is thought, by some, to be part of a systemic effort to protect child molesters within their ranks. Whether or not these claims are true has yet to be determined, but what has been determined by numerical data is that there has been some level of failure on the part of the Scouts Canada to report all instances of sexual abuse and assault to the authorities.

In October 2011, CBC first reported that Scouts Canada had signed confidentiality agreements out-of-court with more than a dozen child sex-abuse victims, and two months later, Scouts Canada issued a blanket apology to former scouts who were sexually assaulted by adult leaders as children.

In February 2012, Steve Kent, chief commissioner of Scouts Canada, acknowledged that Scouts Canada did not, in fact, report all allegations of sexual abuse and assault to police, despite decades of assurance that they had indeed done so, and handed off previously-confidential dossiers to auditing firm KPMG for investigation.
The KPMG Audit of Scouts Canada
A 2012 CBC article reports that Scouts Canada hired auditing firm KPMG to examine 486 cases from 1947 to 2011 in which adult scouting leaders were suspended or terminated on allegations of sexual abuse, misconduct or assault, following an investigation featured on CBC’s The Fifth Estate which examined how the organization has dealt with past instances of abuse within its ranks.

Documentary Provides Healing to Victims of Ex-Priest and Scout Leader Ralph Rowe

by John McKiggan

It has been suggested that Ralph Rowe is one of Canada’s most prolific pedophiles. Rowe was an Anglican Priest and Scoutmaster. He was also a pilot and he flew to 20 remote First Nations communities in Northern Ontario and Manitoba. Rowe would lead church services, organize youth group outings and scout camping trips where he used his position of trust and authority to prey on children.

Controversial deal

In 1994 Ralph Rowe pleaded guilty to 39 sex abuse charges. He was sentenced to 6 years. But part of the plea bargain that resulted in Rowe’s guilty plea involved an agreement that Rowe would not be sentenced to further prison time for similar convictions.

Scouts Canada Admits Not Reporting Abuse Claims

by John McKiggan

After issuing a blanket apology to former Scouts who were sexually abused and claiming that every single allegation of sexual misconduct was reported to authorities, Scouts Canada has now admitted that some allegations of sexual misconduct were not investigated and not reported to police as required by law and Scouts Canada’s own policies.

Last year Scouts Canada said they have requested KPMG to conduct an “independent review” of 350 past allegations of suspected or alleged sexual abuse. What isn’t clear is if the 350 is the number of suspected victims or the number of suspected abusers.

Tip of the Iceberg
The fact that there are 350 past victims or abusers should be a huge concern to Scouts Canada. As a sexual abuse lawyer, I have been representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse for more than 20 years. I have represented hundreds of survivors.

Sports and Scouts at Risk of Liability for Sexual Abuse

by John McKiggan

Vicarious Liability for Sexual Abuse Claims: What does the Future Hold for Sports Organizations, Scouts and Not-For-Profit Organizations?

Recently CBC’s Fifth Estate aired a report exposing Boy Scouts Canada’s system for recording the names of pedophiles within the organization, euphemistically referred to as the “ineligible volunteer list”.

Graham James recently pleaded guilty to repeated sexual assaults on former NHL star Theo Fleury and another unidentified junior hockey player.

Boy Scouts Canada Kept Secret List of Abusers: Players are different but the script is the same.

by John McKiggan

Boy Scouts Canada kept a secret list of scout leaders and volunteers who had been convicted of, or accused of sexual abuse according to an investigative report by CBC’s Fifth Estate.

Secret List of Abusers

According to media reports the Boy Scouts of America have long maintained a list of scout leaders and volunteers who had been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with children.

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