Calling Out Cases of Alleged Abuse in Ontario’s Training Schools for Children and Teens

Niagara Centre MPP Reminds Ontario Government of its responsibility ‘to keep province’s teenagers and children safe

A Statement from Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

Posted March 25th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

(Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch delivered the following statement about alleged abuses committed in Ontario’s training schools for children and teenagers, against two of his constituents and others, and about the continued pursuit of the alleged victims for justice from the Province of Ontario.

The statement was delivered this March 25th in the Ontario legislature.)

Mr. Jeff Burch: “I rise today (March 25th) to speak for my constituents John Parisee and Rick Brown, who are here with us today, and for countless others like them, who survived their time in Ontario’s training schools for children and teenagers.

“Mr. Parisee, who I’m happy to tell you is here with us today, is part of a class-action lawsuit against the province of Ontario. The suit alleges the province failed to protect children who were detained in 13 government-run training schools between 1953 and 1984.

“The allegations of physical, sexual and psychological abuse by some of the adults hired to care for them and protect them have been widely reported in the media, including in a recent report from W5.

“While the merits of the lawsuit are for the courts to decide, it is this government’s job to ensure Ontario’s children and teenagers in care are kept safe.

“Mr. Parisee was sent to a training school when he was 10 years old because he stood up to a bully. He ended up stuck there until he turned 16. When his parents learned of some of the things that happened while their son was in care, they turned their backs on him.

“We need to understand how a child could have been left in such a tragic and vulnerable situation under the province’s watch.

“We need to hear from some of the other survivors about what they experienced so that we can consider what could have been done better, especially since this government has fired the Ontario children’s advocate.

“We are a crucial juncture where we can learn from the past to create a better future for Ontario’s children and youth in care.”

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4 responses to “Calling Out Cases of Alleged Abuse in Ontario’s Training Schools for Children and Teens

  1. Bravo Jeff Burch. Before these injustices become dust in history make Governments help the victims. This initiative is worthwhile. Thanks Mr. Burch.


  2. Thank you Jeff for bringing up these often forgotten cases of evil. And also think of William O’Sullivan one of those abused by Niagara priests and ignored by The Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Catharines . He protests outside a church each Sunday in Welland. Vowing to not stop until he sees real change


  3. As a female survivor of one of Ontario’s juvenile training schools, in the 1970’s, I can confirm the abuse and negligence reported by inmates at other schools, was also commonplace at the school where I was incarcerated. Aside from the reported abuses, even medical care and education were denied us. Understaffing led to negligence in supervision, allowing numerous escapes which placed us children in very dangerous situations. I, for example was held hostage at gunpoint, at the age of 15 years. Lack of supervision led to the death of a housemate of mine, who hung herself, when visitation with her mother was cut off, without reason. There aren’t many females represented in the media when this subject is discussed but we suffered and by some miracle, most of us survived.


  4. As a survivor of Ontario Training schools I can attest to the fact of abuse , physical, sexual as well as mental as I have spent the past 47 years trying to forget the pain of the past. I suffered beatings, solitary confinement,emotional abuse and refused an education. I have suffered PTSD and have spent years trying to have a some what normal life. I will never forgive nor forget what happened there. I pray that the rest of the kids have found some kind of peace in their past.


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