Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Westmount will pay up to $2.5 million in hockey-coach sex-abuse case

Director and writer Matt Bissonnette
The city of Westmount will pay up to $2.5 million to victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the late John Garland, a former director of Westmount’s parks and recreation department, in a proposed class action settlement agreed to unanimously by Westmount city council and abuse survivor Matthew Bissonnette.

Bissonnette was 12 years old when Garland, then his peewee hockey coach, began inviting him to his home and encouraging him to engage in sexual acts, and the abuse continued almost weekly for two years, Bissonnette claims in court documents. He believes Garland preyed on one or two young hockey players in this way every year for many years, and that authorities at the city of Westmount knew or should have known it was happening.

Westmount Mayor Peter Trent said the city investigated and realized the evidence was compelling. At a joint news conference with Bissonnette and lawyers for both sides, Trent announced a proposed settlement and apologized to Bissonnette and any other victims of Garland, on behalf of the city of Westmount.  (more...)

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