Swift Current city council candidate Ricardo Morin allegedly sent an email to a community organization that says former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy needs to take more responsibility for his abuse at the hands of convicted pedophile, Graham James.
According to two members of the organization, the leaked email was sent by Morin early in the summer.
The email says Kennedy wasn’t a kid at the time of his abuse and needs to take more responsibility.
The email goes on to point to the Safe Places program being a “tax burden”.
Safe Places was established earlier this year to act as a registry of people who work with kids, like coaches, that have criminal record checks and have passed a safety and responsibility test.
Morin runs a cafe in downtown Swift Current. Global News went to his cafe, but he declined comment.
“My attorney is doing the investigation right now so I was recommended by him not to comment on anything. I’m sorry,” he said.
Kennedy now runs the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre in Calgary. He said whenever he travels to Swift Current to speak about his experience he pays his own way.
“When I read the email, yes, it’s disappointing that it’s out there,” said Kennedy.
“But I went right to the place of — you know what, this is awesome. Thank God someone has brought this forward and we are going to talk about it and we aren’t going to accept it. And that’s the important piece,” Kennedy said.
Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer was a big part in launching Safe Places. He said that it doesn’t actually take tax dollars to fund the program because it relies on pre-existing resources to certify members.
Schafer said it’s one thing to criticize Safe Places, but the apparent victim blaming is a greater concern.
“The whole issue with Graham James is a big scar that we dealt with for a long time, and I think this last year was a year of turning the page and we’re going to keep going that way,” he said.
With files from Candace Woodside, Southwest Booster