A little awkward to read, but here is the transcript from CFCF’s television show on Quebec victims that broadcast last Sunday.
It is an excellent depiction of the current state of victim advocacy in Quebec:
[VICTIMS NO MORE]
[Reporter=Caroline Van Vlaardingen]
WE’VE HEARD THEIR NAMES ON THE EVENING NEWS: BOISVENU…SURPRENANT…..AND BUSCHMAN. BUT AFTER THE TRIAL- WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FAMILIES OF THOSE KILLED IN A VIOLENT CRIME? TONIGHT- YOU’LL SEE HOW DEEPLY SCARRED THESE FAMILIES ARE…AND HOW LITTLE IS BEING DONE TO HELP THEM.
(s/up) Good Morning. Good morning! How are you? Fine thank you and you?
[Christine] I don’t think they really really see the real inside of me.
They see a person who’s determined, somebody who has goals, who’s strong, somebody that loves life actually.
[Boisvenu] People who know me know that we enjoy to receive people at home.
I enjoy to do meals for them. I’m a good cook and they know that we are a very happy family.
[Christine] Nobody really knows how I really am inside. How hurt I am and vulnerable.
[Boisvenu] People don’t see the worst side of what happened to the family.
(s/up TV report) Sherbrooke police look for clues near where the body was found.
[Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu/Father of Julie Boisvenu]
My daughter’s name was Julie. She was 27 years old and she was killed in the night of June 22 in 2002.
(s/up TQS report)
[Christine] My sister’s name is Cathy Patricia Carretta. She was killed on Feb. 10th, 1998.
(s/up) You guys like horror movies? Yeah! I hate them! I just hate them.
SIX YEARS AFTER HER YOUNGER SISTER WAS KIDNAPPED AND MURDERED BY AN EX-BOYFRIEND, CHRISTINE CARRETTA IS STILL HAUNTED.
[Christine Carretta/Sister of Cathy Carretta]
I saw pictures of my sister with bruises with her hair cut, with cigarette butts on her and she was burnt and what he did to her was horrible. The only image I have of my sister when I close my eyes is of her in her coffin. With her face blue and swollen and cold. That’s all I remember. It’s terrible to see someone like that. It really traumatized me.
[Boisvenu] Diane and I was starting a very nice good relation with Julie. Everything was going so good with her.
(s/up TV report) Looking for any evidence…
BUT WHEN THEIR DAUGHTER SUDDENLY WENT MISSING AFTER A NIGHT OF CELEBRATING A PROMOTION, THEY KNEW THEY WOULD NEVER SEE HER ALIVE AGAIN.
[Boisvenu] In the first week in the middle of the week that we were searching the body of Julie, things were going bad here, emotion was high, patience was low.
DIANE ALREADY KNEW HOW TRAGEDY CAN DAMAGE A FAMILY.
[Diane Carlos/Mother of Julie Boisvenu]
When I was young, my younger brother died from an accident and I got very traumatized.
SO WHEN HER JULIE’S BODY WAS FOUND IN A WOODED AREA LESS THAN A WEEK LATER, DIANE HAD ALREADY MADE A DECISION.
NO ONE ELSE IN HER FAMILY WOULD BE HURT BY THE MAN WHO’D RAPED AND MURDERED HER DAUGHTER.
[Diane] I knew we had to stick together. I said there will be no other victim in the family.
[FADE TO BLACK]
[January 25, 2005. Two and a half years after Julie’s death.]
MONTREAL: A WEEKEND MEETING IN A SCHOOL-
BUT THESE PEOPLE AREN’T TEACHERS. THEY’RE THE MOTHERS, FATHERS, BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE VICTIMS OF SOME OF QUEBEC’S MOST BRUTAL CRIMES.
(s/up) Pere de….assassine… soeur de assassine…
THEIR LOSSES MADE HEADLINES. WHAT DIDN’T IS THEIR STRUGGLE TO GO ON.
(s/up) We have two goals…
PIERRE-HUGUES BOISVENU IS ON A MISSION. HE WANTS TO EASE THEIR SUFFERING.
[Boisvenu] That kind of event don’t just make a victim; direct victim, it’s like a bomb in the family.
A HIGH-RANKING CIVIL SERVANT IN THE QUEBEC GOVERNMENT, BOISVENU IS LEADING A NEW ASSOCIATION FOR THE FAMILIES OF PEOPLE MISSING OR KILLED BECAUSE OF A VIOLENT CRIME. IT’S CALLED AFPAD. AND ITS GOAL – TO PUSH GOVERNMENTS AND THE PUBLIC TO RECOGNIZE THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE THESE PEOPLE SUFFER WHEN A LOVED ONE IS SUDDENLY RIPPED FROM THEIR LIVES.
[Boisvenu] Those family will be on welfare. You will have drop out from kids from school. So imagine the cost.
IT’S A BATTLE HE’S READY TO WAGE. BUT HE’LL NEED A LOT OF HELP TO WIN IT.
CHRISTINE CARRETTA AND HER FATHER ARE HERE.
[Christine] I would describe it as having a whole bunch of people that are actually handicapped and that you can’t really see it because they don’t have a wheelchair.
MADELINE BELAIR FOR EXAMPLE- SHE’S ABOUT TO GO TO COURT WHERE SHE’LL HEAR THE SORDID DETAILS OF HER DAUGHTER MAUDE’S MURDER.
AND MICHEL SURPRENANT THE FATHER OF JULIE SURPRENANT WHO DISAPPEARED IN TERREBONNE FIVE YEARS AGO. HER BODY HAS NEVER BEEN FOUND.
THEY SHARE A MOMENT OF SILENCE.
(s/up moment of silence)
THEN FILL OUT A SURVEY. FOR A LOT OF THEM, IT’S THE FIRST TIME ANYONE HAS EVER FORMALLY ASKED WHAT SUPPORT THEY NEED -AND AREN’T GETTING.
[Christine] Being here today gives me hope; a lot of hope and strength.
BECAUSE FOR MANY, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THEY’RE MEETING SOMEONE LIKE THEM.
FOR A WHILE THEIR STORIES DOMINATED THE HEADLINES. BUT AFTER THE CAMERAS AND REPORTERS MOVED ON, YESTERDAY’S CRIME STORY BECAME ‘THEIR’ NEW REALITY.
‘THEY’ ARE THE OVER ONE THOUSAND QUEBEC FAMILIES WHO’VE LOST LOVED ONES TO VIOLENT CRIMES OVER THE PAST DECADE. NOW A NEW ASSOCIATION IS DETERMINED TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE VICTIMS NO MORE.
ON HER 50TH BIRTHDAY DOREEN DRUMMOND SAT DOWN AND WROTE ABOUT HER DAUGHTER.
[Doreen Drummond/Mother of Kelly-Anne Drummond] I will never be able to plan her wedding, help choose her wedding dress. We paid for a funeral when we should have been paying one day for her wedding.
KELLY-ANNE DRUMMOND WAS A STAR ATHLETE.
BUT NO AMOUNT OF TRAINING COULD HAVE SAVED HER FROM A VIOLENT ENCOUNTER WITH HER KILLER.
[Doreen] I live a life sentence every day.
(s/up TV report) She had been stabbed in the back.
[Doreen] This was all new to us. We were very lost.
What would have helped in my mind is that somebody be there who had been in my shoes before; had lost a child, someone there who knew what to expect.
POLICE GAVE DOREEN NUMBERS FOR A GOVERNMENT-FUNDED ORGANIZATION CALLED IVAC. IT STANDS FOR INDEMNISATION DES VICTIMES DES ACTES CRIMINELLES.
IT WAS SET UP IN THE EARLY 1970’S TO HELP CRIME VICTIMS BUT NOT THEIR FAMILIES.
[Doreen] The answer I received was “Well, I’m sorry, Madame that your daughter has been murdered but she is the victim, and you are not the victim.
THAT’S WHY PIERRE-HUGUES BOISVENU AND THE FATHERS OF THREE OTHER VICTIMS OF CRIME VICTIMS CREATED AFPAD.
AND NOW WITH PEOPLE LIKE CHRISTINE CARRETTA SUPPORTING HIM AS AFPAD’S VICE PRESIDENT, SOME OF HIS GOALS ARE STARTING TO TAKE SHAPE.
(s/up TV report) Maude Belair was on her way home from her job
[January 25, 2005 Montreal Courthouse]
[The Trial of Maude Bélair’s Accused Killer Begins]
MADELINE BELAIR IS ABOUT TO HEAR THE HORRIBLE DETAILS OF HER DAUGHTER MAUDE’S MURDER. TWO DAYS AFTER MEETING HER, AFPAD’S MICHEL SUPRENANT IS ALREADY THERE TO OFFER SUPPORT AND SOME GUIDANCE ON HER FIRST DAY IN COURT.
[February 3, 2005 Sherbrooke 10:30 am]
[Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu/Father of Julie Boisvenu] I have now ten new message.
PIERRE-HUGUES BOISVENU KNOWS HIS ULTIMATE STRENGTH WILL LIE IN NUMBERS.
[Boisvenu] Our members are here. When we going to have 300, 400 families in our association, can you know the power we’re going to have?
(s/upette) tap tap tap..
IN LESS THAN THREE MONTHS, MORE THAN 80 QUEBEC FAMILIES HAVE JOINED AFPAD. HIS GOAL IS TO HAVE A MEMBERSHIP OF 200 FAMILIES BY SPRING.
[Boisvenu] I’m in front of the pc until 11 o’clock in the night.
BOISVENU HAS RECRUITED A LARGE NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS TO HELP HIM.
(s/up graphic designer arriving) Salut! Bonjour.
HE’S ALSO GIVEN HIMSELF A CONSIDERABLE TO-DO LIST WITH ONLY A FEW WEEKS TO GET EVERYTHING DONE. THEY INCLUDE MEETING WITH THE JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SECURITY MINISTERS, LAUNCHING A FULLY FUNCTIONAL WEBSITE AND DISTRIBUTING FLIERS FOR AFPAD IN EVERY QUEBEC POLICE STATION BY THE END OF MARCH.
[Boisvenu] To be sure if something happen – murder or missing person, that the family can get in touch with us.
JO-ANNE WEMMERS WROTE ONE OF CANADA’S FEW BOOKS ON VICTIMS OF CRIME.
[Jo-Anne Wemmers/Criminologist, Université de Montréal]
We know it’s a problem. We know it’s causing tremendous suffering but we’re not doing anything anything about it.
SHE SAYS THE QUEBEC GOVERNMENT HAS KNOWN FOR DECADES THAT THERE’S A LACK OF SUPPORT FOR THEIR FAMILIES. BUT NEVER WAS THAT MADE CLEARER THAN IN 1989.
(s/up TV report) The first parents to arrive on the scene were told it was not safe yet.
[Wemmers] Following the terrible events at the Ecole Polytechnique, it became very apparent that there were certain problems with the system; namely the parents of the children who were murdered for example were excluded from the system.
(s/up) concerns that their children might still be in danger / Or as we can see….
WEMMERS SAYS THE GOVERNMENT AGREED FAMILIES NEEDED MORE SUPPORT.
IN 1993, IT PASSED A LAW TO ADOPT CHANGES. BUT THEN NEVER ENACTED THEM.
[Wemmers] I can’t explain. Ask a lawyer to explain that one to you. It makes no sense.
THERE IS ANOTHER SERVICE DESIGNED TO INCLUDE FAMILIES.
IT’S CALLED CAVAC BUT IT ONLY GIVES LIMITED EMOTIONAL SUPPORT AS LONG AS ‘THEY’ SEEK IT. BUT WEMMERS SAYS MANY PEOPLE ARE TOO TRAUMATIZED TO REACH OUT.
[Wemmers] If you know how victims are going through stress and all sorts of other things, they’re not thinking clearly as someone who is not under the same amount of stress.
AND MOST PEOPLE DON’T EVEN KNOW CAVAC OR IVAC EXIST.
[Wemmers] 60 per cent, when I asked them if they would know where to go for information about the criminal justice process, 60 per cent said no.
WE FOUND OUT OURSELVES JUST HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO GET A HOLD OF CAVAC AND IVAC. THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF PREPARING THIS REPORT, WE MADE REPEATED REQUESTS FOR INTERVIEWS WITH THEM AS WELL AS WITH THE MINISTERS OF JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SECURITY AND DESPITE THOSE NUMEROUS ATTEMPTS, NOT ONE OF THEM GRANTED US AN INTERVIEW.
PIERRE-HUGUES BOISVENU HAS SEEN HOW OTHERS HAVE FAILED WHEN THEY WENT TO BAT ON THEIR OWN. SO NOW, HE’S TRYING TO GET TOGETHER A BIGGER BAT.
(s/up) salut monsieur, comment ca va?
TODAY HE’S AT THE LOCAL OFFICES OF CENTRAIDE TO RECEIVE SOME MONEY.
(s/up photo op with cheque) click, c’est dans une lumiere…
[Boisvenu] Well, 2000 dollars more. That means we are now at 12 thousand dollars for the association.
We should be good until next March. And after that, well, we’re going to knock to other doors.
BUT HIS ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO GET THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO SUPPORT HIS CAUSE.
[Boisvenu] We cannot receive from the government all our financial support and in the same time, critic all the time, the government. It’s not fair. It’s not honest. We want that support come from the private sector. In that way, we going to be independent.
(s/up) hey salut, comment ca va?
AND TONIGHT HE’LL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOME MORE PITCHING AT A DINNER RECOGNIZING OUTSTANDING CITIZENS IN THE TOWNSHIPS.
(s/up) Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu….
[Boisvenu] For all the families, pour toutes les familles.
[FADE TO BLACK]
(s/up Christine’s son playing piano) music
[Christine] She was like my baby. She was like my first child.
HER SISTER’S MURDER COST HER TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN LOST INCOME AND MEDICAL EXPENSES.
[Christine] Thousands of dollars just to bury my sister. It cost us 17 thousand dollars.
[Caroline Van Vlaardingen] And you got?
[Christine] Six hundred dollars.
SEVERELY DEPRESSED, CHRISTINE CARRETTA TURNED TO HER HUSBAND FOR SUPPORT.
(music still playing)
[Christine] Honestly at the time I think I neglected my children. I mean I had not time to listen to them. I was really trying to survive myself and I gave the whole load to my husband.
[FADE TO BLACK]
[February 10, 2005 Valleyfield 9:30 am]
DENISE LAFLEUR HASN’T OPENED HER PHOTO ALBUMS IN TWO YEARS.
[Denise Lafleur/Mother of Bobby Legault] It hurts too much.
LAFLEUR’S SON WAS STABBED TO DEATH IN KUUJJUAQ.
THE TRIAL BEGINS IN APRIL. SHE’S TRYING TO GET THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY FOR HER TO BE ABLE TO FLY UP AND ATTEND. SO FAR THE ANSWER HAS BEEN NO.
(s/up) C’est effrayant
[Lafleur] Our children get killed and just like a number, they forget us.
IT’S THAT KIND OF ISOLATION THAT BOISVENU IS DETERMINED TO FIX.
SO HE’S IN VALLEYFIELD MEETING LAFLEUR TO HELP HER FIGHT.
[Lafleur] I lost a child there. I didn’t lost my house or my car. It’s my child that I lost.
(s/up) c’etait un plaisir.
ALL OF THE FAMILIES HAVE TOLD HIM THAT WHILE THE ACCUSED HAS PLENTY OF SUPPORT AND LEGAL COUNSEL, THEY ARE OFTEN IGNORED BY THE LEGAL SYSTEM.
[FADE TO BLACK]
[Caroline Van Vlaardingen] THAT LAWYER WHO MANAGED TO GET YOU THE TRANSLATION SERVICES, ARE YOU PAYING HIM?
[Leona Barbeau/Sister of Tanya Buschman] Yes.
THE BUSCHMANS ARE IN MONTREAL FOR THE TRIAL OF MICHEL BERUBE.
HE’S CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF HIS WIFE, TANYA BUSCHMAN. HER FAMILY FROM OUT WEST FINDS ITSELF BATTLING JUST SO THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THE PROCEEDINGS.
[Caroline Van Vlaardingen] Why is it important for you to understand everything that’s going on in the courtroom??
[Leona Barbeau] In order for me to deal with my grief, I need to know.
[February 10, 2005 Montreal 12:30 pm]
(s/up) Jolene Riendeau….elle est la…
MEANTIME BOISVENU ATTENDS YET ANOTHER MEETING TO TRY AND BREAK GROUND IN THE ENGLISH COMMUNITY. BUT HE’S LOSING ENERGY. ONE OF HIS BOARD MEMBERS IS IN HOSPITAL, AND HE JUST FOUND OUT HE LOST HIS TRANSLATOR.
FOR THE FIRST TIME, HE’S WONDERING IF HE CAN DO THIS.
[Boisvenu] You know yesterday I was in front of my computer and I said to Mme. Caretta, “What am I doing in that boat?”
[February 10, 2005 Laval 2:30 pm]
[Christine Carretta] It’s a lot of work you know.
WORKING WITH AFPAD IS HELPING CHRISTINE BY KEEPING HER BUSY- BECAUSE TODAY IS THE ANNIVERARY OF HER SISTER’S MURDER.
[Christine] It’s very positive. It’s very good on me and I think it’s, it makes me go forward.
[Boisvenu] We have the momentum. The public is with us, the media is with us, so we have to..we cannot go back now.
BUT WHAT HE DOESN’T KNOW IS THERE ARE MORE ROADBLOCKS JUST AHEAD.
IT’S BEEN ONLY FIVE MONTHS SINCE AFPAD WAS FORMED TO HELP THE FAMILIES OF VICTIMS OF CRIME.THE GROUP HAS MADE HUGE STRIDES IN JUST A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.
BUT WILL IT BE ENOUGH TO GET THE GOVERNMENT’S AND PUBLIC’S ATTENTION?
SEVEN YEARS AND A DAY AFTER CATHY CARETTA’S BURIAL…CHRISTINE IS ON HER WAY TO VISIT HER SISTER.
[Christine Carretta/Sister of Cathy Carretta]] If I turn on my right, I’ll be going towards the prison where my sister’s killer is. And if I miss her and feel like being close to her, I’ll turn on my left to go to the cemetery.
IT’S A CROSSROAD SHE PASSES EVERY DAY ON HER WAY TO WORK.
BUT SHE’S NOW AT PERSONAL CROSSROADS TOO.
[Christine] When my sister died, the last thing I was able to offer her; to give her was a coffin. I really thought that was the only thing I could give my sister and now I sort of see things differently you know. I can see I can give her a way of speech. I have a feeling she’s in back of me, sort of pushing me and showing me the way a little.
SHE’S BEGINNING TO HEAL.
BUT HER FAMILY IS STILL FRAGILE.
[Christine] I’m worried about my father. He needs all my energy and all my help and my support and I’m not always capable of giving it to him.
AND EVEN SHE KNOWS SHE MAY NEVER COMPLETELY RECOVER.
[Christine] My sister’s grave doesn’t have any picture and the reason is it’s a bit of a way of denying I guess the fact that she’s really resting here. It’s like you’re always waiting for the person to come back home, you know.
[FADE TO BLACK]
FOR DOREEN DRUMMOND, IT’S HER DAUGHTER’S PHOTOGRAPH THAT GIVES HER THE STRENGTH TO GO ON.
[Doreen Drummond/Mother of Kelly-Anne Drummond]
Her perseverance as you could see from her face – determination – keeps me going each morning. It starts my day.
DOREEN IS NOW WORKING WITH AFPAD, THE ASSOCIATION REPRESENTING FAMILIES OF VICTIMS TO FORM A WEST ISLAND CHAPTER.
(s/up) the police would ask the family in crisis…
ALTHOUGH HER OWN LOSS IS STILL RECENT –
[Doreen] It’s only been a few months but I have a choice. I either die with my daughter or I carry on. I must be a survivor. I must no longer be a victim.
PIERRE-HUGUES BOISVENU IS PUSHING ON TOO. ENDLESS COMMUTES BETWEEN HIS HOME IN SHERBROOKE, MONTREAL AND QUEBEC CITY ARE PAYING OFF. HE’S GOT A MEETING LINED UP WITH THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SECURITY, JACQUES CHAGNON.
[FADE TO BLACK]
[February 18, 2005 Montreal : Day of Meeting]
(s/up TV announcement) Jean Charest has gone back to the drawing board to re-invent his government. The premier has undertaken a cabinet shuffle.
A CABINET SHUFFLE. THE MEETING IS OFF. BUT WHEN BOISVENU HEARS WHO’LL REPLACE CHAGNON, HE’S ACTUALLY HAPPY. HE HOPES TO HAVE ANOTHER MEETING SET UP SOON.
[February 22, 2005 Sherbrooke]
A FEW DAYS LATER BACK HOME IN SHERBROOKE , BOISVENU APPEARS ON A FRENCH NEWSCAST TO REACT TO THE ARREST OF A SUSPECTED PEDOPHILE OUT ON PAROLE. TIGHTENING THE PAROLE SYSTEM IS ONE OF THE BATTLES HE’S DETERMINED TO WIN SINCE HIS OWN DAUGHTER JULIE WAS KILLED BY A MAN OUT ON PAROLE.
MEANTIME MADELINE BELAIR LEARNS THAT HER DAUGHTER’S KILLER, IS FOUND GUILTY.
AND A FEW WEEKS LATER THE BUSCHMAN FAMILY CAN RETURN HOME OUT WEST. A JURY HAS FOUND MICHEL BERUBE GUILTY OF THE FIRST DEGREE MURDER OF HIS WIFE, TANYA.
BUT DENISE LAFLEUR STILL DOESN’T KNOW HOW SHE’LL GET TO KUUJJUAQ TO SEE THE TRIAL OF THE WOMAN ACCUSED OF KILLING HER SON.
[February 27 Montreal]
BOISVENU IS SEEING SIGNS OF FATIGUE AND WORRY FROM OTHER AFPAD MEMBERS. CHRISTINE HAS HAD TO STEP BACK FROM THE ASSOCIATION.
AND BOISVENU’S OWN WIFE DIANE IS STRUGGLING.
[Boisvenu] I think I forgot a bit my own family in that story. So I have to be more sensitive, more present in my family.
DESPITE THE HUGE CHALLENGES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND FOR THE ASSOCIATION, HE FEELS HE CANNOT SLOW DOWN.
[Boisvenu] If we cannot pass our message right now, I’m sure that in the year to come, it will be too late because I think we’re going to arrive at a political campaign. That’s why we have to go right now on the public scene.
AFPAD’S FLYERS ARE FINALLY READY TO BE PRINTED. SOON EVERY POLICE STATION IN THE PROVINCE SHOULD HAVE THEM.
BOISVENU DRIVES ON. ENERGIZED HE SAYS BY THE DAUGHTER HE LOST. THE DAUGHTER HE BELIEVES IS NOW HELPING THOSE SHE LEFT BEHIND.
[Caroline Van Vlaardingen] What do you think she would say to you if she was sitting in the room right now?
[Boisvenu] I think she would be very proud. I think she would say I was not killed for nothing. My death has meaning not just for you, Papa but for 114 families. Yeah.
[VICTIMS NO MORE – EXTRO]
AFPAD NOW HAS AN ENGLISH NAME – “MURDERED OR MISSING PERSONS’ FAMILIES’ ASSOCIATION”. THE INFORMATION IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH ON THEIR WEB SITE.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ON THEM AND OTHER NON-GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT GROUPS, HERE’S HOW YOU CAN CONTACT THEM.
1 877 844-0404
West Island Community Resource Centre
RIVCO (Innocent Victims of Organized Crime)
Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime
1 877 232-2610