briefed on Theresa’s case
I am very pleased to report that, on October 24, John Allore had a productive meeting with Robert Lafrenière, deputy minister of Quebec’s Public Security Department. Mr. Lafrenière is responsible for policing, prevention and security services. He served 31 years with the Sûreté de Quebec prior to joining the provincial government.
During their meeting, John discussed several issues including the Poitras Commission Report, the SQ’s current strategic planning and the status of the province’s Cold Case Bureau.
Some of the action items that John asked Mr. Lafrenière to follow through on include:
1. Transfer the files of Theresa, Louise Camirand and Manon Dube to Quebec’s Cold Case Bureau. Apparently, the Province of Quebec quietly launched the Bureau two years ago with an initial mandate to review unsolved homicides dating back 25 years in Level 1 territories. Since the Eastern Townships aren’t a Level 1 territory and since Theresa’s, Louise’s and Manon’s cases date before 1980, they didn’t get referred to the newly formed unit. The Cold Case Bureau is currently staffed by one lieutenant and six full-time officers who are working on approximately 400 cases.
2. Assign a motivated investigator to Theresa’s case. If her files actually make it to the Cold Case Bureau, John feels confident that Theresa’s case will finally get the attention it deserves.
3. Develop and implement a provincial policy on evidence retention so mistakes made in Theresa’s case aren’t repeated.
Although Mr. Lafrenière was very accommodating, he wasn’t able to give John a firm commitment. He did say that if anyone could follow through on John’s requests, he’d be the person.
John feels confident that the deputy minister has taken his concerns seriously. But he also reminded Mr. Lafrenière that if he failed to initiate a proper investigation of Theresa’s case, John would ensure that he would take it over in “full view of the police and press”. (Bravo John!
He expects to hear back from Mr. Lafrenière’s office with some positive news in the near future. (If I were the deputy minister, I’d make sure this happens sooner rather than later. I’d hate to be on the receiving end of one of John’s “spirited” and mass distribution emails!!)
Let’s hope the deputy minister can make a difference. I’m sure we’ll all be watching and waiting to see if he does!