Friday, October 24, 2008


Over the past eighteen months I have used this Blog to intensively report on developments relating to Dr. Charles Smith culminating with the recently concluded Goudge Inquiry.

I am now winding up this phase of the Blog - to be replaced eventually by periodic reporting of developments relating to Dr. Smith and related issues as they occur - with an examination of Justice Goudge's findings in the cases reviewed by the Inquiry.

I think it is important to take this closer look at the report in this Blog, because the mainstream media, which has done an admirable job in reporting the inquiry, have gone on to other stories.

Justice Goudge's findings relating to the various cases have been scattered throughout the report.

My approach is to weave together the findings relating to all of the principal actors - so we can get a fuller picture of Justice Goudge's findings as to their conduct;

An overview report prepared by Commission staff tells us that Nicholas was born in Sudbury, Ontario on January 2, 1995.

Nicholas was the child of Lianne Gagnon and Steven Tolin.

Nicholas died on November 30, 1995, in Sudbury.

Nicholas was 11 months old at the time of his death.

Criminal proceedings were not initiated.

The local children's aid society initiated proceedings in respect of Ms. Gagnon's second child, born in 1968.

The proceedings concluded on March 25, 1999 when the society withdrew the protection application;


Justice Stephen Goudge ruled in his report that: "Mr. (Maurice) Gagnon was persistent. His letters were well researched and well reasoned. Given what is now known, many of his concerns about Dr. Smith, Dr. Cairns and the Chief Coroner's Office were legitimate. Unfortunately, those in the senior positions at the Chief Coroner's Office did not listen."

One of those complaints - concerning the role played in the investigation of his grandson's death by Deputy Chief Coroner Dr. Jim Cairns - was directed to then Solicitor General David Tsubouchi, who was responsible for the Chief Coroner's Office. on March 6, 2000.

Maurice Gagnon wrote Tsubouchi on March 6, 2000;

This was an opportunity for the Ontario Government to take action, review Dr. Smith's work, and rein him in before he caused even more harm.

This, of course,was not likely, in a ministry in which then Chief Coroner Dr.James Young, Dr. Smith's protector, was also Assistant Deputy Solicitor General;

Maurice Gagnon's moving covering letter to Mr. Tsubouchi - filed as an exhibit at the Inquiry - read as follows.

Dear Minister:

Re: Complaint Against Dr James T. Cairns -in the matter of Investigation of the death of Nicholas Gagnon

I wish to register a complaint against Dr. James T. Cairns, Deputy Chief Coroner for the Province of Ontario, for his actions in the investigation of the death of my grandson, Nicholas Gagnon.

It is my contention that in the matter of this investigation, Dr. Cairns demonstrated elements of negligence, recklessness, indifference, while being driven by a personal agenda, which resulted in the unjustified persecution of my daughter over a period of three years.

I fear that Dr. Cairns, has been caught up in a child-abuse hysteria that has swept over this land. Using the influential Office of the Chief Coroner, Dr. Cairns has become the Joe McCarthy of child abuse in this Province, recklessly persecuting innocent victims, all in the name of the proverbial "just cause". In lesser times this type of action was called a "witch hunt".

Any student of history will know of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy's Communist witch- hunts of the 1950's. A communism- hysteria had swept over post-war America. Supported by this social hysteria, the opportunistic Joe McCarthy embarked on a crusade to save the United States. The "Red Hunts" destroyed countless innocent lives. McCarthy's right- hand man was the attorney, Roy Cohn who would develop the cases (identify the victims), and McCarthy would "tie them to the stake". It was Cohn's over-zealousness which finally brought McCarthy down- that, and the now-famous line by attorney Joseph Welch, on national television, "Have you no sense of decency, sir"?

Accepting that Dr Cairns and Dr Smith are competent in their respective positions, you will see the uncanny parallel between the McCarthy/Cohn crusades to rid the world of communism, and the Cairns/Smith duo, eradicating child-abuse in Ontario. Where, indeed, is the "decency" in attacking innocent, grieving mothers.

Dr. Cairns articulated his philosophy quite succinctly during an interview on CBC's fifth estate program (Nov 10, 1999). Dr. Cairns, in responding to the interviewer's question regarding this case, stated: "Children die as a result of abuse. When we have no explanation for it, we have to consider the possibility that foul play is involved".

Quite simply, if the pathologist (in this case-Dr. Charles Smith) cannot ascertain a definite cause of death, the death necessarily resulted from foul play - a homicide.

This theory is reinforced if the caregiver, the mother in this case, cannot explain how/why the child died - the very answer she is desperately hoping the "experts" will provide.

Even after a second autopsy and a police investigation could not produce, in the opinion of the Crown Attorney, any sustainable evidence to support criminal charges, the Cairns/Smith persecution of my daughter continued. They simply would not concede that they may have been a little over-zealous in their conclusions.

In a meeting with Dr Cairns, in Feb 1998, after criminal investigations were dropped, and before the CAS debacle, I asked why he simply didn't admit that the Coroner's Office did not know the cause of Nicholas' death. To which he responded: "If I did that, you would walk over to the Solicitor General and have me fired."

I would expect that, to this day, rather than apologize, Dr Cairns will rationalize -insisting that his (irresponsible) actions were in keeping with the investigation of a child's death.

I have been informed that until the Sudbury Regional Police are advised that Dr Smith's allegations have been rejected by the Coroner's Office, this case will remain open, and my daughter will continue to be under suspicion of murder. Apparently, Dr Cairns is refusing to admit that he and Dr Smith were in error, despite the overwhelming discredit of that evidence. i.e:

The Crown Attorney
Four pathologists (Chen, Halliday, Case, and deSA)
Justice Gauthier

Finally, you may want to ascertain how many such unsustainable pediatric death cases Dr Cairns and Smith have pursued in the last ten years.

There needs to be accountability - if not for the pain and suffering caused by these witch- hunts, at least for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that this reckless crusade is costing the taxpayers. Add to that the legal aid funds used by other defendants, including Louise Reynolds in Kingston, and I would venture that total public costs are now in the millions.

You may be interested to know that the airing of the fifth estate prompted calls from other "victims", with similar stories of wrongful persecution. Ours is, by no means, an isolated case.

I fear that the "system", which has failed this family (and others) so miserably, has been perverted. You have the opportunity to restore the tarnished credibility of the Chief Coroner's Office, and ensure that citizens are treated fairly and justly.

Your Administration continues to advocate "accountability". I will trust that this commitment is equally applied to the public sector.


Maurice O. Gagnon

Next post: Maurice Gagnon's complaint against Dr. Cairns; (First part)