MP David Sweet recalls his three painful years at St. Joseph’s Training School

But this is exactly the way it was.
Unbelievable. I think they put in one wall over there but the rest is all
just like it was. My name is David sweet I’ve been a member of parliament for 12
years right now I represent the riding of Flamborough-Glanbrook. When I was 12
years old, I ran away from home, from my home in Kingston, Ontario, and right till
the time I was 13 I was living on the street in Kingston when I stole some
cars and took some joy rides and was arrested and sent to this institution
called St. Joseph’s. They called it in those days, a training school in Alfred,
Ontario. The number of boys that came to me and told me about being sexually
abused about being beaten up you know privately, they would never do it front of other people although there was a few slaps and kicks
that I know that they intended to do behind closed doors, but we’re seen.
I forget what I did, I did something, it couldn’t have been anything major
because you couldn’t get away with anything major here, but they made me
scrub down the walls for three hours of Javex in my bare hands.
I remember the disdain of that stuck with me for about 20 years
because of the pain in my hands and forearms from that. So every kind of
maltreatment you could think of from sexual harassment to actual sexual
offences, to just allowing other inmates who are here to beat beat people up
without any kind of intervention. And so you live with that fear everyday of not
not knowing what tomorrow is going to bring. Listen, for years I put it behind
me, it’s not something that you’re proud of, but when I saw your articles,
number one I want to stop any injustice that’s happening. I understand that a lot
of women and men have been hurt by this system. Second thing is my younger brother passed away two years ago
and my daughter took her own life. Mental health issues, are a big concern to me
and I think this is a big concern for the young people that were incarcerated
they had mental health issues but there wasn’t the capacity in those days to
diagnose, and so they were institutionalized, and that just
exacerbated their problems. So I want to speak out for those people. Finally, I
want to make sure that my voice is chimed in with the rest of them, that
there needs to be a full inquiry here. That enough time has gone by that and
enough people have been harmed and it’s time that the provincial government
decides that they will appoint a justice and get to the bottom of this.

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One Comment

  • mary snow says:

    I would like to make a comment. I am not afraid, I am tormented, but not afraid. I have lived with all the tortures life has throw at me since I was old enough to walk. I have spoken out many a times with no results… now at the age of 56, I have a voice. Ever since the article ran, that can of worms that semi silent in my head has been reopened. After much thought, the only conclusion I came to was. We were victims of adults, we are now adults ourselves. I personally would like to see a picture of each adult as they were as the victim. When I seen a picture of Kirk Keeping at 14 and a picture of Sanford Cottrelle at a young age, I cried. I cried for the the innocent children we were. In order for people to get the real feel of what happened, they have to relate in a way they understand. If you see us as children, you see your own children, you see your sister, brother or best friend. That has an impact. Seeing us as adults, anyone with a heart with be mad and or sad, seeing us as children…. now that's really going to piss you off. It's not the same government as yesteryear. So an apology just won't cut it… he'll even if It were the same government… an apology will never cut it. The pain and suffering has always been, and will always be

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