More evidence emerges on Scouts Canada 'confidential list'

More details are emerging about a "confidential list" Scouts Canada kept over the course of numerous decades that documented pedophiles who entered its ranks, including a form that was used to bar them from re-entry.

More details are emerging about a "confidential list" Scouts Canada kept over the course of numerous decades that documented pedophiles who entered its ranks, including a form that was used to bar them from re-entry.

Scouts Canada CEO Janet Yale has stated that the youth organization doesn't keep records about suspected abuse or misbehavior by volunteer leaders, but does keep files "of a confidential nature" about those suspended or terminated.

CBC News has obtained a form from a file dating from 1983 that was used by Scouts Canada to request that an individual be added to their "confidential list."

Reasons listed on the form for a leader to be deemed "unacceptable" to the Boy Scouts of Canada are:

  • Sexual perversion (deviation).
  • Immorality.            
  • Other gross misconduct.            
  • Any conduct which could prejudice or bring disrepute on the organization.

Scouts Canada notes that the "sexual perversion" category not only pertained to sex abuse of children, but was also understood at the time to mean homosexuality and adultery.

The form includes information such as the individual's name, last known address, height, weight, date of birth, other identifying marks and last known Scouts group.

"As you would expect, we no longer invite scrutiny of such matters and they are not a credible basis for suspension or termination," said Scouts Canada spokesman John Petitti. "The current termination form uses different language."

Once filled out, the confidential forms were sent to the Ottawa-based Scouts Canada national headquarters where a national review board determined whether to place an individual on the "confidential list," sources tell CBC News.

The old 1983 confidential list form obtained by CBC News also states that the individual named is deemed "unsuitable for leadership" and references that "evidence" be enclosed.

Scouts Canada stresses that "evidence" could refer to examples of any activity or conduct that might merit suspension, not just sexual abuse.

Records 'important' to victims

Revelations that Scouts Canada collected evidence on suspected pedophiles has led to calls for the organization to share all of its documentation with police, in the event that some information might have been overlooked by the Scouts or authorities in the past.

Scouts Canada says in the 1980s sexual perversion referred not only to child sex abuse, but also adultery and homosexuality. (CBC)

"It's not incumbent upon Scouts Canada to determine what the police need. That's the police's decision," said Jeff Filliter, a forensic investigator who used to work for the RCMP. "And providing all the documents is the easiest way to do that."

Petitti says that the organization believes it shared all allegations of abuse with police.

"To the best of our knowledge, there are no examples or evidence of sexual abuse allegations in our records that have not been shared previously with police," Petitti wrote in an email.

Don Wright, founder of the counselling service B.C. Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse, says even though any records would be old, they may contain information to help possible victims.

"It's important to the victims," said Wright. "If there are records of that in effect that back you up, it's very validating."

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