A man hoping to be elected as a city councillor in Swift Current is accused of putting part of the blame on Sheldon Kennedy for being a victim of sexual abuse.
Ricardo Morin is alleged to have emailed a local community organization in Swift Current criticizing the financial support it gave to the city’s Safe Place Youth Certified Initiative.
The initiative requires volunteers working with children to not only get a criminal background check, but also undergo training to recognize the signs of a child being abused.
It was championed by former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy, who was sexually abused as a young athlete while living in Swift Current.
Pedophile Graham James was convicted of sexually abusing Kennedy, along with other young hockey players, during his time as head coach of the WHL Swift Current Broncos in the 1980s and 90s.
An information package containing an email allegedly written by Morin was originally sent to the Southwest Booster newspaper, which provided the information to 980 CJME.
“Furthermore Sheldon Kenedy (sic) was not a kid when the so called changed his life episode event happened,” the email stated.
“He participated in those events and has to accept some responsibility for his actions. You are not helping the real cause but supporting the burden put upon the taxpayers of this city to continue the legacy of Sheldon to the taxpayers of Swift Current.
What you should have done was to ask Sheldon to step up to the plate and support his legacy instead of putting the burden on the taxpayers of this city. You should be f—–g ashamed of yourself.”
In an interview on Gormley Friday morning, Southwest Booster reporter Candace Woodside described Morin’s reaction when asked about the email.
“He laughed at it and said it was a misconception and then approximately 10 seconds later, said he did not recall the email in question and demanded a hard copy,” she said.
“For anyone to question (James’) guilt or whether or not his victims are responsible is, in my opinion, ludicrous.”
On Friday, 980 CJME reached out to Morin, who owns a restaurant in Swift Current.
“I’ve actually had to deal with a lawyer on this so now it’s a legal issue and I was advised not to comment just yet,” he said.
The prospective councillor is also not commenting on how he thinks potential voters will react to the allegations. He would only say he would like his accusers to come forward.