If there was ever a reason not to put your kids in daycare this is it.
A Quebec woman, a survivor of incest, was shocked to find herself face to face recently with her molester -- a volunteer at a drop-in centre for intellectually-handicapped kids.
Convicted pedophile Yves Plante resigned last Wednesday as chairman of the board for the Centre Louise Bibeau in St-Hyacinthe, Quebec. This happened after he was discovered working there by one of his past victims, his stepdaughter Josiane Deslandes.
Plante was convicted of sexually assaulting three young girls in 1991. He was released in 1995 after serving a portion of his 40-month sentence.
First of all, this man didn't even serve his entire sentence. Then, there were no restrictions placed on him and where he could go, work, or be.
Then he gets a job at a daycare for handicapped kids.
Anyone out there still think there isn't a problem with our justice system?
Deslandes said she went to register her daughter at the drop-in centre last week when she came face to face with Plante, the first person to greet her at the door.
"He greeted me as if I was just another client," Deslandes told CTV Montreal, speaking in French. "My first reaction was, 'What's he doing here!'"
Deslandes said she went straight to the daycare's administration. "I was dumbfounded, we had no idea," said the centre's director, Sylvie Gazaille. She and other staff members confronted Plante and asked him to leave the centre. CTV Montreal could not reach Plante on Tuesday for an interview.
"We're told he was never in direct contact with the children," said CTV Montreal's crime reporter, Stephane Giroux. "He got involved with the center because his own brother was a client. We paid Plante a visit. He wasn't home."
And if you believe he could work at a daycare and never be in contact with children, then I have a bridge to sell you.
Under the current law, educators and childcare workers at daycare centres, schools, and other organizations need to have their backgrounds checked. But the law does not apply to non-profit institutions such as the Centre Louise Bibeau.
The issue was debated in the National Assembly, where the opposition pressed the government on the loophole in background checks.
The Quebec government says it will look at ways to make background checks mandatory for staff and volunteers who work in health-care institutions that serve children.
"I think no compromise can be done with safety so I think (Quebec Public Security Minister Jacques) Dupuis was very open in studying ways to extend the checks to these types of circumstances," Health Minister Philippe Couillard told reporters.
Meanwhile, the staff at the daycare centre say they have started running background checks on all their volunteers and board members.
"When you've got nothing to hide, a background check is not a problem," said volunteer Diane Morin.
If I had been that poor woman, I am certain I would have had a breakdown. The very man who molested her was working at the daycare where she was about to place her child. She must have been shaken to the core.