Malice compounds DCS mishandling of the Talbot House fiasco

In a sign the Dexter government plans to tough out criticism of its handling of the Talbot House fiasco, the Department of Community Services (DCS) has posted the report of its controversial organizational review of the much admired Cape Breton addiction recovery centre.

In response, the Talbot House Society’s board of directors released a detailed, point-by-point response to the DCS report. You can read the DCS report here; the response of the Talbot House board here.

I have only had a few minutes to scan both of these documents. I am struck by how much the DCS report relies on third-party hearsay that the author, Marika Lathem, DCS Director of Family and Youth Services, accepts as factual without further verification. Even without the society’s rebuttal, it reads like a hatchet job.

Given that the CBRM Police Dept. spent eight weeks considering the department’s so-called “evidence” before concluding there were no grounds even to open a criminal investigation, it is astonishing DCS would now publish these discredited slurs. It’s as if the department were determined to undermine Fr. Paul Abbass’s vindication, despite the police department’s implicit rejection of its “evidence.” It adds up to a prima facie case of malice.

Also noteworthy is the ease with which the board dispenses with many, if not most, of Lathem’s bureaucratic procedural complaints against the society. It appears she took no greater care with easily verifiable facts than with the third-hand slurs against Fr. Abbass.

I will have more to say when I have read both documents thoroughly.