Tuesday 27 October 2020

Innocence Canada Urges Review of Deeply Flawed Christine Jessop Murder Investigation

Press Release distributed by Stephen Weir & Associates on behalf of Innocence Canada

For Immediate Release 

October 26, 2020 

TORONTO:  The answer to the question of who killed Christine Jessop is now known, leaving one thing missing in this 36-year-old tale of deceit, folly and botched opportunities - official accountability.

Innocence Canada (IC) is therefore calling for an independent review into how both the Durham Regional Police and Toronto Police Service (TPS) failed to long ago detect and investigate the killer, Calvin Hooper, as a viable suspect.

From 1985 to 1995, the case resided with the Durham force. Upon Guy Paul Morin being exonerated and acquitted of the killing in 1995, Toronto Police took over and assigned nine officers to the Christine Jessop Task Force in order to investigate the case with fresh eyes. Having failed in this mission, the task force was disbanded in 1998.

The case was finally solved ten days ago, when TPS cold case investigators, acting on information from forensic DNA testing by US crime labs, identified the killer as Calvin Hoover, a Jessop family friend at the time of the sex-slaying.

As the country's leading advocate for the wrongly convicted, Innocence Canada believes that invaluable lessons can and must be extracted from this 36-year debacle to provide guidance to future investigations and to forever underline the importance of rigorously adhering to elementary, methodical investigative steps.

As a person within the Jessop family's social circle, Calvin Hoover ought to have identified early on as someone else deserving of close police scrutiny. The failure to home in on him and closely examine his alibi for the day of Christine's abduction, October 3, 1884, has led to decades of indescribable agony for Mr. Morin and his family, and for the Jessop family.

These failures also provided a sadistic pedophile with the freedom to commit other crimes and, ultimately, to take his own life in 2015 without ever having been brought to justice. It remains unknown what other crimes he may have committed between 1984 and 2015.

"Tens of millions of dollars were sunk into two murder trials and appeals, and the year-long Kaufman public inquiry into the Morin wrongful conviction," said IC co-president Kirk Makin. "To now stint on a carefully targeted review of police failures would be a mockery of all this expense and the human misery caused by this awful case."

Such a review would in no way duplicate the 1996 Kaufman public inquiry, Makin said. It need not involve public hearings, nor would it examine a host of other events and mistakes that have been painstakingly cataloged by Justice Kaufman.

"We are dependent on the press and political leaders to apply pressure to authorities who would much prefer to sweep their mistakes under the rug," Makin said. "That simply cannot be allowed to happen."

As was the case with the Kaufman inquiry, funding and structure would be the responsibility of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General. 

Several models can be envisioned that would result in a relatively speedy, cost-efficient review. These include the appointment of a key figure who already has a firm grasp on the case - such as inquiry commissioner Fred Kaufman or Kaufman commission counsel Mark Sandler. Alternatively, the province could select a retired judge or senior police figure from an outside force. 

An example of the kind of targeted review IC envisions was launched recently in the Nova Scotia wrongful conviction case of Glen Assoun. The Independent Investigations Office of BC has agreed to investigate how evidence collected by RCMP investigator Dave Moore was later destroyed by a joint RCMP-Halifax police unit.

"It was stunning to learn, 36 years after Christine Jessop was murdered, and 25 years after Guy Paul Morin's exoneration based on DNA testing, that multiple police investigators on multiple police forces failed to follow up on Jessop family friend whose existence was known to investigators," said IC board member and defense counsel Joanne McLean, who has represented Mr.  Morin through most of his legal ordeal. 

"The Jessop and Morin families deserved better," she said. "They and the public need explanations."

Innocence Canada provides police training in how to avoid wrongful convictions. Ms. McLean said the sort of error that may turn up in a review includes police tunnel vision; failures of supervision; poor document review and record keeping; failure to follow basic police investigative techniques; and pre-existing investigative biases that skew the integrity of an investigation.

"We cannot know which of these and other mistakes were made until an independent observer conducts interviews and examines written and computerized records and reports," Ms. McLean said. 

It has become clear in recent days that authorities are anxious to avoid being called to account for their failings. 

In an article in the Oct. 24 2020 Toronto Star, Durham Police spokesman Dave Selby is quoted as saying that no review of investigative failures in relation to Calvin Hoover mistakes is being contemplated: "I'm not aware of any such plans, because the people who were involved with the original investigation are either deceased or retired," Selby said.

Toronto Police spokesperson Meaghan Gray, asked to shed light on why Calvin Hoover was not a suspect, told the Star: "To comment on why would be purely speculative."

These ostrich-like postures are the very antithesis of accountability. The primary point of a review is to learn systemic lessons that can be learned and taught to future police trainees to avoid miscarriages of justice where possible and to swiftly remedy them when they do occur.

To bury police investigative errors is also to dishonor the memory of Christine Jessop and to insult Guy Paul Morin's suffering as the target of a misguided, single-minded prosecution.


For further information, please contact:


Kirk Makin, Innocence Canada co-president (and author of Redrum The Innocent; the murder of Christine Jessop and the controversial conviction of Guy Paul Morin)


416-504-7500 ext. 101

Joanne McLean, Innocence Canada board member and counsel to Guy Paul Morin



Bhavan Sodhi, Innocence Canada staff counsel


416-504-7500 ext. 104



Friday 23 October 2020

Downtown Brampton launching art show of contemporary Caribbean Art

 Contemporary Caribbean Art Exhibition to Launch at PAMA in downtown Brampton, On

BRAMPTON, ON (Wednesday, October 23, 2020) Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA) is pleased to partner with the CArt (Caribbean Art) Fair, the Black Artist Network in Dialogue (BAND), and guest curators Karen Carter and Greg Manuel to present the exhibition, when night stirred at sea: Contemporary Caribbean Art opening Oct. 29, first as a virtual exhibition and then on-site once PAMA re-opens to the public. PAMA is inviting the public to a special, virtual launch celebration for the exhibition on Thursday, Oct. 29. Register now to reserve your spot for the event.

Featured Artists:

  • Krystal Ball (Jamaican/Canadian, Toronto-based)
  • Vanley Burke (Jamaican/British, London-based)
  • Katrina Coombs (Jamaican)
  • Owen V. Gordon (Jamaican/Canadian, Toronto-based)
  • Ila Lovelace-Kuhnert (Trinidadian)
  • Christina Leslie (Canadian, Toronto-based)
  • Miles Regis (Trinidadian/American, Los Angeles-based)
  • Janice Reid (Jamaican/Canadian, Brampton-based)
  • Storm Saulter (Jamaican)

This exhibition showcases a selection of artists who were featured in the inaugural CArt (Caribbean Art) Fair in late January and early February 2020 in Mandeville, Jamaica. The Fair seems like another lifetime as a little over a month later the world began to go into isolation facing the uncertainty of a global pandemic.

The rising health crisis made the need for a comprehensive look at Caribbean art seem far less urgent. Then came the rise of the Black Lives Matter global movement, the protests, the conversations about racism, and about how the free labour of indigenous Africans from the transatlantic slave trade was used to build our modern capitalist society. These events shifted the conversations about the role the Caribbean has played in the development of the “new world” making the voice of the artists from this region and the larger diaspora more relevant than ever.

In difficult times, art has been an essential part of human survival. Artists create works that provide everything from a temporary escape to an important interpretive record of the human condition that lasts long past any given challenging time. The artists featured in this exhibition are all connected to the English Caribbean islands. Their works explore themes of identity, community, colonization, globalization, social justice, activism and climate change. The exhibition provides a small window into the complex beauty and inherent tensions of Caribbean cultural identity that connect this region and the larger Caribbean diaspora to the world.

Virtual Programming Highlights

  • Thursday, Oct. 29, 7 pm: Exhibition Opening Reception – Register Now
  • Thursday, Nov. 26, 7 pm: Art & Book Club in partnership with Brampton Library. This month’s feature book is These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card - Register Now
  • Saturday, Nov. 28, 2 pm: Artist Talk - The Photographers, featuring Vanley Burke, Javier Dayes, Christina Leslie, Janice Reid, and Storm Saulter
  • Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021: Artist Talk - Painting and Textiles, featuring Krystal Ball, Katrina Coombs,  Owen V. Gordon and Miles Regis


“It is a pleasure to be working with such a wide range of artists with connections to the English Caribbean on this exhibition.  During the inaugural CArt fair in Mandeville, Jamaica, in January of this year, we could never have imagined that only nine months later, we would be opening an exhibition with PAMA in a world even more in need of these artists voices.  

To be able to bring some of the artists together for a second time and to a broader international audience at PAMA is wonderful and in keeping with the mandate of CArt to connect Caribbean artists to the broader art world. To be able to do so at this particular moment in history adds yet another significant layer to our belief of the important role artists play in our understanding of the human condition.” Co-curators Karen Carter and Greg Manuel

“We are thrilled to finally see this showcase come to fruition after a year in the making and to welcome guest curators Karen and Greg to the PAMA family. As a Canadian of Jamaican descent, I felt very passionately that this was an important story to tell, now more than ever. We are so very pleased to include local and international Caribbean artists in the exhibit including Brampton’s own Janice Reid.” Rene Nand, Manager, Community and Cultural Engagement at PAMA

Special thanks to our media partners at One Caribbean TVToronto Caribbean NewsSauga 960 AMNew Theory RadioBrampton GuardianCaledon Enterprise and Mississauga News.


  Operated by the Region of Peel, PAMA is located at 9 Wellington Street, East in Brampton. Visit pama.peelregion.ca to learn more.

Media Contact:

Erin Fernandes Marketing Coordinator, PAMA M: 416-312-3425  Erin.fernandes@peelregion.ca

Issued by  Stephen Weir stephen@stephenweir.com

Wednesday 14 October 2020

New Caribbean News Show Will Be Seen in Canada


BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS (10.14.20) One Caribbean Television is pleased to announce the addition of Caribbean Week in Review, a 30-minute news program, to its fall line-up.

Each week, Caribbean Week in Review will offer comprehensive coverage of the region’s most important news stories. The program provides perspective that goes beyond the headlines by featuring in-depth interviews with newsworthy guests from across the Caribbean.

Caribbean Week in Review is produced by Riveting Media Inc., a Barbados-based video production and digital distribution company which has worked with many of the free-to-air TV broadcasters and cable providers in the region.

Rene Seon (pictured above), the show’s host is a former reporter and TV producer for Caribbean Newsline. She is joined by print and broadcast journalist, Dawne Parris, who was also associated with Caribbean Newsline as an anchor and news editor.

Since 2008, One Caribbean Television, a 24/7 television network, has provided news, weather, travel, lifestyle and entertainment programming about the people and places of the Caribbean. The channel is seen on cable systems in select cities in the United States, in Canada and throughout the Caribbean. It is also streamed on Amazon’s Fire TV, Apple TV, ROKU and VUit.

A new Caribbean Week in Review will air at various times each weekend. To learn more and for show times, visit: www.onecaribbeantelevision.com.

Contact: Mark Walton - 646.776.0914 -mwalton@OneCaribbeanTelevision.com

Issued on behalf of One Caribbean: Stephen Weir & Associates