This is in response to the front-page article in the April 1 Western News, concerning Phillipe Poisson. As a counsellor working in the community I was surprised and somewhat shocked by the amount of detail that the reporter felt she needed to publish.
I totally acknowledge and agree with the need to provide the community with information that will help keep young persons safe. I also understand that the information divulged in a courtroom is public knowledge. However, I would have hoped for more journalistic integrity from your paper.
I do not believe it was necessary or morally correct to publish the details of the abuse that Mr. Poisson suffered as a child. Nor do I believe that it was ethical to publish details of his medical history, nor the details of Dr. Nichols’ testimony. In my opinion this very personal information did not add to the safety of the community and so it was not necessary.
We all deserve to have our human rights respected, and so does this young man. If we are talking about safety, do we not also need to consider the safety of this vulnerable man who has already apparently suffered more victimization than any one should endure? I wonder if the possible repercussions were considered? There are those on our street who are not above exacting their own form of justice on those they perceive as a threat.
It is my belief that this article could have been presented in a way that would have conveyed the important information without further victimizing Mr. Poisson.
Thank you for listening.