After three years, a legal matter between the territorial government and a man alleging serial sexual abuse while in jail has been settled outside of court.
Kelly Canadian filed suit against the GNWT in 2019, alleging more than 40 instances when he was sexually abused by a staff member during his incarceration at North Slave Correctional Complex (NSCC) in Yellowknife.
Canadian sought $1.25 million from the territorial government for “mental anguish” suffered as a result of the alleged abuse.
As of Dec. 7, 2021, the claim was settled outside of court after defence lawyer Steven Cooper received an email requesting response to a consent dismissal order.
Terms of the settlement were not publicly disclosed.
According to available court files, the matter was dismissed on a “without costs” basis and that “no costs were awarded.”
Cooper stated that he had “no comment” when asked for details.
Ngan Trinh, senior communications adviser for the Department of Justice, stated that “the matter with Mr. Canadian and the Government of the Northwest Territories is confidential and we are unable to comment.”
The GNWT filed a statement of defence in June 2019, denying that any sexual abuse occurred.
The Department of Justice also conducted an internal investigation at the North Slave Correctional Complex in 2019 following Canadian’s accusations. Two jail employees were subsequently fired.
“The safety and security of any inmate in any corrections facility is paramount and a priority of the Corrections Service,” Trinh stated this week. “All corrections officers are trained and are aware of their responsibilities to those in their care. Proper conduct of corrections staff is outlined in policies and procedures. Professionalism, ethics and harassment and workplace conflict is covered in the Corrections Northern Recruitment Training Program and corrections staff receive refresher training in these areas routinely as part of their professional development.”