POLITICS

What some are saying as former priest goes on trial in Nunavut

11/17/2013 10:00 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
IQALUIT, Nunavut - What some people are saying as former priest Eric Dejaeger faces a trial on 76 historical sex charges in Nunavut:

"It came back all of a sudden. I felt numb. And then I saw his picture after 30 years. I wasn't even crying, yet the tears were coming down really hard. Some of us are getting more drunk. I'm trying to drink more. Some of us are being more abusive towards our common-law husband or wife. Some of us are getting into troubles here and there." — One of Dejaeger's alleged victims speaking from Igloolik in 2011 after hearing news that Dejaeger had been arrested in Belgium and was coming back to Canada

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"It's not so hard any more. I am moving on and I need to find a way to forgive him, and I'm trying, and I want to. Maybe that way it will be easier for me. I'm doing good. I'm not a drunk any more. What he did is bound to come back to him." — The same person in 2013, days before Dejaeger's trial was to begin

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"When he was here, he acted as though he was a really decent man. We thought he was someone who was a friend." — Former Igloolik mayor Lucasie Ivalu

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"We all make mistakes" — Text of a badge worn by Eric Dejaeger when he pleaded guilty to nine counts of abuse in 1991

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"I heard that Eric was told — off the record — to leave Canada by several organizations including the courts, his lawyers and some Oblates." — Georges Vervust, Oblate provincial for Belgium, suggesting how Dejaeger may have been able to escape Canada after a second batch of charges were laid in 1995.

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"When he left, I said, 'Well, I don't agree with this. When you get to wherever you're going, just send me a note.' It was a code that I had fixed with him. When I received this code I knew what country he was in." — Oblate Father Jean-Paul Isabelle, Dejaeger's superior in 1995

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"It seems to me that they (Canada) will do nothing unless you come to Canada." — July 5, 1995, letter to Dejaeger from top Oblate official in Canada

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