A new Karla Homolka controversy in Montreal - Macleans.ca

A new Karla Homolka controversy in Montreal

Homolka reportedly volunteered at her children’s new school, raising concern among other parents


Karla Homolka is once again at the centre of a controversy in Quebec over allegations that she participated in a trip for kindergarten students at Greaves Adventist Academy to the Montreal Science Centre in March, upsetting some parents of other students attending the institution, sources have told CityNews.

Homolka’s children reportedly attend classes at Greaves, a private school that falls under the Quebec Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists Church, a Christian sect. The trip is said to have occurred on March 22, and one parent told CityNews that Homolka “occasionally volunteers” at the school.

Homolka served 12 years in prison following a plea deal after being convicted of the rape and murder of two school girls along with then-husband Paul Bernardo. The couple’s victims also included one of Homolka’s sisters. She was released in 2005, and subsequently married Thierry Bordelais, the brother of her former lawyer.

It’s standard practice to conduct background checks on employees and volunteers who have frequent contact with students in most provinces. But Homolka “is not a regular volunteer. Rarely would she have cause to go into the school, and when she is, she is never alone,” Stan Jensen, communication director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, told a CityNews editor. He said the school board was “fully aware” of who Homolka is.

“The Quebec Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the administration of Greaves Adventist Academy are committed to providing quality education and enriching learning experiences to its students,” the Church said in a statement to CityNews. “While we work through the concerns stated by parents and other stakeholders, we welcome those associated with the school to contact the Quebec Conference office of Education.”

On her release from prison, a judge had applied 14 conditions on Homolka, under Section 810 of the Criminal Code. They included regularly reporting to the police, and having to “refrain from seeking, accepting or keeping any paid or unpaid job or volunteer work putting her in a position of authority over minors under age 16,” according to the CanWest News Service, reporting at the time. But the restrictions were quashed by a Quebec justice shortly after.

Brian Saint-Louis, a spokesman for Quebec’s Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, says school boards are responsible for trips and activities, including whether background checks are conducted on volunteers or participants. “We have some guidelines—when there’s sports activities and so on, we recommend people to check everything is okay, but it’s a school board responsibility.”

“It is protocol for all of our schools across Canada, and most of the world, to do background checks, not only on teachers, but volunteers as well as clergy,” Jensen says.

Last year, CityNews reported that Homolka was living in Châteauguay, a town in the Greater Montreal area, using the name Léanne Teale. Parents at the elementary school attended by her children expressed concern at her presence and anger that the school board had not notified them of it. The principal of Centennial Park Elementary School sent a letter to parents reassuring them that their children were safe, and noting that adult volunteers are subject to criminal background checks. Greaves, the new school, is located in Montreal proper.

Dominic Fazioli of Breakfast Television Montreal asked Homolka last week outside Greaves whether she volunteered or worked at the school. She did not answer the question.

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A new Karla Homolka controversy in Montreal

    • It doesn’t matter if she served her time. She participated in killing to teenage girls and her teenage sister. CHILDREN. Unforgivable. People have every right to be concerned about her being around their own children. Her punishment was a joke anyways. The Crown made a deal with the devil, before the videotapes exposed her true involvement. I have zero sympathy for her. I feel for her kids.

      • You seem to have no feelings for her kids.

        • It’s extremely disturbing that a Quebec judge threw out her original restrictions and that she is around other people’s children. I understand why they are upset. I read the book. I lived next door to one of the parks where the Scarborough Rapist was and was always disturbed by these horrible events. I know that this trial even upset and disturbed some of the professional people involved to this day; that’s how horrific it was. She copped a plea and served her time; but she is far from innocent. I wouldn’t trust her around anyone I love.

        • I feel for her kids, but it’s not our problem that their mother is a serial killer. She can drop her kids at school and leave. No reason to allow her to volunteer there.

      • Common sense would have dictated that the deal be contingent on Homolka being 100% truthful in a *full* account of her involvement in the crimes. Common sense was apparently lacking.

  1. She doesn’t deserve the right to have children. I wish someone would steal them away from her and raise them in a loving home somewhere she will never be able to find them. That would be justice, and a lot kinder than what she did to the Mahaffey’s and French’s, and possibly other parents if she hadn’t been caught. This woman has no soul.

    • At the very least, she should be closely supervised in her parenting. I would love to know how she explains to her children that they have one less aunt than they should have. What does she tell them when other families won’t let their children be around her? It’s very unlikely that they won’t find out eventually what she has done.
      Why would any school allow her to be in contact with children under any circumstances? They should be required to get a written consent from the parent of any child that’s going to be anywhere near her and the consent form should detail what she was convicted of doing to schoolgirls.

  2. I couldn’t help but notice a new shameless low in the Commons. On his third QP Sheer used the name Karla Homolka in a question to the Liberal government. How sick and depraved is that? What is he suggesting? Reaching the bottom of the putrid slimey swamp of decency on his third day. So Liberals like Homolka is that it?
    The spineless backbenchers cheered as usual.

    • What was the question?

      • No question. Just a statement.
        Karla Homolka is back in the news. Only the lowest of the low would exploit it for personal political gain. And I found that person down in the slime.

        • What was the statement?

          [FWIW, you initially said Homolka’s name was used in a question.]

          • The question was not sincere.

    • So this is your major concern.

  3. It would seem sensible for her to formally use her husband’s name, but it’s the media’s preference to use her family name. Just curious.

    • In Quebec, married women have to use their maiden names for legal purposes. Because of that, most of them use it all the time.

      • That’s interesting. Therefore, she has no alternative but to leave Quebec.

  4. How is Homolka paying the bills? She drives an expensive vehicle, lives in a large two-storey single family home and appears not to be working. She is driving her children to and from school in Montreal every day from the suburbs. What does her husband do to cover the costs of raising three kids and supporting a stay-at-home wife?
    I’m surprised this hasn’t been raised.