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Could Canada prosecute those left from the residential schools


So I recently saw The Accountant of Auschwitz, an excellent documentary about the trial of Oskar Gröning, one of the last surviving SS men who worked at the death camps.  He never killed anyone himself but the prosecution successfully argued that his job basically amounted to holding the door closed while someone was being murdered.  For most of it's post war history Germany avoided prosecuting Nazi beyond some token stuff, but now a new generation are trying to find what few war criminals are still alive.

Now I'm watching this thinking "It's easy to judge Germany for letting most their war criminals get off but it's not like we're much better.  I don't think anyone was ever prosecuted for the residential school system for example... Wait, Could we do that?  Shouldn't we?"

After all the residential school system lasted well into the 60s, - 80s era so plenty of people involved with it are still alive.  But although over 5000 abusers within the system have been identified, little to nothing has been down to prosecute.  I don't know much about Canadian law, but there are some smart people here so is putting abusers behind bars legally possible?   Is that something I should be calling on the government to start doing?

It's a dicey matter, because you'd have to prove--40 to 60 years after the fact--that the people working at the schools actually did commit crimes (which they may well have, in fairness) on which the statute of limitations has not expired, keeping in mind that (unfortunately) residential schools were perfectly legal at the time.

Gröning is an interesting case. He got prosecuted because he gave himself up (though he did fight the conviction) and he did that because he got fed up with Neo-Nazis who claimed that the Holocaust never happened.

But yeah, there are plenty of crimes that have been swept under the rug and even if the convictions come late it would at least offer some closure to the victims or their families AND be proof that at least the current regime doesn't ignore the crimes.


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