Welcome Hall Mission

Welcome Hall Mission

August 15, 2007 16:36 ET

Statement of Welcome Hall Mission in Response to the Article Realeased in Le Journal de Montreal on Sunday August 12, 2007 Entitled Nightmare at Summer Camp

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 15, 2007) - Below is a statement made by Mr. Cyril Morgan, Executive Director of Welcome Hall Mission during the press briefing of August 13, 2007:

"You have been asked to attend this press conference following an article that was written in the Journal de Montreal, last Sunday, August 12th.

Before going too far, I would like to tell you that Welcome Hall Mission is a not-for-profit organization that offers a wide variety of services to the less fortunate of the greater Montreal area. For the past 115 years, Welcome Hall Mission has been relentlessly fighting against all types of poverty and social injustice in Montreal.

Never in the history of the Mission, has our reputation, professionalism or intentions been put into question.

Each year, for the past 20 years, Welcome Hall Mission has sent hundreds of children from less fortunate families in Montreal for a summer camp experience.

Welcome Hall Mission covers 80% of the cost of each camp but does not run a summer camp - we do not have the infrastructure, nor the necessary staff to be able to do so.

This year, we decided to send the children to Camp Chapleau, which has been owned and administered by Old Brewery Mission for the past 100 years. Upon evaluation, camp Chapleau fit into our safety criteria, the facilities seemed quite fine; it had a solid reputation and was accredited by the Quebec Camping Association.

We had no reason to believe that the children that have been attending camp Chapleau for years could experience anything less than a good vacation. Therefore, we took the necessary steps to book Camp Chapleau for the children who attend Club de L'Arche here at the Mission. Club de l'Arche is a department of Welcome Hall Mission that does animation in the parks and in the poorest areas of Montreal.

We have received complaints by telephone, and two written complaints that make reference to unacceptable behavior that some children had possibly experienced at Camp Chapleau. I would like to reassure the parents, the children and all the people concerned, that we do not take lightly these worries and reports from parents.

We will, upon recommendation by our legal counsel, get to the bottom of these reports, accumulate all of the facts and let you know the outcome of our findings. Right now, it is too early to speak about these reports until a further investigation is done."

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