Unique measure of justice: Canuck Place receives $7,000 donation

A night of drinking, a dangerous rooftop game of Twister, and a costly vandalism spree that could have ended tragically for four young adults at an Abbotsford construction site has an unexpected end to it a year later.

Laurie Shopland

Laurie Shopland

A night of drinking, a dangerous rooftop game of Twister, and a costly vandalism spree that could have ended tragically for four young adults at an Abbotsford construction site has an unexpected end to it a year later.

Because of a mediation process involving Quantum Properties president and CEO Diane Delves, Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association (ARJAA), and the four offenders, Canuck Place is now the recipient of a $7,000 donation.

Tony deWaal, ARJAA executive director, said provincial court costs for each of the offenders would have been $5,000.

The four were apprehended when a security guard witnessed them exiting the construction site. Police then referred the case to ARJAA, an organization that brings victims and offenders together for healing and restitution.

It was one of 161 cases handled by ARJAA last year, with 98 being referred by police and 63 from local schools.

Pre-mediation meetings were conducted with Delves and the offenders to educate them about the process.

As a result, the offenders agreed to repay the $7,000 cost of repairing the damage caused at the Quantum project and to write a research paper on the value of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

Delves decided that the $7,000 restitution would be donated to the charity.

Laurie Shopland, campaign manager for Canuck Place, said Delves and ARJAA turned a unique situation into a positive one.

Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is part of the Campus of Care project being constructed next to Abbotsford Regional Hospital. The project also includes the Abbotsford Hospice Society and Matthew’s House, a respite facility for children with severe disabilities.