OTTAWA - CHRISTMAS OF 2011
Dear Senator LeBreton,
As you may recall, I talked to you on the phone while I was investigating the Susana Hamilton-Reyes case. She is a Dominican national, who hast not seen her twin daughters since they came to visit their father in Canada almost ten years ago. She blames you for not being able to see them or fight for her rights as their mother. Susana met her husband—Keith Hamilton a former employee of yours—in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic in 1997. They met while she worked as a bartender in Costambar. As you know, Mr. Hamilton owned a small hotel there. Their twin daughters were born in Puerto Plata in 1998.
Susana traveled to Canada for the first time on a visitor visa in May of 1997, which was issued for two years. However, after spending less than ten weeks in Canada, she went back to the Dominican Republic, voluntarily. A couple of years after Mr. Hamilton and Susana married, a man by the name of Douglas LeBreton, who happened to be your husband, came to visit for a week. Susana didn't know who the man really was until later when something happened. She regrets meeting your husband, saying, "I will pay a price for the rest of her life."
Although, Susana didn't know who Mr. LeBreton was, he made sure that she knew when he gave her your business card. At the back of the card, your husband wrote down his residence telephone number in Ontario. The day, he arrived in Puerto Plata, he asked Mr. Hamilton to call him a cab: “I am going for a drink,” your husband said, and ended up at Amadito, a well-known prostitution bar in Puerto Plata. Your husband took a young escort service home after offering her 3000 pesos for her services or the equivalency of approximately $70.
According to the prostitute, your husband refused to pay her after they spent the night together. “I was too drunk; there was no sex between the two of us,” Mr. LeBreton said. “Yes, we did have sex; besides, I don’t care if you didn't perform as you expected. You still have to pay me. I stayed with you all night; this is my job,” the young companion said. Several people including Susana heard them arguing. Susana did what she thought was right: She went over to the room and offered the young prostitute—a person she didn't know—the equivalency of $15 and asked her to leave. She left; however, according to the hotel's security, she came back in the evening.
It would’ve been around 9 p.m. when the guard saw her arrived with two beers in her hands. The woman went up to your husband’s room and knocked on his door; he opened it and she stayed with him all night. In the morning, it would’ve been around 10 a.m. when Merecia, one of Susana’s female employees went and knocked on Mr. LeBreton’s room. According to Merecia, your husband communicated that he wasn’t feeling well. “He was shaky and having problems walking.” In the evening, Susana told her husband that she was concerned: “I don’t want to go to bed and leave your friend like that.” Mr. Hamilton asked her to call a cab and “take Doug to the hospital; I will stay with the girls."
She called a taxi and took your husband to the clinic, where they checked his blood pressure and advised him to come back the next day, because the doctor had gone home for the night. The following morning, they took him back to the clinic, where he was examined. He ended up staying there for a few days. The official diagnosis from the doctor was that “something was put in his drink that made him sick.” This was likely done by the prostitute after she came back for a second time. It is possible that she came not only to get even, but rob him; however, this is unclear.
Mr. LeBreton begged Susana to talk to the doctor, so he wouldn’t send the hospital records to Canada or at least to omit his finding: “I don’t want my wife (Marjory LeBreton) to find out about this; she is a senator with the government and this is going to cause me problems.” The doctor said it would be unethical to withhold the hospital records; besides, he had to send them to get paid. Eventually, you found out about it after Mr. Hamilton called to let you know that your husband was ill.
Mr. Hamilton worked for you for many years; your husband was his friend, your friend. Your husband was there on vacation and is responsible for his own doing. You got mad and got the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and the Dominican Police involved after your husband returned home in Ontario, because you wanted to get even. You even asked the Dominican government to send the police and investigate the unfortunate results after your husband went hanky-pankying in Puerto Plata.
Your worst act of revenge Senator LeBreton
In 2003, Susana’s twin daughters travelled to Canada to visit their father and that was the last time she saw them. Shortly after they travelled to Canada for what the mother thought was a short visit or until she rendezvoused with her husband, he wanted custody. Did you pressure your former employee into dumping his wife and keeping her daughters? They sent Susana court documents in the Dominican, giving her a couple of weeks to come to court and fight for her daughters.
Since she didn't have a Canadian visa, distraught, betrayed and broken-hearted, Susana ran to the Canadian embassy in Santo Domingo to apply for one, so she could travel to Canada and fight for her daughters. She was denied a visa because according to Immigration, she had a criminal record in Canada. What record? She never lived in Canada. The only record that she would have was helping your husband when he got sick. What a terrible price to pay. You know that she does not have a record.
As a result, they awarded custody to her husband and she has not seen her daughters in almost ten years. Despite being in Canada three times and leaving the country willingly, she has repeatedly applied for a visa to come and see her daughters, and the Canadian government always turns it down. While it is likely that this mother won't leave the country voluntarily if she came to Canada, in all indications, you Senator have used your influence to basically separate this mother from her daughters.
Susana has not been the same person since her daughters were taken for her. For a while, she was even suicidal due to the loss of her daughters. Although, it was under different circumstances, you lost a daughter, so you know what is like to lose a child. Susana has knocked on many doors during her quest to see her daughters, again. She has visited the Catholic Church in Santo Domingo several times, where she spoke to the Dominican cardinal; she has told her story to the media, and she even visited the office of the Dominican’s First Lady, but to no avail. She even contacted the National Council for Children and Adolescents in the Dominican capital.
What did they tell her?
“Your case has very little chance of ever changing, because of the strong opposition you have to enter Canada, especially now that that lady (Marjorie LeBreton) has more state power as she was appointed Leader of the Government in Parliament. What nobody can take away from you is the right to have your daughters, to be with them. You have to talk to your husband and make him understand the situation. Failing to make him understand and you could start a process with CONANI (The National Council for Children and Adolescents). This is a special procedure that might help with the return of your daughters to the Dominican Republic. Do not forget the best place for a child is to be with their parent and nothing would compensate your love.”
I was sceptical when I first heard about Susana’s case, and investigated the circumstances surrounding her sad story. It wasn’t until she provided me with documents, including pictures to back up her allegations. Your husband was so appreciative of what Susana did after she took care of him when he got sick that he gave her his residence's telephone number, which she provided it to me as part of my investigation.
I called the number, hoping to hear his side of the story, and you answered the telephone. You were furious and threatened to call the police if I tried to contact your husband, again. “They poisoned my husband over there and I had to get the Department of Foreign Affairs involved,” you said, when I called and you refused to let me speak to him. Senator, how do you know your husband was poisoned? Who poisoned your husband? Have you analyzed what really happened, objectively? Do you know the full story? Do you know about the prostitute? How can you blame Susana for what happened to Mr. LeBreton when he went there on vacation?
As a powerful senator of the Conservative government, you have all the power to do what you have done, but this is an abuse of power. When tourists visit a poor country like the Dominican Republic, it is what many do—enjoy their holidays, including sleeping with prostitutes for a buck or two. When your husband refused to pay the woman after spending the night with him, he was potentially bringing shame upon himself and you. We now know what happened. Susana didn't even know the prostitute. How can you hold her accountable for what happened to Mr. LeBreton.
This is one more Christmas that Susana spends without her daughters. She has been grieving the loss of her daughters since she was prevented from coming to Canada to fight for them, and her rights. "If you come to Canada, you are going to cause me problems," her husband said. What kind of problems? The Canadian media is not like that of the United States that holds politicians more accountable.
For God's sake, how can you sleep at night, knowing that two young girls are growing without the warmth of their mother (who loves them dearly), because of what your husband did? The only crime Susana has committed is not being able to stand up to a Conservative politician, who needed to find the weakest link to pass blame for her husband ultimate betrayal.
As Canadians, we are not known for helping separate parents from their children. While her cry has not been heard, she remains hopeful that one day she will see her daughters, again.
The innocents always pay for the sinners
Prensa Latina, London, ON