EDMONTON, September 10, 2018 – The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton is shocked and disheartened to learn that a man who has served as a volunteer and staff member at Camp Encounter has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography. Camp Encounter is owned and operated by the Archdiocese.

Strathcona County RCMP report that the charges were laid against Tanner Porteous, 19, of Sherwood Park. Mr. Porteous served at Camp Encounter as a volunteer interim programmer for one week in the summer of 2018; he was a camp counsellor during the summer of 2017, and he was a member of the fall program staff in the fall of 2017. There is no indication that the alleged offences were connected to his service at Camp Encounter, and he had no access to any camp computers. However, given the seriousness of this charge, the accused will no longer be considered for any volunteer or employment role in the Archdiocese.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton has offered its full cooperation to the RCMP, and we encourage anyone with relevant information to contact them.

The Archdiocese is committed to providing safe environments in all of its parishes and institutions. All volunteers and staff, including those at Camp Encounter, are required to undergo background checks, give signed agreement to a code of conduct, and complete the Called to Protect abuse prevention training program.

In 2017 the Archdiocese received Praesidium Accreditation, which publicly demonstrates that it has worked to achieve the highest standards in abuse prevention. Part of the accreditation process requires the Archdiocese to conduct regular safety audits of parishes and institutions and work continually to improve our practices. In light of this charge, we will be working with police and other experts to expand our understanding of this kind of offence and if necessary strengthen our protocols.

For more information, contact:

Lorraine Turchansky, Chief Communications Officer, Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton
communications@caedm.ca | Ph: 780-392-2456 | Cel: 780-915-6045

Corporal Laurel Scott, Media Relations Group, Royal Canadian Mounted Police