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The Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John's is shown on March 21, 1989. The building was demolished in 1992.ANDREW VAUGHAN/The Canadian Press

A former student of a private Vancouver Catholic school alleges that a teacher who sexually abused him in the 1980s was shuffled to the West Coast by the church after confessing he preyed on boys at an infamous Newfoundland orphanage.

In a proposed class action filed on Monday in B.C. Supreme Court, Darren Liptrot also alleges that his abuser was joined by five other abusers, who were transferred across the country from the Mount Cashel facility in Newfoundland and Labrador to his high school, Vancouver College, and St. Thomas More Collegiate between 1976 and 1983.

If certified, the suit will test whether the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s and the former head of a defunct Canadian order of religious devotees known as the Christian Brothers can be held liable for claims of sexual abuse that happened on the other side of Canada. The lawsuit also names Mr. Liptrot’s alleged abuser, Edward English; his former vice-principal, John Kavalec; the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver; and the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese. The corporate entities that now own and operate the two Vancouver-area high schools are also being sued.

Mr. Liptrot’s lawyer, Joe Fiorante, said his client feels there has never been an accounting of what happened to him or why the Christian Brothers, officials in the Catholic church and the Catholic school system were all aware of these pedophiles, yet failed to protect students.

“In the broader context, this is an unfinished chapter in the Mount Cashel tragedy, so at some point there has to be a reckoning with that within the legal system,” he said.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada refused an attempt by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s to appeal a ruling that found the church liable for sexual abuse at Mount Cashel orphanage, a scandal that shook Newfoundland and Labrador decades ago. That decision cemented the church’s financial liability for that abuse. The archdiocese had claimed for decades it had no ownership over the facility, and no affiliation with the U.S.-based Christian Brothers organization, which ran it.

Peter Hundt, the Archbishop of St. John’s, told The Globe and Mail his archdiocese just became aware of the lawsuit and is taking it seriously, but it is too early to comment.

Melissa Godbout, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Vancouver and the local Catholic school board, said her organizations feel great sadness and regret for anyone who has suffered sexual abuse from a person in power. But she said in an e-mailed statement that the archdiocese and school board question why they were named in the suit, as they do not own or operate either school.

Last summer, a separate class-action proposal was filed alleging the Archdiocese of Vancouver covered up decades of abuse by clergy members.

None of the allegations have been proven in court, and The Globe was unable to reach Mr. English, Mr. Kavalec or Gerald Gabriel McHugh, who was in charge of the Christian Brothers in Canada at the time of the alleged abuses and was instrumental in transferring the perpetrators from one coast to another, according to the lawsuit.

If a judge certifies the lawsuit as class-action, the plaintiff would represent students of Vancouver College and St. Thomas More Collegiate who say they were physically or sexually abused at those schools between 1976 and 1995.

The Christian Brothers once ran Vancouver College and held shares in Vancouver College and St. Thomas More, but the order of religious laymen wound up its operations in Canada in the mid-1990s to pay compensation to people who were physically and sexually abused in their care. These two schools reached a deal with the liquidator overseeing the dissolution and their properties are held in trust by independent foundations that operate them, Mr. Fiorante said.

On Monday, administrators at the schools told The Globe they were deeply troubled by the allegations and are reviewing them.

Both schools ended their statements with the same promise: “We remain committed to do all that we can to best support our community and anyone impacted.”

Mr. Liptrot, 53, said in an interview that his life was derailed soon after he was allegedly sexually and physically abused in grades 9 and 10 by Mr. English at Vancouver College.

The self-employed contractor who does small home renovations in Chilliwack, an hour’s drive east of Vancouver, told The Globe he dreamt of being a lawyer in high school. But, Mr. Liptrot said, at 15 - soon after two years of alleged abuse ended - he began using alcohol and cannabis heavily, and continued along a path of addiction until he sought treatment in 2006.

In 1991, Mr. English was sentenced to 12 years in jail on 13 charges of indecent assault, gross indecency, and assault causing bodily harm for abusing boys between the ages of eight and 14 at Mount Cashel, where he was a supervisor from 1973 to 1975.

Mr. Liptrot said he had not thought of taking legal action before because he believed Mr. English was still in prison. In 2014, he learned Mr. English was free, so he began a legal journey that was at times interrupted by relapses into substance use, he said.

In 2007, a former B.C. student sued Mr. English, the Christian Brothers and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, alleging he was molested at a Burnaby Sunday school in 1978 and later at St. Thomas More.

Mr. Fiorante said that case was settled out of court, like many others involving sexual abuse across Canada.

“An accumulation of piecemeal lawsuits might actually be a waterfall, but you’re just seeing a drop at a time and it’s hard to put it into perspective,” Mr. Fiorante said.

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