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Saskatoon city councillor's leadership at private Christian school revealed in leaked document

Saskatoon city councillor's leadership at private
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A leaked document reveals a Saskatoon city councillor's involvement at a private Christian school embroiled in abuse allegations.

Coun. Randy Donauer is named in a $25 million class action lawsuit, launched by former students who claim they were abused at Legacy Christian Academy – formerly known as Christian Centre Academy.

Donauer has denied all claims of abuse and denies developing policy or procedures at Legacy Christian Academy, which is operated by Mile Two Church.

“I have requested further particulars of these allegations as I have no knowledge of the policies and procedures that the plaintiffs allege I was instrumental in developing and implementing,” Donauer told CTV News, adding that he has no further comment.

In a letter obtained by CTV News, Donauer appears to be in a leadership role, making strategy recommendations to the church.

"Ensuring we have a good quality Sunday service is the highest priority," Donauer writes in the letter, addressed to the overseeing pastor, dated May 1, 2023 – about eight months after the statement of claim was filed.

Donauer suggests making the children's ministry the second-highest priority, and the school as the third.

“We'll have to cut back on our online presence. I recommend we suspend social media accounts, minimize the web page, and remove things like benevolence from our website," the letter reads.

In the letter, Donauer divvies up responsibilities among himself, the board, and the pastor. Donauer's duties include providing interim leadership to staff and ministry teams, interim operational oversight, and reporting to the board.

He states he's been given "sign authority" for the church finances until a permanent pastor is hired, and recommends getting added to the rotation of guest ministers.

"However, I've not been asked to preach in many months so I'm not sure if you are comfortable with that ... I also recommend I be given the opportunity to talk to the congregation before the end of June," Donauer writes.

In the letter, Donauer refuses to step into a "pastoral/elder/board position."

"I will not agree to be the public spokesperson for the church. I can't," the city councillor of Ward 5 says.

Donauer also acknowledges concerns from the congregation of a pastor allegedly withholding a family’s passports. He calls it an issue "we'll have to sort out."

DONAUER SUGGESTS ADDING 'SOME WOMEN' TO THE CHURCH'S BOARD

Donauer says he will facilitate regular board meetings and suggests adding some women to the board.

"I believe we will need to appoint new members to the board to meet minimum numbers. I have suggestions on that, which includes adding some women," Donauer writes.

Donauer says it's important to keep "the vision" of the church consistent or "it could mean the departure of a number key families and even the end of the ministry."

"Over the past number of years we have lost people for various reason ... we have a small, fragile core group left," Donauer writes, calling them sheep that need to be fed.

The lawsuit alleges Donauer spanked a 16-year-old student with a wooden paddle for “gossiping and making jokes about fellow camp counsellors dating.”

“I have no knowledge of the physical, psychological, emotional, and religious abuse that was allegedly suffered at my hands,” Donauer’s affidavit reads.

Allegations in the lawsuit have not been tested in court.

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