These five class actions were brought by former students that sued the Federal Government of Canada (“Canada”) about the management and operation of the Schools in Cartwright, North West River, Makkovik, Nain and St. Anthony run by the IGA or the Moravian Church in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the harms and abuses committed against the children who attended them. The lawsuits claim that Canada exposed former students to child abuse, neglect, and physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse. The Plaintiffs claim that Canada did not protect students’ physical and mental well-being even though it was its duty to do so. The lawyers for the Plaintiffs began presenting their claims at the trial which started in September 2015.
The representative former students and Canada have now reached a $50 million settlement (“Settlement”) that provides compensation for former students who attended.
Unless they have previously removed themselves from the lawsuit, the Settlement is available for anyone who was alive as of November 23, 2006 and who attended the IGA or Moravian Schools in the following locations between the dates listed:
i. Cartwright – April 1, 1949 to June 30, 1964
ii. Northwest River – April 1, 1949 to June 30, 1980
iii. Nain – April 1, 1949 to June 30, 1973
iv. Makkovik – April 1, 1949 to June 30, 1960
v. St. Anthony – April 1, 1949 to June 30, 1979
The amount of your payment will depend on how long you lived at the residence at the Schools and/or the level of harm you suffered, according to this agreed upon compensation scheme:
|General Compensation Payment (“GCP”)||Abuse Compensation Payment (“ACP”)|
|Class Members who lived at the residence at the Schools will receive a general compensation payment (“GCP”) based on how many years they lived at the residence at the Schools. For those who lived at the residence at the Schools for less than five academic years, or parts thereof, a GCP of $15,000 will be paid. For those who lived at the residence at the Schools for five or more academic years, a GCP of $20,000 will be paid. Class Members who did not live at the residence at the schools – who were not boarders – will not receive a GCP.
|All eligible Class Members, who meet the criteria, may be entitled to an abuse compensation payment (“ACP”) depending on the level of harm they suffered. Such claimants may receive up to a maximum of $200,000 depending on the number of people who submit a valid ACP claim and the harm they suffered. The claims administrator will determine the amount of compensation provided to ACP claimants based on categories of harm set out in the Settlement Agreement. The actual amount available for each eligible Class Member will not be determined until after all claim forms have been received and assessed. An eligible Class Member may receive a GCP and an ACP.
The class action no longer includes claims for the “Family Class”, being family members of the former students. These claims were discontinued at trial by a decision of the Court. There is no compensation available for the Family Class in this Settlement and any further claims are now barred.
The Court has not decided whether Canada did anything wrong. The Settlement must be approved by the Court before there is any money available.
The Court will hold a Settlement Approval Hearing at 10:00 a.m. on September 27-29, 2016 at the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Class. If there are objections to the Settlement, the Court will consider them and will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may also decide how much to pay Class Counsel. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement.
Should the Settlement be approved, a further notice will be released explaining the claims process and how to receive a payment if you are eligible.
The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice.