Thursday, November 18, 2010

Residential Schooling Lawsuit

The fight to get compensation for Newfoundland and Labrador residential school survivors continues.

The issue was brought before the Court of Appeal earlier this month.

Steven Cooper is a lawyer with Ahlstrom, Wright, Oliver and Cooper.

He says the crown argued that after confederation Canada merely funded the residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The crown claimed that the federal government did not supervise or manage them.

Cooper says that Canada not only funded the system, but also actively managed and controlled them.

And that the schools in the rest of the country were operated in the same way.

He says even though some residential schools were operated in different ways, the same basic system of funding and control occurred everywhere in the country.

Cooper says the crown also argued that the schools should continue to seek eligibility under the settlement agreement which is in place in the rest of the country.

The crown also noted that the settlement agreement was a compromise between the negotiating parties.

Cooper says this province was not represented at those negotiations.

And they should not be forced to be governed by it.

He says they also noted that this agreement was negotiated five years ago.

The time for compensation ends in less than two years and much of the money has already been spent.

In one of the appeals, Judge Fowler asked the lawyer from Canada if he thought people in this province should be stuck with "half a loaf" by accepting a deal negotiated by others.

Cooper says it will likely be some time before the court gives its decision in whether to allow or dismiss the class action lawsuit.

Cooper urges anyone wishing to be added to the list of survivors to contact him.

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