Huronia class action plaintiffs urge Ontario's new Premier to follow BC NDP leader's lead on compensation commitment

TORONTO, Feb. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Marie Slark and Patricia Seth, plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit between the Huronia Regional Centre (HRC) and the province of Ontario, are asking Ontario's Premier-designate, Kathleen Wynne to listen to British Columbia's NDP leader Adrian Dix. Yesterday, just weeks in advance of BC's provincial election, Dix promised that the first thing he would do if elected BC's premier would be to extend compensation for former residents of the now-closed Woodlands School. Many of the residents of this school suffered abuses similar to what Ms. Slark and Ms. Seth endured at HRC.

Patricia Seth went to live at HRC when she was just six years old and was not discharged from the institution until 17 years later. Ms. Seth said:  "We need Ms. Wynne to do what Mr. Dix has done. Living [at HRC] was like being in jail. We had no freedom. We had no hope." Marie Slark, who resided at HRC from the age of seven until 16 said: "When I lived at Huronia I never had any control of my life. I hated it there. Why won't the new Premier say what Mr. Dix is saying?"

Ms. Slark and Ms. Seth are proceeding with a class action lawsuit against the Ontario government to seek justice and compensation for the severe abuse they endured while residing at HRC. HRC opened in 1876, housing people who were deemed to have cognitive and other disabilities. At its peak, more that 2,500 people lived at HRC and by the mid-1970s, the Ontario government operated 16 such facilities. The Liberal government closed the last of these institutions on March 31, 2009.

Now, former residents of HRC are seeking justice. However, since the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified their lawsuit as a class action on July 30, 2010, government lawyers have, on multiple occasions, needlessly delayed the process and progress of the case.

These delays have been emotionally devastating for the plaintiffs, many of whom are now elderly. "Many of us will pass away before we see justice," said Ms. Slark. "But we won't give up. It wasn't okay what they did to us."

Koskie Minsky LLP is representing the former HRC residents involved in the $2-billion class action lawsuit against the province of Ontario.

The class action alleges residents of the HRC suffered inhumane treatment from 1945 until its closure in 2009 and that the province of Ontario failed to properly care for and protect those under its care.

SOURCE: Koskie Minsky LLP

For further information:

Celeste Poltak 
Koskie Minsky LLP
cpoltak@kmlaw.ca
(416) 595-2701


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