British Columbia Public Service Benefits Class Action Certified



    VICTORIA, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - A class action proceeding has been certified
against the Province of British Columbia (the "Government") on behalf of the
members of the British Columbia Public Service Pension Plan (the "Plan
Members") who were presently entitled to receive premium-free Medical Services
Plan Benefits and Extended Health Care Benefits, and who retired on or before
November, 2002. The representative plaintiff for this class action is
Frederick Bennett. The plaintiff is represented by the law firm of Albert
Peeling in Victoria, as well as Koskie Minsky LLP in Toronto and Underhill
Faulkner Boies Parker Law Corporation in Vancouver and Victoria.
    Plan Members claim damages against the Government for breaching fiduciary
obligations with respect to the provision of premium-free Medical Services
Plan Benefits and Extended Health Care Benefits. Additionally, Plan Members
who were directly employed by the Government claim damages for breaching
contractual obligations with respect to the applicable medical benefits.
    On November 13, 2007, Madam Justice Dorgan of the Supreme Court of
British Columbia approved the release of the attached Notice to all of the
members of the Class, setting out the nature of the claim.
    The litigation will now proceed to the document and oral discovery
stages.
    More information, and court approved documents, can be found at the
website of Koskie Minsky LLP at www.kmlaw.ca, or by contacting Mark Zigler at
416-595-2090.



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                NOTICE OF CERTIFICATION OF A CLASS PROCEEDING

    TO:

    i.     Members of the British Columbia Public Service Pension Plan (the
           "Pension Plan") who retired on or before November 30, 2002, and
           who were presently entitled to receive premium-free Medical
           Services Plan Benefits and Extended Health Care Benefits (the
           "Retiree Benefits"); or,

    ii.    The surviving spouses or dependents of retired members of the
           Pension Plan who were presently entitled to receive free Retiree
           Benefits under the Pension Plan as of November 30, 2002; or,

    iii.   The beneficiaries and/or estates of persons in paragraphs (i) or
           (ii) above who died prior to any settlement or judgment in this
           action.

    (Collectively, (i), (ii), and (iii) comprise the "Class")

    AND TO:

    iv.    Members of the Pension Plan who retired on or before
           November 30, 2002, who were presently entitled to receive Retiree
           Benefits, and were, prior to retirement, directly employed by Her
           Majesty the Queen in right of the Province of British Columbia
           (the "Government"); or,

    v.     The surviving spouses and dependents of members of the Pension
           Plan who were presently entitled to receive the Retiree Benefits,
           and were, prior to retirement, directly employed by the
           Government; or,

    vi.    The beneficiaries and/or estates of persons in paragraphs (iv) or
           (v) above who died prior to any settlement or judgment in this
           action.
    

    (Collectively, (iv), (v) and (vi) comprise the "Government Retiree
Subclass", and members of the Government Retiree Subclass are included in the
Class).

    TAKE NOTICE THAT

    Frederick Bennett (the "Representative Plaintiff") has commenced a class
action proceeding against the Government (the "Defendant") on behalf of the
Class and the Government Retiree Subclass.

    The proceeding commenced on behalf the Representative Plaintiff and the
Class claims damages against the Defendant for breaching fiduciary obligations
with respect to the provision of the Retiree Benefits.

    The proceeding commenced on behalf of the Representative Plaintiff and
the Government Retiree Subclass claims additional damages against the
Defendant for beaching contractual obligations with respect to the provision
of the Retiree Benefits.

    There has been no judgment on the merits and the Defendant denies the
allegations.

    The Representative Plaintiff has retained Albert C. Peeling, Barrister
and Solicitor, and Mark Zigler, Barrister and Solicitor of the law firm of
Koskie Minsky LLP (collectively, "Class Counsel") with respect to the
proceeding.

    PARTICIPATION AND EXCLUSION FROM THE CLASS

    If you are person who meets the criteria for membership in the Class, you
are automatically included in this proceeding.

    If you wish to participate in this proceeding, you do not have to take
any steps at this time. You have a right to receive information regarding the
progress of the proceeding, and you have the right to share in the proceeds of
any Judgment or settlement in favour of respective Class or Subclass which may
result from this Class Action.

    If you do not wish to participate, you must follow the opting out
procedure set out in the next section.

    OPTING OUT

    If you wish to exclude yourself from this proceeding, you must mail the
attached Opt-Out Coupon, which will confirm your desire to opt out. The Coupon
must be mailed to the following address:

    Albert Peeling
    c/o Underhill Faulkner Boies Parker Law Corporation
    1124 Fort Street
    Victoria , British Columbia
    V8V 3K8

    Your notice to opt out must be sent on or before Monday, March 31, 2008.

    ANY JUDGMENT OBTAINED IN THIS ACTION WILL BE BINDING ON ALL GOVERNMENT
RETIREE CLASS MEMBERS AND NON-GOVERNMENT RETIREE CLASS MEMBERS WHO DO NOT OPT
OUT OF THIS ACTION, WHETHER THE JUDGMENT IS FAVOURABLE OR NOT.

    FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES

    
    1.     No members of the Government Retiree Subclass or Non-Government
           Retiree Subclass, other than the Representative Plaintiff, will be
           liable for the costs of the Defendant with respect to these common
           issues if the action is unsuccessful on the common issues.

    2.     Members of the Government Retiree Subclass and Non-Government
           Retiree Subclass may be entitled to receive financial compensation
           from the Defendant if the Court determines the relevant common
           issues in favour of the Plaintiff.

    3.     All fees charged by Class Counsel must be approved by the Court
           pursuant to the Class Proceedings Act, 1992.
    

    FURTHER INFORMATION

    If you wish to obtain further information about your rights, you may
contact a Solicitor of your choice as your expense or you may contact Class
Counsel, Koskie Minsky, attention "BC Benefits Class Action", in writing at
Albert Peeling c/o Underhill Faulkner Boies Parker Law Corporation, 1124 Fort
Street, Victoria, BC V8V 3K8 or by telephone at 1-888-502-7455, or by email at
bcbenefitsclassaction@kmlaw.ca. Please do not contact the Defendant Government
or Court Office for such information.





For further information:

For further information: Mark Zigler at (416) 595-2090


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