TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - On August 24, 2016, the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench awarded Koskie Minsky LLP and Troniak Law carriage of a class action against the Attorney General of Canada on behalf of Aboriginal persons affected by the "Sixties Scoop" in Manitoba.
Proposed representative plaintiffs Priscilla Meeches and Stewart Garnett will now move the case towards the certification hearing where the court will determine whether the case can be treated as a class action. A similarly framed class action in Ontario, Brown v. Canada, was certified in 2014 and recently heard arguments on the plaintiff's summary judgment motion.
The court heard the carriage motion in Winnipeg on June 17, 2016 to decide whether the proposed Meeches class action ought to proceed as opposed to a similar class action filed by the Merchant Law Group. The Meeches action was commenced in April 2016, whereas Merchant initially filed an action in 2009 but did not advance the action. The court found that Merchant's delay was not in the best interests of the class members. The court also found that the Meeches action was framed in a more tenable fashion similar to the Brown class action, making prospects for certification greater, and that the expertise, experience and resources of the Koskie Minsky LLP and Troniak Law consortium was preferable.
The term "Sixties Scoop" refers to the alleged practice in Manitoba whereby Aboriginal children were taken ("scooped up") from their families for placement in foster homes or adoption with non-Aboriginal homes. As a result, these children lost their identity as Aboriginal persons and suffered mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. They were deprived of their status and other Aboriginal-related benefits, which Canada unjustly retained. Aboriginal communities describe the Sixties Scoop as destructive to their culture.
The Meeches claim alleges that on account of the scoop, Canada was negligent and breached its fiduciary duties it owed to the Aboriginal class members. It seeks $200 million in damages for breach of fiduciary duty and negligence and $50 million in punitive damages.
"Now that carriage has been decided, we can finally push this case ahead to the certification hearing, which gets us that much closer to the merits of this action. This case will hopefully provide the potentially thousands of scooped class members in Manitoba with the justice they deserve", says Kirk Baert, co-lead counsel at Koskie Minsky LLP, "and we trust that Canada is paying close attention to the situation in Manitoba".
SOURCE Koskie Minsky LLP
For further information: or if you are a class member: Website: https://kmlaw.ca/manitoba60sscoopclassaction, Toll-free: 1-844-819-8527 , Email: [email protected]; For media enquiries, please contact Scott Robinson, 416-595-2097