TORONTO, Aug. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - In a Statement of Defence released yesterday, Ontario's Crown claims that any inadequacies in the operation and management of the Brantford-area W. Ross Macdonald School for the blind were the result of funding decisions made at the "highest levels of government."
"I am shocked that the Crown would blame the abuse of vulnerable children solely on Ontario government ministers and the Premier of Ontario," said Kirk Baert of Koskie Minsky LLP, representing the plaintiffs." The Crown needs to stop blaming others and finally take responsibility for what happened at the W. Ross Macdonald School."
The case involves allegations that the Ontario government failed to operate or supervise the W. Ross Macdonald School in a way that ensured the safety and well-being of its students. It is alleged that those caring for the students at W. Ross Macdonald were abusive and took advantage of the students' visual disabilities and that they endured physical, sexual and mental abuse. The action was commenced by Robert Seed, a former student who attended the school from 1954 to 1965 as a young boy.
"These former students were children and teenagers when they were abused," said Baert. "The Crown needs to realize that it had a duty to care for these children. Since it did not, at least let former students see justice in their lifetime."
The W. Ross Macdonald School opened in 1872 as the Ontario Institution for the Education of the Blind. It is one of two Ontario-run residential schools in Ontario for blind, deafblind and visually impaired students.
SOURCE: Koskie Minsky LLP
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