THUNDER BAY, ON, Dec. 4, 2018 /CNW/ - Koskie Minsky LLP in Toronto announces that the Ontario Superior Court has certified a class action against the Province of Ontario on behalf of former residents of Ontario Training Schools.
The Training Schools were detention facilities for children that were established by the Province of Ontario. The claim seeks $600 million from the Province of Ontario in damages and covers the period of January 1, 1953 and April 2, 1984. It is estimated that there are as many as 21,000 survivors of the Ontario Training Schools.
The Statement of Claim alleges that in establishing and operating the Training Schools, the Province of Ontario created a toxic environment in which physical, sexual and psychological abuse of children in its care was frequent and widespread. It further alleges that cruel and degrading punishment perpetrated on children in the care of the Province was common. The allegations include the improper use of solitary confinement as well as all manner of abusive discipline.
Although the Province of Ontario has already entered into settlements with survivors of St. Joseph's Training School for Boys, St. John's Training School for Boys, and Grandview Training School, survivors Ontario's additional Training Schools were left out.
"This is an important milestone for the boys and girls from the Training Schools. We have all lived with this for years and we are glad this case is moving forward," said Kirk Keeping, the lead plaintiff in the class action.
"The allegations of abuse by the Province and quite frankly shocking," says Jonathan Ptak, lead counsel at Koskie Minsky LLP. "We are pleased that the case now has been certified as a class proceeding, so that we can now litigate this case on the merits. We will continue to push forward as quickly as possible and to seek access to justice for the thousands of survivors of the Ontario Training Schools."
The class action includes all persons who were alive as at December 8, 2015 who resided at any of the Training Schools between January 1, 1953 and April 2, 1984 during the time periods set out for each facility: