OTTAWA, May 14, 2019 /CNW/ - The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, issued the following statement today:
"The Government of Canada wants survivors to be able to move through the McLean Indian Day School settlement process as easily as possible, and without being re-traumatized.
This settlement process has been streamlined so that class members should not require counsel to complete their claim. If assistance is needed, survivors will be able to seek advice from the administrator, Deloitte, or class counsel, Gowling LLP, without charge.
The claims process is paper-based and does not require survivors to testify. It is intended to minimize the burden on survivors in pursuing their claims and to attempt to avoid re-traumatization through a hearing process.
The claims process will not put day school survivors on trial. No one will be cross-examined or asked to defend their story.
The process is designed to be quick and require minimal documentation that should already be in the possession of survivors or their family members.
Based on concerns and objections raised by some class members, the parties have made the following modifications to the agreement:
- Extending the opt-out period from 60 days to 90 days;
- Extending the application period from one year to two years and six months; and
- Precluding non-lawyer form fillers from taking remuneration from individual compensation.
These changes are reflective of the Government of Canada's commitment to ensuring that this settlement brings a fair and lasting resolution to the legacy of Indian Day Schools.
There will also be crisis-support available for class members through Hope for Wellness. This service provides counselling and crisis intervention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310, or via online chat at hopeforwellness.ca
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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)
For further information: media may contact: Matthew Dillon-Leitch, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-934-2302, RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@canada.ca