News Release Archive

Justice Minister Bill Gillis today outlined the package which
sets out the parameters and the process to compensate victims of
abuse in three provincially operated institutions.

A Memorandum of Understanding to compensate victims of
institutional abuse has been agreed upon by the Province and 
legal counsel representing approximately 350 victims. The
minister has also agreed to issue a formal apology to the victims
of abuse.

"This is an extremely fair and generous package with a total
budget of $33.3 million," said Dr. Gillis. "We are quite
confident the vast majority of victims will accept the package we
are offering, and begin the process of rebuilding their lives."

The range of compensation varies depending on the degree of
abuse, with 12 categories for compensation in total. For example,
those who suffered both severe sexual and physical abuse will
receive compensation ranging from $100,000 to $120,000. Those who
have suffered severe physical abuse will receive up to $60,000.
Those who have suffered minor physical abuse will receive up to

Money will also be provided for counselling, with more funds
being provided to those who have suffered the most severe abuse.
For those receiving social assistance, the compensation will not
be deducted from their regular benefits.

To ensure compensation goes to victims, the province has agreed
to pay legal fees to victims' counsel. The province will pay
legal fees at a maximum hourly rate of $175 for those with more
than 10 years standing at the bar. For those with five to 10
years, a maximum hourly rate of $150 will be paid. Those with
less than five years standing will be paid a maximum of $125
hourly. Legal fees plus disbursements will be paid (which
includes such items as travel expenses). In addition, a maximum
of ten hours will be payable to counsel to assist victims in
filing claims for compensation.

Lawyers have agreed to accept the payment from the province as
full settlement of their accounts. They have agreed not to
enforce contingency fee agreements. This ensures that legal fees
are not deducted from the actual compensation award provided to

Claims for compensation will be settled through a summary
process. Once an individual has filed a claim for compensation,
the province must respond within 45 days, either by accepting,
rejecting, or offering a compromise. If the claim is accepted,
payment in full will be made within 20 days. If the claim is
rejected, written reasons will be provided to the victim. If an
agreement cannot be reached through a negotiation process, the
victim may opt to continue negotiations or submit to a file

A list of file reviewers, from which victims may choose, will be
available for this purpose. The province will be required to
submit its position to the file reviewer within 20 days. The
victim has the option to appear before the reviewer without
representation. If that is the option chosen, the victim is the
only individual to appear. Should the individual victim wish to
have legal counsel present, the province is also entitled to
appear before the reviewer.

The process also ensures that victims have access to any written
statements they have given to FactsProbe Inc., or the Justice
Department's internal investigation unit. Access to any of their
personal medical, education, social work or probation files kept,
or maintained by the institutions regarding the victim, will also
be provided. The reviewer has 30 days to provide a decision, upon
receipt of the provincial submission, or after the victim's

The process has also established guidelines which outline the
types and frequency of abuse indicative of a compensation
category. They are designed to offer guidance in determining the
appropriate category for compensation. Victims will have until
Dec. 18, 1996 to file a compensation claim.

"I want to formally, and publicly apologize for abuse suffered by
persons in provincial institutions," said Dr. Gillis. "We have
now accepted, and acknowledged, our moral responsibility. This is
a fair package. It is one that respects the integrity of the
victims who were in no way responsible for what happened to them.
I hope this helps to reaffirm the essential worth and dignity of
those who have suffered. In so doing, it is my sincere wish that
the healing process can now truly begin."


NOTE TO EDITORS: Backgrounder available by calling 424-4492 or

Contact: Michele McKinnon 902-424-6811

trp                       May 03, 1996 - 9:00 a.m.