Negotiations stop on settlement for N.L. residential school survivors
CBC News Posted: Mar 14, 2016 8:45 AM NT
Negotiations on an out-of-court settlement for residential school survivors in Newfoundland and Labrador have come to a halt, CBC News has learned.
Meetings between lawyers in Toronto during February ended without a deal and no further talks are scheduled. In an email, a lawyer for the former students told CBC, “This is not complicated and Canada must simply move more quickly. It could do so if it wanted to.”
The class action lawsuit represents more than 1,200 former students at residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador, who are seeking an apology and compensation for abuse and cultural losses.
Trial would resume in May
Last fall the class action case went to trial. Former students testified in court, with many saying it was painful to relive their experiences at the schools.
However, there was hope that the new Liberal government would reach an out of court agreement.
In February, court proceedings in the class action lawsuit stopped, and federal lawyers tried to reach a settlement outside court with the help of a retired judge.
Late last month, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador gave lawyers a few more weeks to try to negotiate an out of court settlement, extending their deadline to May 9.
If the lawyers do not reach a settlement, the trial is scheduled to resume in May.
Residential school survivors in the province were excluded from a massive federal government settlement in 2006, which included compensation and a 2008 apology from then-prime minister Stephen Harper.