High Court Ruling On Residential Schools Applauded

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 at 13:37



A Saskatchewan lawyer says a recent court decision involving the United Church of Canada could seriously impact how much money the Roman Catholic church may have to pay to survivors of residential schools.


Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the church must help Ottawa in paying money to survivors of residential schools who were abused.


The high court also dismissed the argument that churches shouldn’t have to pay because they were merely acting as good stewards.


Tony Merchant believes that ruling essentially means the Catholic Church can no longer refuse to pay money to victims.


Merchant adds collecting the money from the Catholic Church may still prove to be problematic, because they define themselves by diocese — not one individual body.


The case reinforced an earlier decision which stated the United Church should pay 25 per cent of the bill, with Ottawa picking up the rest.


Merchant says he considers the court decision good news for survivors waiting for compensation money.