Judges Tweak Residential School Deal

Monday, March 12, 2007 at 15:19



A Regina-based lawyer says he hopes compensation cheques for residential school victims can be mailed out this fall.


At a meeting in Calgary last week, nine judges from across the country approved the settlement package for survivors — with some changes.


Tony Merchant feels the meeting has put the compensation process back on track.


But Merchant is not happy about all of the changes, which he characterizes as “minor technicalities”. He believes victims are “a little worse off than before”, but notes the judges obviously feel the victims are better off with the altered arrangement.


Meantime, a hearing has been set for March 22nd, at which point a dispute over legal fees charged by the Merchant Law Group will be heard.


Merchant’s firm was satisfied with a judge’s decision that ordered $25 million to $40 million to be paid to his firm for its work representing former students.


But the federal government has appealed the ruling.


Merchant says the government action could delay the compensation process several months.