Lawyer Surprised By Volume Of Compensation Denials

Friday, January 11, 2008 at 13:48



A lawyer who helped broker the compensation deal for residential school survivors says he’s surprised Ottawa has already rejected 20 per cent of the applications made by survivors.


Earlier this week, the office of Indian Residential Schools Resolution reported that over 9,700 common experience payment applications had been deemed not eligible.


Regina-based lawyer Tony Merchant says anyone who was rejected should appeal.


He says a committee that he sits on will examine them and see if there is anything that can be done.


Merchant adds he’s also concerned about the 4,400 applications that have been classified for further examination.


He worries they could be in limbo for a long time, and those survivors could be forced out onto the sidelines.


He reminds students there is a separate process apart from the CEP called the Independent Assessment Process — but he advises anyone who takes that approach to be ready for a very lengthy undertaking.


Meanwhile, Merchant is also adding his take on the government’s decision this past fall to add a handful of new schools to the list of ones eligible for compensation.


Merchant says he strongly doubts schools in Ile-a-la-Crosse or Timber Bay will get on it — saying there’s “no chance” the government will change its mind on the issue.