Line-Ups Expected At Claim Sign-Up Sessions

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 15:23



Large crowds are expected at sign-up sessions this week for residential school survivors hoping to apply for compensation on the earliest possible date.


Service Canada is hosting the sessions, beginning tomorrow, in order to help former students fill out their common experience payment application forms.


The Prince Albert Grand Council will be co-hosting the Prince Albert event at the Senator Allan Bird Memorial Centre.


PAGC spokesman Richie Bird says the gymnasium was a logical choice — given the long line-ups that are expected.


Bird wouldn’t be surprised if 2,000 former students attend the sessions over the next four days.


He notes survivors will be coming from communities outside Prince Albert, as well.


Meanwhile, Bird says the PAGC has had talks with law enforcement agencies about some of the potential negative impacts the payments could bring.


Regardless of what happens, Bird says the economic impact on the city will be enormous.


He says the compensation cheques should inject at least $130 million into the local economy — not counting the many survivors from northern Saskatchewan who do a lot of their shopping in the city.


Sign-up sessions have also been scheduled this week in Saskatoon, Regina, Yorkton, North Battleford, Meadow Lake and La Ronge.


A PAGC vice-chief says workers will travel to the Far North to process common experience payments for residential school survivors there.


Don Deranger says a date for the tour still has to be set, but officials from both the PAGC and Service Canada will hold sessions in Fond du Lac, Black Lake and Wollaston Lake.


He says northerners who are unable to make the trip down to Prince Albert this week to have their forms processed won’t be forgotten.


Deranger adds the deadline to hand in these forms isn’t until 2011.