A class action lawsuit aimed at getting compensation for Aboriginal victims of residential school abuse has suffered a major setback.
The suit was launched by the Merchant Law Group, the same firm that won a $1.9 billion settlement on behalf of First Nations students who were victimized in residential schools.
While a Court of Queen’s Bench justice has refused to certify the case, Tony Merchant is not giving up.
An appeal is already in the works, but it has to overcome a couple of hurdles before it can even be heard by a court.
The first one is convincing the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal to even hear the case:
“And that one will be heard in about two months by a single judge of the Court of Appeal. And if leave is granted for these 50,000 or 100,000 students, then we will proceed with an appeal — probably six months hence.”
This case was filed on behalf of 2,000 students who attended the Timber Bay Children’s Home.
But Merchant says the students at the Timber Bay school represent just a small percentage of victims right across Western Canada who have been denied compensation:
“A failure in Timber Bay is a failure in Alberta, a failure in British Columbia, a failure everywhere across Canada. So it is more significant than just for the 2,000 people in Timber Bay.”
It is the latest attempt by the former students at Timber Bay to receive compensation to be denied by the courts.
Just last month, another judge rejected an application by the Lac La Ronge Indian Band for the Timber Bay Children’s Home to be included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.