FEDS FAIL RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SURVIVORS -- ONTARIO COURT

The Ontario Superior Court has ruled that the Justice Department of Canada has failed to meet its legal obligations in the legal process over abuse and crimes committed against children for a second group of Residential School Survivors in the James Bay Region. The ruling states that the government’s behaviour has led to a “festering sore of suspicion, animosity, distress, and shared resentment.” MP Charlie Angus says the repeated failure of the federal government to live up to its legal obligations undermines the integrity and spirit of the legal process.

“On the week when Justice Sinclair delivered the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission we still have survivors being obstructed in a process that the federal government was legally obligated to respect. The survivors deserve better. Canadians deserve better,” says  Charlie Angus.

In the case of Bishop Horden Survivors, the court ruled that the government breached its legal duty to search out documents relating to crimes at the school. The court ruling states that the terms of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement carried the moral force of a modern “treaty”.

Last year the Superior Court found that the Justice Department had compromised the legal rights of St. Anne’s Residential School survivors by suppressing thousands of pages of police evidence. Next Tuesday, survivors of St. Anne’s residential school will be back in court to argue the government is continuing to breach the agreement in the St. Anne’s cases.