Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

A class action for abuse authorized against seven school service centers

Open in full screen mode

The plaintiffs welcome the Court's decision superior to authorize collective action, underlines one of their lawyers. (Archive photo)

  • Gabriel Poirier (View profile)Gabriel Poirier

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

Supporting to have been victims of abuse in schools during the 1970s, two plaintiffs obtained authorization from the Superior Court for a class action against seven school service centers, including three in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Ottawa, Quebec and Nord-du-Québec are also targeted.

The two plaintiffs, who reside in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, claim to have been victims of physical, psychological and sexual abuse while they attended schools administered by the Quebec government during the 1970s. These schools were located on the territories of indigenous communities, such as Lac-Simon.

In 2019, the Federal Court authorized a settlement that compensated survivors of federally run schools. However, provincial schools, like those implicated in this case, were not included in the regulation. Unlike residential schools, the targeted schools welcomed students only during regular school hours.

Their identity being protected by a non-publication order, the plaintiffs criticize these provincial schools for having pursued an avowed objective of cultural assimilation.

[They believe that] the children who attended them were victims of acculturation, as well as for many, of psychological, physical and sexual abuse on the part of teachers, administrators, other employees and other children of these schools, specifies the Superior Court decision. This system has also, according to them, caused serious harm to the relatives of these children.

Loading“I’m not finished”: Justin Trudeau is preparing for the next election

ELSEWHERE ON INFO: “I’m not finished”: Justin Trudeau is preparing for the next election

One ​​of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Mr. David Schulze, mentioned on the phone that the plaintiffs are happy with the court's decision. They are very satisfied with the judgment. They are waiting for what comes next, he says.

The targeted school service centers in Abitibi-Témiscamingue are those of Or-et-des-Bois, Harricana and Lac-Témiscamingue. The other centers are located on the North Shore (CSS du Littoral and CSS du Fer), in Gaspésie (CSS René-Lévesque) and in Nord-du-Québec (CSS de la Baie-James).

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The collective action demands compensation for children forced, between 1951 and 2014, to attend schools administered by Quebec in an indigenous community or an Inuit village. The court's decision highlights that thousands of children would have experienced this situation.

The plaintiffs are seeking $20,000 in moral damages for each member of the appeal. Additional compensation could be obtained depending on the severity of the abuse suffered on an individual basis.

Mr. Schulze does not know how many people could be part of a possible settlement. We do not have figures on the number of members of the group, but we estimate 21 schools across Quebec, from Listuguj to Nunavik. All the Cree and Inuit schools and that of Lac-Simon are in the judicial district of Abitibi, he indicates.

The settlement authorized in 2019 by the Federal Court offered Indigenous people mistreated in day schools compensation ranging from $10,000 to $200,000.

The judge, like the defendants, recognized that the only difference between provincial and federal day schools is the organization that operated the schools.

A quote from Mr. David Schulze, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers

The period covered by the class action ends in 2014, the year in which the federal government repeals provisions of the Indian Act. These provisions made it possible to force Indigenous children to attend schools chosen by the State.

The federal government and school service centers, at the except for the CSS de la Baie-James, were not opposed to the authorization of the collective action. The Quebec government, for its part, expressed reservations regarding certain aspects of the request.

The James Bay CSS considers that it cannot be held responsible for the schools present in the territory covered by the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA).

Rather, he maintains that the Cree School Board and the Kativik School Board have the rights and obligations of the school boards that provided education to indigenous children in the territory, specifies the decision of Judge Sylvain Lussier, who postpones the resolution of this decision to a later date. question.

The school service centers of Or-et-des-Bois and Lac-Témiscamingue declined our interview requests. The other school service centers had not responded to our interview requests at the time of writing these lines.

The law firm Morency, which represents the school service centers, also declined our interview request.

  • Gabriel Poirier (View profile)Gabriel PoirierFollow

By admin

Related Post