The Grand Council of the Crees

Residential Schools Bulletin # 5

Residential Schools Bulletin # 5

Posted: 2007-01-29

  1. Settlement Approval Judgments
  2. All of the judges have now rendered their decisions. They have all approved the settlement, but some of them set out additional conditions for the settlement. One very big concern was that the settlement was to be administered by Canada. Several of the judges felt strongly that there should be an independent administration. Canada is working on this and it seems as though a compromise will be reached. This will be to the benefit of the survivors.

  3. Timing of Implementation
  4. Although it is not certain, it now appears that the opt-out period will start on April 1, 2006. It will continue for 150 days until approximately the end of August. After that, there will be a 30 day waiting period. Apparently, Canada also needs some additional time to set everything in place, so they are estimating that the implementation will actually start on November 1, 2006.

    This is later than was thought. As you may recall, originally it was thought that the implementation would be this spring, then we were hoping it would be at the end of the summer, but due to delays in the court approval process and other factors, it now appears that it will be in November.

    However, you should be aware that it could be delayed even further, especially considering the court proceedings which have been filed on the subject of Tony Merchant's fees (see below).

  5. Appeals on Tony Merchant's Fees.
  6. Because part of the settlement agreement concerned legal fees for the class action lawyers, the approval process had to deal with the issue. Basically the court said that the settlement agreement gives Tony Merchant a minimum of $25 million and potentially more (to a maximum of $40 million) if he can show proof, in an audit, of the number of clients he claims to have. Canada was not happy with this and appealed this part of the judgment. This, in itself, would probably not have delayed the implementation of the settlement, but last Wednesday, Mr. Merchant filed a cross-appeal which may well delay implementation.

    If Canada drops its appeal, then Mr. Merchant's cross-appeal will also end. Depending on what the parties decide to do, this could result in the implementation of the settlement agreement being delayed even later than November.

    We will keep you informed of any changes as soon as we hear of them.

  7. Community Information Tour
  8. We are presently working on the possibility of another community information tour like the one last summer by Matthew Coon Come and Diane Soroka. The idea would be to spend some additional time in each community during the opt-out period so that individuals could receive the information they need in order to make their decisions on how they want to proceed.

    If funding is available for the tour, it will probably take place at about the same time as last year's tour. Again we will keep you informed.