Have you watched Chief Martel’s vision statement?
View it here: https://youtu.be/mxRwD5iMRG4
From the start of our action in February 2009, Representative Plaintiff Chief Marcia Martel (Brown) has urged respect, reconciliation, resolution. Two successive federal governments (under Harper and Trudeau) have attempted to delay our case and have our claim thrown out of court. Despite all this, we have never given in and never given up. We have persisted.
Though in June Canada attempted, yet again, to delay and avoid accountability, the Court made clear that the finding of liability was not to be re-opened. The case would proceed to the financial compensation hearing, scheduled for October 11, 12, & 13 in Toronto.
Since we began the case in 2009, other actions have been commenced (though ours remains the only certified case in Canada and the only one to have established liability in the court). The lawyers for the claimants in cases in other provinces are meeting with Federal Court Justice Michel Shore in the weeks ahead to attempt to work out a settlement, under order of that Court. They have invited our lawyers to participate in a pan-Canadian resolution. Chief Martel has directed our lawyers to attend.
Here are the most important things for you to know about these discussions:
- This is an important opportunity to impart our vision for reconciliation. Chief Martel’s video statement outlines that vision very clearly;
- The discussions are confidential and we cannot talk about what gets discussed until and unless all parties agree;
- We are attending this meeting on our own terms. Our case is not part of the federal court actions and therefore, no ruling or direction in that court can be made against our claim in Ontario;
- Our lawyers can withdraw from these talks at any time and, very importantly, nothing done or said there can be used to delay or interfere with our case for proper financial compensation;
- The hearings scheduled for October 11, 12th, and 13th are still on. This will not change until and unless a settlement offer that includes fair and proper financial compensation for Ontario survivors is put forward.
Some of us, we know, have experienced anguish in all of the attempts by the federal government to deny or delay this case. Time and time again we heard the government say-one-thing-do-another. The healing process is profoundly challenging for those whose childhood was lost.
We go into these talks with our eyes open. Hopeful, not naïve. Receptive, not vulnerable. Respectful, not weak. We will see. We are watching.
Ontario Sixties Scoop Committee