From: Subject: Print Story - canada.com network Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 08:48:15 -0600 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/related; boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0010_01C27C03.4239B720"; type="text/html" X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2800.1106 This is a multi-part message in MIME format. ------=_NextPart_000_0010_01C27C03.4239B720 Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Location: http://www.canada.com/components/printstory/printstory.asp?id={C613A590-96C9-4844-BD8D-3490263257C5} Print Story - canada.com network
3D"canada,

Missionary society bears brunt of = claims
 
Daryl Slade
Calgary=20 Herald

Friday, October 25, 2002

A Calgary judge has dismissed lawsuits against the = Anglican=20 Church of Canada by alleged victims of physical and sexual = abuse at=20 residential schools in Alberta and the Northwest = Territories.

Only the church's Missionary Society, a group with little = money=20 and few assets, can be named in lawsuits, Justice Terrence = McMahon=20 ruled Thursday in Court of Queen's Bench.

The society was responsible for the operation, = supervision and=20 staffing of the schools where the alleged abuse occurred for = more=20 than 60 years.

"There is no evidence of direct involvement by the = General Synod=20 (of the Anglican Church of Canada) at any time," McMahon = wrote in=20 his 43-page decision.

He also dismissed claims presented by the Calgary and = Athabasca=20 dioceses in separate motions. The Calgary diocese is not = liable for=20 any claims against the schools between 1919 and 1969 and = Athabasca=20 is not responsible for claims from 1923 to 1969.

The church's Missionary Society was the independent = corporate=20 entity that signed the contracts with the federal government = to run=20 the schools for natives in Alberta and the Northwest=20 Territories.

The federal government, which set up and oversaw the = schools from=20 1916 until the last of them closed in 1983, remains the = principal=20 defendant in the mammoth class-action lawsuit.

McMahon's decision on the pretrial motions affected 500 = claimants=20 relating to seven Anglican Church schools and residences = operated in=20 Alberta and the N.W.T.

Altogether, McMahon said, there are more than 4,000 = claimants in=20 1,479 claims across the province.

Vaughn Marshall, whose Calgary law firm represents the = bulk of=20 the Alberta residential school claims, said the decision = will not=20 affect the total amount of money being sought in the claims, = as=20 Ottawa is potentially liable for 100 per cent of it.

The feds have estimated the entire claim will cost = taxpayers more=20 than $1 billion when all is said and done.

Although they are essentially legally off the hook, = Anglicans=20 still want to pay their fair share.

"We would like to find a way in which the Anglican bodies = involved can make a legitimate contribution to settlements = and=20 continue to work in healing and reconciliation with = aboriginal=20 communities," said Archdeacon James Boyles, general = secretary of the=20 Anglican Church of Canada based in Toronto.

Marshall said Ottawa must eventually collect from the = various=20 churches, as well as the Anglican Missionary Society.

"There are some who would want to see the Anglican Church = stand=20 to account for what happened and that's still going to = happen in any=20 event with the Missionary Society," Marshall said.

"No question this (decision) is beneficial to the = Anglican Church=20 in general . . . because the Anglican Church no longer faces = the=20 risk of bankruptcy. But in terms of the outcome for the = plaintiffs,=20 this won't make any difference."

He said, surprisingly, the Anglican Church has been freed = up to=20 do the right thing without legal coercion and it will = probably do=20 that.

"They were first out of the gate to meet with the federal = government to fashion a resolution to address the needs of = victims=20 of the residential schools. They were amongst the first to = apologize=20 to residential school victims."

McMahon noted the three applications with which he dealt = in his=20 judgment differed substantially from an earlier application, = brought=20 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary, to be removed as=20 defendants in the same litigation.

"The primary difference is the degree to which the = relevant=20 evidence is available," said the judge. "In the application = brought=20 by the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary, = there were a=20 number of factors suggesting the relevant evidence bearing = on the=20 Roman Catholics in the residential schools was not yet=20 available."

He said the Catholics had not yet responded to = interrogatories=20 (interviews with key witnesses), much disclosure was = relatively=20 recent and they had not yet provided particulars, including = names of=20 alleged perpetrators.

McMahon has identified 50 Alberta cases and expects to = narrow=20 that down to about a dozen representing a cross-section of = claims to=20 serve as precedents for an eventual trial. There also is a = national=20 class action, based in Ontario, in which 91,000 alleged = victims who=20 attended the schools are seeking more than $12 billion.

sladed@theherald.southam.ca

=A9 Copyright=20  2002 Calgary = Herald



Copyright =A9 = 2002 CanWest=20 Interactive, a division of CanWest Global = Communications=20 Corp. All rights reserved.
Optimized for browser versions = 4.0 and=20 higher.

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