Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Terms of Reference Released for Nova Scotia Orphanage Inquiry

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Terms of Reference Released for Nova Scotia Orphanage Inquiry

Article excerpt

Plan released for orphanage inquiry

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HALIFAX - Former residents who alleged decades of physical, psychological and sexual abuse at a former Halifax orphanage received a long-awaited apology from the home's board Friday, during the unveiling of the guidelines for a $5 million inquiry promised by the provincial government.

Sylvia Parris, chairwoman of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, made the apology during an event in Upper Hammonds Plains attended by former residents of the home as well as elected officials and representatives of the Halifax police and fire departments.

The home is now a short-term residential facility for children of all races.

"We the board leadership of the home apologize to the former residents and staff who suffered or experienced harm at the home," said Parris. "We are deeply sorry for the physical, emotional and other harms that you have experienced."

The apology followed one given last fall by Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil in a special ceremony at the provincial legislature.

McNeil was at Emmanuel Baptist Church Friday, where details were released on the inquiry he promised would come this year.

"We know that one inquiry will not solve every issue of racism and equality in Nova Scotia," Premier Stephen McNeil told the audience at Emmanuel Baptist Church. "But we're hopeful this will mark a new beginning and a new way forward, one that we can walk together."

The inquiry is expected to begin in October and to take up to two and a half years.

"Some painful truths will come to light over the life of this inquiry," said McNeil. "The results will challenge us to do things differently. Meaningful change will not be simple and it cannot be superficial. …

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