Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Opponents of 60s Scoop Settlement Aren't Giving Up after Judge OKs Deal

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Opponents of 60s Scoop Settlement Aren't Giving Up after Judge OKs Deal

Article excerpt

Critics of '60s Scoop settlement will fight on

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A woman who has spent months informing '60s Scoop survivors about Ottawa's class-action settlement says she'll continue advising people to object to the deal, even after a federal judge approved the agreement.

"The biggest problem for me is this entire process was set up to make sure that we as adoptees could not object," said Coleen Rajotte, who is one of the survivors who spoke at federal court hearings on the settlement in Saskatoon last week.

Rajotte says it took her months to get a copy of the agreement after it was struck last fall, and that survivors believed they would get two days in Saskatoon to tell their stories of being taken from their Indigenous homes as children and adopted out to non-Indigenous families.

But one of the two days ended up focused on the lawyers' cut in the deal. Survivors who wished to object got just three minutes and some who went over their time were cut off, in tears, by Justice Michel Shore.

"Basically to us this looks like a complete sham, that they put on this day of hearings so they could say, 'Well we listened to those survivors,'" Rajotte said.

Shore ruled Friday that the settlement, which includes $750 million for the survivors, $50 million for an Indigenous healing foundation and $75 million for legal fees, could go ahead.

Last October, the federal government said the proposed settlement was for about 20,000 survivors who were moved between 1951 and 1991.

Survivors are each expected to receive between $25,000 and $50,000.

Shore said he will issue his reasons for his ruling in a month or longer.

Lawyer Tony Merchant, whose firm represents some of the victims, said after Friday's decision that most of the people affected by the '60s Scoop want to move on after nine years of fighting for compensation.

But Doug Racine, another lawyer who also represents survivors, said the 90-day deadline for opting out of the deal is too short and that anyone who doesn't opt out will be considered to have accepted it. …

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