||Department of Justice|
January The RCMP begin investigations at Shelburne and the Nova Scotia School for Girls, which ultimately lead to criminal charges against Patrick MacDougall, George Moss and Douglas Hollett.
Oct. 9 Moss pleads guilty to four counts of indecent assault on a female and is sentenced to imprisonment for one year.
Nov. 26 Hollett is found guilty of having had sexual intercourse with a female person 14 to 16 years of age of previous chaste character.
Feb. 5 Hollett is sentenced to imprisonment for two years and four months.
Feb. 17 Patrick MacDougall is convicted of six charges relating to sexual abuse of five former residents of Shelburne.
Feb. 23 G.B.R. gives notice of an intended action against the Government of Nova Scotia and Douglas Hollett, alleging that Hollett had helped her escape from the School for Girls and then kept her in his house for over a year, engaging in sexual intercourse with her.
March 29 MacDougall is sentenced to a total of six years in the penitentiary.
July 6 MacDougall pleads guilty to five further charges relating to sexual abuse of five other residents of Shelburne. He is sentenced to a total of five years, consecutive to the sentences imposed on him on March 29.
G.B.R. (the complainant in the case against Hollett) commences an action against the Government of Nova Scotia and Douglas Hollett.
July 30 Complainants from the Moss prosecution commence an action against the Government of Nova Scotia.
Sept. 27 Martha Crowe, legislative/policy consultant for the Department of Community Services, suggests to Reinhold Endres, Q.C., Director of Civil Litigation in the Department of Justice, that where staff have been convicted and civil actions are commenced against the Government, there should be an objective mechanism for evaluating the claims and compensation should be paid without litigation.
Oct. 5 Mr. Endres advises Ms. Crowe that the Department of Justice might put itself at a disadvantage by settling cases too early.
Oct. 25 Thomas C. Marshal, Q.C., General Counsel with the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, sends information to the office of the Minister of Justice of Nova Scotia about non-traditional responses to allegations of abuse in government-run institutions.
April 21 A draft memorandum entitled "Compensatory Scheme for Victims of Physical and Sexual Abuse Perpetrated by Former Staff of the Department of Community Services" is sent by Ms. Crowe to Douglas J. Keefe, Executive Director of the Department of Justice, for possible submission to the Planning and Priorities Committee of Cabinet ("P&P"). It outlines four options to deal with civil cases arising from abuse.
Aug. 29 Dr. Patricia Ripley, Deputy Minister, Department of Community Services, sends a memorandum to the Deputy Minister, Department of Justice, suggesting that the focus in abuse cases should not be on legal liability, but rather on an appropriate compensation package.
Sept. 30 The Minister of Justice submits a memorandum to P&P outlining three options to deal with cases of abuse, and recommends the third. It involves an investigation, an audit of the institutions and an alternative dispute resolution process ("ADR") if liability is revealed by the investigation.
Oct. 6 P&P approves the recommended option.
Oct. 25 The Minister of Justice recommends to the Executive Council ("Cabinet") that he be authorized to initiate an audit of present practices at Shelburne and an independent investigation into allegations of abuse at that institution.
Oct. 27 Cabinet approves the proposal to initiate an audit of present practices at Shelburne and an independent investigation.
Nov. 2 The Minister of Justice announces in the House of Assembly the Government's response to incidents of sexual abuse at Shelburne. It is a three-step process: an audit, an independent investigation and, if liability is revealed, an ADR program to determine appropriate compensation. He also announces the appointment of Viki Samuels-Stewart to conduct the audit.
Nov. 7 At the request of the Minister of Community Services, the proposed investigation will be expanded to include all residential facilities operated by the Department of Community Services.
Dec. 1 The Minister of Justice announces the appointment of the former Chief Justice of New Brunswick, the Honourable Stuart G. Stratton, Q.C., to conduct the investigation.
Jan. 6 Alison W. Scott, senior counsel in the Department of Justice, submits a memorandum to the Minister of Justice setting out processes available, both within and outside the judicial system, to deal with claims for compensation.
Jan. 27 William Belliveau, a counsellor at Shelburne, commits suicide a day after being notified that an allegation of sexual abuse has been made against him. (He is posthumously cleared of the allegation.)
March 17 Viki Samuels-Stewart reports the results of her audit to the Minister of Justice. She concludes that young offenders held at Shelburne and at Waterville are victims of abuse.
March 29 The Samuels-Stewart Report is released to the public.
April 28 In a memorandum to the Minister of Justice, Mr. Keefe outlines a compensation process where the Government would work with victims and their lawyers to establish a framework of healing and settlement. He suggests that a working group be established to develop a strategy following the release of the Stratton Report.
June 22 Paula Simon, Director of Victims Services in the Department of Justice, prepares a memorandum for the Minister of Justice. She is critical of the New Brunswick and Newfoundland approaches, but is complimentary of the approach taken in Ontario. She identifies four options and estimates the cost of each.
June 30 Mr. Stratton submits his Report, which is made public. It identifies 89 victims of physical and/or sexual abuse.
July 6 Cabinet approves a plan submitted by the Minister of Justice to provide emergency counselling to victims and to put in place an ADR program to compensate them.
July 17 The Minister of Justice signs an agreement with the Family Services Association ("FSA") who will develop and administer a counselling service for victims of abuse. FSA will also investigate the possibility of forming a survivors' group for the purpose of negotiating appropriate compensation.
July 20 The agreement reached with FSA is announced to the public. At a press conference, the Minister of Justice outlines the ADR option approved by Cabinet.
July 25 Judgment is given in favour of G.B.R. in her case against the Province and Douglas Hollett, awarding damages of $50,000 for pain and suffering and $25,000 for aggravated damages. No punitive damages are awarded. (This is subsequently varied by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal which strikes the award for aggravated damages, but awards $35,000 for punitive damages.)
Aug. 11 A group of 15 lawyers representing 65 claimants notify the Minister of Justice that the Government's proposal which contemplates a single lawyer negotiating on behalf of a survivors' advocacy group is unacceptable. An advocacy group of lawyers is formed to negotiate with the Government.
Oct. 2 The Deputy Minister of Justice announces the appointment of four persons to conduct an internal investigation into the conduct of employees.
Oct. 17 The Minister of Justice announces the formation of an Internal Investigation Unit ("IIU").
Jan.-April Government representatives and lawyers for survivors hold seven meetings to hammer out an agreement.
Jan. 8 An Interdepartmental Committee on Institutional Abuse is established to develop a policy on the protection of children and to examine how current services provided by the Province can be included in a compensation package.
Jan. 29 FSA retains Anne Derrick to represent survivors of institutional abuse who had not yet engaged, or had discharged, counsel, but who wanted to participate in the compensation process.
Feb. 13 Faced with a rapidly increasing number of claims, Paula Simon, the administrator of the compensation program, recommends that the budget allocation be increased.
March 7 The RCMP ("Operation Hope") states that their investigation has so far identified 410 victims and 206 suspects.
March 21 Cabinet adopts a proposal by the Minister of Justice that the ADR process move forward. A new budget of $33.3 million is approved.
April 20 Agreement is reached between the Government and lawyers for the survivors on how the Compensation Program should be conducted. Details are set out in a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU").
May 3 The Minister of Justice announces in the House the establishment of the Compensation Program. He also formally apologizes to the victims.
June 17 The Compensation Program office begins processing claims.
June 18 The Regulations under the Family Benefits Act and the Social Assistance Act are amended so that compensation received by survivors will not be considered in the determination of benefits.
Oct. 10 The Director of Finance for the Department of Justice is advised that the projected number of claims is 1,300. So far, $10 million has been paid out in 214 cases. The Minister of Justice advises the Minister of Finance that the projected budget is insufficient and that the costs of the Program may be as high as $86 million.
Oct. 31 Paula Simon, the head of the Program office, resigns.
Nov. 1 The Province puts the Compensation Program on hold. The Minister of Justice informs the claimants' lawyers of the suspension, but stresses that the Government is still committed to an ADR process.
Nov. 15 Alex Shaw, Q.C., a lawyer in the Department of Community Services, advises that there is a statutory duty to report child abuse that cannot be overridden by promises of confidentiality made to victims.
Dec. 6 The Minister of Justice announces the resumption of the ADR program with some modifications. Claims are to be investigated by the IIU. Awards exceeding $10,000 will are to be paid over a four-year period.
Jan. 10 The Minister of Justice informs claimants' counsel that, henceforth, the RCMP and the IIU will be the only statement-taking bodies. However, statements made previously to Facts-Probe Inc. (the Murphys) will still be accepted.
Jan. 22 The Deputy Minister of Justice announces the appointment of Michael Dempster as Program Director of the Compensation Program.
March 25 NSGEU files a grievance relating to employees in three residential facilities, alleging unfair treatment and denial of natural justice.
Aug. 20 The Minister of Justice updates the Premier on the Compensation Program. He notes concerns about the time needed to properly investigate claims and fraud. He recommends changes to the Program, rather than holding a public inquiry.
Oct. 24 Cabinet approves the proposal by the Minister of Justice that the existing Compensation Program be modified.
Nov. 6 The Minister of Justice announces further adjustments to the Compensation Program. The changes are outlined in Guidelines.
Nov. 7 The Leader of the Opposition calls on the Premier to appoint an independent arbitration commission or arbitrator to provide a fresh and workable approach.
NSGEU writes to the Minister of Justice expressing concern that, despite the changes to the program, current and former employees still do not get a fair and timely processing of allegations against them.
June 25 The Province and the NSGEU sign a final Memorandum of Agreement ("MOA") to define the options available to employees against whom allegations of abuse were made, but who were not discharged as a result of the investigation by the IIU.
June 30 By Order-in-Council a group of employees is designated a special class of persons for purposes of eligibility for early retirement.
March 1 The NSGEU writes to Minister of Justice Harrison and calls for an independent review of the Program.
Nov. 30 The Minister of Justice appoints the Honourable Fred Kaufman, C.M, Q.C., to conduct a review of the Government's response to allegations of institutional abuse.
December The IIU submits a Report to the Minister of Justice regarding the allegations of abuse by former residents of Provincial institutions.
March 31 The Compensation Program office closes. Remaining files are to be handled by the Legal Services Division of the Department of Justice.
Oct. 31 The IIU concludes its mandate by completing reports on the allegations against all current employees.
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