December 13, 2002

Government forgoes claim in favour of Mount Cashel victims

Kelvin Parsons, Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Newfoundland and Labrador, today announced government�s intention respecting its claim in the liquidation of the Christian Brothers of Ireland in Canada.

On July 25, 2000, the liquidator of the Christian Brothers of Ireland in Canada with the assistance of government, settled a six-year legal battle over the ownership of two Vancouver schools for $19 million.

In 1997 government provided $11.25 million in compensation to victims of abuse at Mount Cashel and pursued a claim against Christian Brothers of Ireland in Canada to recover this amount.

"I am pleased to announce that government has decided to step back from its $11.25 million claim in favour of the victims of abuse. In consideration of government relinquishing its claim, victims will be required to provide releases to government. This will enable the liquidator to distribute the maximum amount to the victims of Mount Cashel," said the minister.

"We would encourage the victims, their lawyers and the liquidator to work cooperatively to ensure that maximum compensation is provided to the victims of abuse," said the minister. "It would be a shame to see this money consumed in further legal wrangling. The government remains willing to assist the parties in bringing this matter to a close."

Media contact: Edwina Bateman, Communications, (709) 729-6985 or 687-4975 (cell).

2002 12 13                                        5:25 p.m.

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