Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Class action suit launched against Ontario over alleged abuse in ‘training schools’

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A proposed class action lawsuit has been launched against the Ontario government alleging horrific sexual, physical and psychological abuse perpetrated on former students of the province’s “training schools” between 1931 and 1984.

The schools were residential institutions operated by the province to house children between the ages of 8 and 16 who were deemed by the courts to be “incorrigible” or difficult to control. Children could be sent to training school without having committed any crime. Truancy, running away from home, or even begging could land a child at any one of the province’s more than a dozen institutions.

“The repercussions (of training school) were unreal in my life,” said representative plaintiff Kirk Keeping, who was sent at age 15 to a training school in Bowmanville, where he says he was forced into sexual acts with male and female staff members and suffered frequent beatings.

The two years he spent in training school had a profound effect on his life, said Keeping, 64. “I just spiralled down for many years in my life. It was a roller-coaster ride trying to hold down jobs, trying to have a family and live normal. It was a hard thing.”

The lawsuit, filed in Thunder Bay, where Keeping lives, is seeking $500 million in damages for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and vicarious liability, as well as $100 million in punitive damages. Lawyers who filed the claim believe there could be thousands of class members.  (more...)


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