About 900 former residents of a B.C. institution for the mentally disabled who endured sexual, physical and psychological abuse at the hands of staff and other former residents can now apply for compensation.
The final approval of the agreement by the B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday means those who lived at the Woodland School in New Westminster, B.C., after August 1974 are allowed to seek compensation ranging from $3,000 to $150,000, depending on the abuse they suffered.
Those who were abused before the 1974 date are not eligible because the government hadn't yet enacted a law that required it to compensate those under its care.
Bill MacArthur, a Woodlands abuse survivor, said he's pleased for those who can now apply for compensation, but is heartbroken for those 300 or so former residents who have been excluded.
The group called Woodlands School Survivors is urging the provincial government to offer compensation to all those harmed at the institute for the mentally disabled, which was closed in 1996.
The proposed settlement was first announced in December, just weeks before a class action lawsuit was to proceed.