Home for Colored Children lawsuit inches towards settlement

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says the province will attempt to settle a class-action lawsuit involving former residents of a Halifax orphanage out of court.

N.S. sends letter to lawyers representing the 150 former orphanage residents

The lawsuit alleges residents of the home suffered years of sexual, physical and psychological abuse by staff over a 50-year period up until the 1980s. The allegations have not been tested in court and lawyers for the government have argued that some of them are based on speculation or hearsay. (CBC)

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says the province will attempt to settle a class-action lawsuit involving former residents of a Halifax orphanage out of court.

McNeil said a letter from the provincial Justice Department has been sent to lawyers representing the 150 former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children.

McNeil won't say what a potential dollar figure could look like but says a settlement would only be reached if both sides are able to agree.

He says the outcome won't affect his campaign promise to hold a full public inquiry into alleged sexual, physical and psychological abuse at the facility over a 50-year period up until the 1980s.

The attempt to settle out of court is a departure from the path taken by the previous NDP government.

The allegations in the class-action have not been tested in court and previously lawyers for the government have argued that some of them are based on speculation or hearsay.