Ex-orphanage residents confront trustees
Former residents of Charlottetown's Mount Herbert Orphanage, frustrated with delays in a lawsuit, met directly with the group that ran the orphanage Tuesday night.
The 15 former residents, who say they were abused at Mount Herbert, pushed the Protestant Children's Trust to accept their settlement offer. The lawsuit has been going on for eight years. Rhian MacDonald said that has only made worse the problems she and other former residents face.
"We've had to relive it all of those eight years. And until we get this settled, it's as if many of us can't move on," said MacDonald.
The board has limited assets, and attempted to fold a few years ago, but was forced by court order to remain in operation until the lawsuit is settled.
The former residents want the $1 million the board still holds in assets to be split into two funds: $600,000 would be managed by a committee of former residents and used to pay for counselling and medical help. The remaining $400,000 would go into a scholarship trust fund with a priority to provide bursaries to descendants of the former residents.
"We feel that money was collected for our well-being, and we'd like to see it in our lifetime used for our well-being," said MacDonald.
Nobody from the board wanted to comment on the lawsuit. They said it's in the hands of their lawyers.
It was pointed out over the course of the meeting that the board's purpose is to provide bursaries to protestant students in need, not former residents of the orphanage.
Those residents also want a formal apology from the board. The board said it has no plans to offer one at this time.