Judge admits most affidavits in N.S. orphanage case
140 former residents of Home for Colored Children allege they were abused
A Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice will admit most of the information contained in sworn statements made by dozens of former residents who claim to have suffered abuse at a Dartmouth orphanage.
The government had asked Judge Arthur LeBlanc to strike portions of selected affidavits from former residents at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children because it said they contained speculation, hearsay or information from unidentified sources.
But a lawyer for the former residents argued that the affidavits were fair and honest accounts of decades-old memories.
The former residents of the Dartmouth orphanage allege they suffered years of sexual, physical and psychological abuse at the hands of staff over a 50-year-period ending in the 1980s.
The hearing Wednesday afternoon in the class-action lawsuit by former residents of the Home for Colored Children was to decide if affidavits submitted by the former residents can be used if the class-action is certified.
Justice Arthur LeBlanc agreed to admit most of the statements, saying at this stage, he does not have to decide whether the statements are true, only whether they demonstrate enough similarity to warrant proceeding as a class-action.
The province was successful, however, in its bid to have an entire affidavit from child welfare expert Sandra Scarth dismissed after LeBlanc ruled that it was irrelevant at the certification stage of the lawsuit.
The hearing to decide whether to certify the class-action suit involving 140 former residents of the home continues Thursday.
With files from The Canadian Press