Nova Scotia

Province to pay $30M to hundreds of immigrants

Nova Scotia will pay out about $30 million to hundreds of immigrants who moved to the province after paying into a failed mentorship program.

Nova Scotia will pay out about $30 million to hundreds of immigrants who moved to the province after paying into a failed mentorship program.

Each immigrant stands to receive up to $75,000 as part of a tentative settlement agreement of a proposed class-action lawsuit.

Elizabeth Mills, the Office of Immigration's executive director, believes the settlement is fair.

The proposed class-action lawsuit was filed in December 2009 on behalf of Peter King, who moved to Halifax from the United Kingdom in 2006 and paid into the program.

New immigrants were supposed to get on-the-job training with an approved mentor company, but a statement of claim alleges King applied unsuccessfully for a number of jobs and ended up moving to B.C.

According to the documents, King ran a limousine and chauffeur business in the U.K. before moving to Nova Scotia.

The province paid refunds to immigrants who met certain requirements, but King didn't meet the criteria, mainly because he didn't stay in Nova Scotia for 12 months.

The suit alleged the province breached its contract with King by failing to provide suitable employers and management positions.

It also alleged the province misappropriated trust moneys and breached King's rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including his mobility rights.

According to the document, King had been seeking $100,000 plus interest paid in trust and unspecified damages or "the disgorgement and accounting of all amounts held in trust plus interest" received by the province, either directly or indirectly, from members of the class.

The court still has to certify the class action and the settlement also requires ratification by the plaintiffs

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