Compensation process for St. Anne's residential school survivors being reviewed

A case involving compensation for a residential school survivor was heard in court in Sudbury, Ont. on Wednesday.

Decision expected by presiding judge in 6 weeks

(Kate Rutherford/CBC)

A case involving compensation for a residential school survivor was heard in court in Sudbury, Ont. on Wednesday.

The lawyer representing the unnamed male client says the compensation process was flawed. Her client attended St. Anne's residential school in Fort Albany, Ont.

Like other students who attended the school, he was abused while attending the facility.

Lawyer Marg Waddell says when he sought compensation for the abuse, he wasn't fully believed because documents that proved his case weren't released by the government.

Those documents were related to an investigation done by the Ontario Provincial Police which led to multiple convictions.

Eventually, the documents were released. The client sought compensation a second time, garnering a higher amount, as a result of having the corroborating information.

Waddell says the whole process was very difficult for her client because the severity of his claim was not, at first, believed.

"He became suicidal and had to be hospitalized," she said. "This was horrifically traumatic for him not to be believed."

Waddell says if they win this case, others stand to benefit.

"If we're successful, then the action will proceed, and our instructions are next to amend the claim and turn it into a class action," she said.

The lawyer representing the federal government wouldn't comment but did ask the case be thrown out.

Rebecca Friday, the deputy chief of Mushkegowuk Council, came from Moose Factory for the hearing.

Rebecca Friday is the deputy chief of the Mushkegowuk Council. (Supplied)

"Hopefully at the end of the day, the decision will be in the favour of my people, the rights of my people," she said.

The judge is expected to release his decision in six weeks.