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Synopsis of the Legal Battles between the St. Anne's Survivors and the Department of Justice
It was in 2013 that the St. Anne's Survivors and their legal counsel first learned that the Canadian Federal Government (Department of Justice/Attorney General's Office) failed to disclose 40,000 pages of legal documentation that they had in their possession since 2003, documentation of horrific abuses against children at St. Anne's residential school that would have helped to corroborate their testimonials given in the Independent Assessment Process. This was the start of a court-battle with the Canadian federal government that also provided a 'false narrative' when stating that there was NO evidence of abuses against children who attended St. Anne's.
Since then, lawyers Fay Brunning and Stuart Wuttke (AFN) as well as St. Anne's Survivor Advocate, Edmund Metatawabin and the Mushkegowuk Council, continue to do battle with the Canadian government to ensure that all documents are released, and released in a form considered legible and organized.
Currently, lawyer Fay Brunning and the Mushkegowuk Council are asking for ALL St. Anne's cases that were pushed unabashedly through the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) - without these 40,000 pages having been reviewed by IAP adjudicators before deciding on claims compensation - to be re-reviewed, and to have government lawyers excluded from this process. This is obstruction of justice on the part of Canada's Attorney General (former Attorney General Peter Mackay) and the Department of Justice. It must also be considered negligence on the part of those administering the Independent Assessment Process. In a just process, all St. Anne's IAP claims reviews should have been postponed until all this evidence had been received and reviewed by IAP adjudicators. Instead, the Survivors's claims were pushed through without this evidence, likely resulting in denial of some claims and under-compensation of other IAP claims.
1/ The Canadian Federal Government (Department of Justice/Attorney General's Office) stated that there was no evidence of abuses against children that attended St. Anne's Residential School (Fort Albany, ON). According to Indigenous Affairs Critic Charlie Angus, this was a lie. The government had in their possession since 2003, 40,000 pages of evidence of a wide number of abuses against children who had attended St. Anne's, secured from the Ontario Provincial Police through court-order (criminal court trials against former staff members of St. Anne's took place in Cochrane, Ontario, throughout the 1990s). The Motion of the Canadian government/Roman Catholic church, requesting these documents, as well as Justice Trainor's Decision to release these documents to the Department of Justice, are below.
2/The Canadian Federal Government refused to provide this evidence to the Independent Assessment Process until court-ordered to do so.When these documents were turned over to the IAP, they were so disorganized and heavily redacted that adjudicators and lawyers could not understand them.
3/ Lawyer Fay Brunning and the St. Anne's Survivors had to go to court again to ensure that the documents were ordered correctly, and provided to IAP adjudicators in un-redacted form. The Canadian federal government provided these to the IAP late in 2015 along with a corrected 'narrative' acknowledging widespread abuse against the children of St. Anne's.
4/ Two legal firms that were present with (and supportive of) the Canadian federal government and the Catholic Church in 2003 when they requested full access to those 40,000 pages of evidence of crimes committed against the children of St. Anne's, are currently under scrutiny. The question is whether or not they failed to bring into Survivors' IAP claims cases those very documents they had access to since 2003. Review the names of law firms in the above 2003 Motion Record when the Department of Justice and the Catholic church were asking for access to these criminal court records. Keep in mind that access to these documents was granted. Question? Can it be considered legal or ethical for law firms who had, in the past, represented the Canadian government and the Catholic Church, to then go on to represent St. Anne's Survivors in the Independent Assessment Process?
Review the Cochrane Criminal Court Transcripts
Court Transcripts of Anna Wesley Trial (also known as Sister Mary Immaculate)
Legal Documents that Mention Use of the Electric Chair on the Children of St. Anne's
NOTE: More publicly accessible legal documents will be added as they becomeavailable. Keep in mind that due to publication bans in some instances, some legal documents may not be publicly accessible.