Nova Scotia reaches tentative $29M deal in orphanage abuse lawsuit

The Nova Scotia government has reached a tentative $29-million settlement with former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children who allege they were abused at the Halifax orphanage.

HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia government has reached a tentative $29-million settlement with former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children who allege they were abused at the Halifax orphanage.

Premier Stephen McNeil announced the agreement Tuesday.

The abuse is alleged to have taken place over a 50-year period up until the 1980s.

“It was our hope and my hope that we would come … to a respectful conclusion and I believe we’ve reached that,” McNeil told a news conference Tuesday.

“This has been a tough process on everybody involved and for some it’s been a life journey.”

McNeil said court documents will be filed later Tuesday detailing the lump sum settlement to be disbursed by lawyers representing the former residents.

In November, McNeil said his Liberal government wanted to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the plaintiffs after they launched a class-action lawsuit against the province.

About 150 former residents allege they were sexually, physically and psychologically abused by staff at the home. Their class-action lawsuit was certified by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in December, though the allegations have not been tested in court.

Before it was defeated in the provincial election in October, the previous NDP government fought the lawsuit in the courts, arguing that some of the allegations are based on speculation or hearsay.

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