Date: Thu, 30 Apr 98 13:53:48 CDT
Sterilization settlements coming soon
Edmonton Journal, 28 April 1998
EDMONTON (CP) -Justice Minister Jon Havelock expects to review a settlement proposal for about 500 sterilization victims within the next 10 days. "I will then have to take that through the usual course within government and hopefully have a proposal to them shortly," he told the legislature Monday.
"This is a very complex issue and we're trying to evaluate each of the claims individually and fairly . . . We want to do the right thing and that's why it is unfortunately taking a little longer than we thought."
He made the comments in response to questions from New Democrat Leader Pam Barrett who said an initial settlement offer for 500 of the 700 sterilization claims was expected at the end of March.
Last month, the government tried to invoke the Constitution's notwithstanding clause to limit the rights of 700 people who were sterilized between 1928 and 1972 under Alberta's old eugenics law. Legislation invoking the constitutional override would have capped claims at $150,000 each. The move was abandoned a day later in the face of public outrage. A week later lawyers representing victims said that about 500 of the claims could be settled at or close to the $150,000 cap that had been contemplated.