Former residents of Woodlands who attended the school have started to receive compensation for systemic abuse suffered at the provincial institution.
“This year, the B.C. government moved to finally do the right thing to extend compensation to Woodlands’ survivors previously denied redress for the abuse they suffered at this provincial institution,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “We hope that by extending compensation to people who had been formally excluded from payment and topping up the payments that people received under the previous class-action lawsuit, they are able to find the sense of closure and justice they fought for nearly 20 years.”
People who resided at Woodlands prior to 1974 will receive $10,000 in an ex-gratia payment. In addition, people who resided in Woodlands after 1974 will receive up to a maximum of $10,000. The payment will take into account settlement awards previously provided through the Woodlands class action settlement. It is expected that monies will be paid out by March 31, 2019.
Among those receiving redress is Bill McArthur, former Woodlands resident and survivors’ advocate. Previously denied any compensation because of the Aug. 1, 1974 cut off, McArthur received his $10,000 ex-gratia payment from the Minister of Health today, on behalf of the Province.
“Today I feel some sense of closure on a difficult past as I, and many Woodlands’ survivors, are finally achieving something we have long fought for,” said McArthur. “Furthermore, I encourage other survivors to reach out to the provincial government to receive their redress as well. This vindication, I hope, will allow them to live the rest of their lives with a sense of self respect and dignity.”
As of the end of September 2018, the Province has contacted 314 former residents of Woodlands.