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$36 million settlement in developmental facilities class action – including Prince Edward Heights

PrinceEdwardHeights_PictonFormer residents of 12 former developmental services facilities – including Prince Edward Heights, at Picton – will be able to apply for compensation.

The Superior Court of Justice approved a $36 million settlement agreement that will provide compensation to individuals who suffered harm while living at 12 former developmental services facilities between the 1960s and 1990s. The agreement applies to Prince Edward Heights residents from Jan. 1, 1971 to Dec. 31, 1999.

“I’m glad that we were able to reach a fair settlement in this matter,” said Madelein Meilleur, Attorney General. “These individuals were harmed in a place that was intended to provide them with care, and while we cannot change the past, it is my hope that this settlement will help these individuals – and their families – to heal.”

The facilities closed between 1977 and 1999 in accordance with a government decision to close institutions and move adults with developmental disabilities to homes in the community with appropriate supports and services.

“We’re building a more inclusive Ontario, where people with developmental disabilities can live as independently as possible in their communities,” said Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services. “That’s why our government closed the province’s last remaining facilities and transitioned to community supports and services – a key step in our ongoing transformation of developmental services.”

The settlement is the result of a class action lawsuit brought against Ontario by former residents of these facilities. Claims administrator, Crawford Class Action Services, will inform eligible former residents about the claims process to apply for compensation.

Crawford states “the lawsuit says the province of Ontario, in charge of the facilities, failed to properly care for and protect the people who lived in the institutions. The lawsuit says the people who lived there were emotionally, physically and psychologically traumatized by their experiences.  The province of Ontario denies these claims.”

The facilities, and the specific time periods to which the agreement applies, are:
Adult Occupational Centre (Edgar) – January 1, 1966 to March 31, 1999
Bluewater Centre (Goderich) – April 1, 1976 to December 20, 1983
D’Arcy Place (Cobourg) – September 1, 1963 to December 31, 1996
Durham Centre for the Developmentally Handicapped (Whitby) – April 1, 1974 to September 28, 1986
L.S. Penrose Centre (Kingston) – April 1, 1974 to March 31, 1977
Midwestern Regional Centre (Palmerston) – September 1, 1963 to March 31, 1998
Muskoka Centre (Gravenhurst) – August 28, 1973 to June 30, 1993
Northwestern Regional Centre (Thunder Bay) – April 1, 1974 to March 31, 1994
Oxford Regional Centre (Woodstock) – April 1, 1974 to March 31, 1996 or in the “Mental Retardation Unit” – January 1, 1969 to March 31, 1974
Pine Ridge (Aurora) – September 1, 1963 to August 31, 1984
Prince Edward Heights (Picton) – January 1, 1971 to December 31, 1999
St. Lawrence Regional Centre (Brockville) – April 1, 1975 to June 30, 1983.

Former residents can receive a copy of their personal resident files at no charge by emailing AccessandPrivacyOffice.mcss@ontario.ca or calling 1-855-376-9886. Class members (eligible former residents) will have four months after the court’s approval of the settlement to request their files.

Filed Under: Local News

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