Notices to Self Represented Claimants
Handling of documents related to St. Anne’s Indian Residential School
July 2, 2014
In January, an Ontario judge ordered the Government of Canada and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to release a large number of documents related to St. Anne’s Indian Residential School in Fort Albany, Ontario. The documents are from OPP investigations and criminal trials in the 1990s. Some of these documents might affect your IAP claim.
As a result of the judge’s decision, Canada will make changes to the documents that it provides in IAP cases:
- By June 30, 2014, Canada will provide to the Secretariat about 10,000 documents, with more than 40,000 pages.
- By August 1, 2014, Canada will make changes to:
- the School Narrative that gives background information about St. Anne’s and describes the school; and
- research reports about people who may have abused students at St. Anne’s.
There may be cases where these new documents could make a difference to the result. But documents and other evidence about the abuse are usually not needed. Almost all decisions in the IAP are based on the testimony that the claimant gives at the hearing.
This notice tells how to get access to the documents, and what you should do.
If you attended St. Anne’s residential school in Fort Albany, you are entitled to have access to these documents, to see if they might support your testimony about your claim. Because there are thousands of documents, you will want a lawyer to advise you about which ones—if any—might be helpful to your claim. You can speak with your Support Officer about hiring a lawyer to help you.
The documents will be available electronically to adjudicators and to lawyers working in the IAP.
If you would like to look at the documents yourself, your Support Officer can have a copy sent to you on a USB stick that you can use to view the documents on a computer. You will be required to keep these confidential. Your Support Officer won’t be able to help you decide which documents might be helpful to your case—only a lawyer can do that.
HOW MIGHT THESE NEW DOCUMENTS AFFECT YOU?
- If your claim has been decided
If your claim has already been decided and you believe that something in the newly released documents could change the outcome, you may apply to the court to have your claim re-opened. Only the court can do this. An adjudicator cannot re-open a claim.
To apply to court, you will need to hire a lawyer. Please keep in mind that the judge said cases would be re-opened only in rare and extraordinary circumstances.
- If your claim has not yet been decided
If you think the new documents might help your case:
- If you already have a hearing date scheduled, you may ask the adjudicator to postpone the hearing.
- If you don’t yet have a date for your hearing, you have two choices:
- You can delay your hearing until all the new documents are available; or
- You can go ahead with your hearing and ask the adjudicator for the opportunity to continue the hearing after you have had a chance to see the new documents.
Except in unusual circumstances, you will be encouraged to go ahead with your hearing. The adjudicator will decide whether some of the newly-released documents might help your claim.
Your Claimant Support Officer can help you make these arrangements.
IAP Information Line 1-877-635-2648
24H Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419
- July 02, 2014