Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.



Grandview Training School for Girls

February 25, 2014 permalink

The Grandview Training School for Girls opened in 1932, and was formally known as the Ontario Training School for Girls - Galt. It was located at what is now Cambridge, Ontario.

At any one time Grandview housed approximately 120 girls with 30~35 girls in Churchill House, a secure facility. By the terms of the governing legislation (repealed in 1982) the girls' parents lost their parental rights through the wardship process.

In 2002 Fred Kaufman produced an independent report Searching For Justice — An Independent Review of Nova Scotia’s Response to Reports of Institutional Abuse. Chapter 16 looked at other provinces and included a summary of Grandview. It is included in the expand block. Another brief source is wikipedia. Laura Sky has a documentary Until Someone Listens about Grandview. The trailer is on YouTube or a local copy (mp4).

On November 16, 1999 Ontario MPP Jim Flaherty apologized in the Ontario legislature:

With unanimous consent, Mr. Flaherty moved,

That this House, on behalf of Ontario and pursuant to the 1994 agreement reached with the Grandview Survivors Support Group, apologizes and expresses sincere regret for the harm caused by the physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the Ontario Training School for Girls - Galt, also known as Grandview, in Cambridge, Ontario between the 1930s to 1970s; and

That this House acknowledges that the abuse suffered by the students at Grandview, who bear no responsibility for the abuse they suffered, caused lifelong physical and emotional pain, distress and trauma to the women themselves and to their families and community and that such abuse of children is deplorable and intolerable.

Source: Ontario hansard

Through freedom of information Chris Carter has obtained a copy of the settlement between the Grandview Survivors Support Group and the Government Of Ontario (pdf), ratified on June 30, 1994. Much of the document relates to processes. The penultimate page lists the abuses suffered by the residents:

  • rough handling, reported abusive internals excessive segregation
  • fondling of secondary sexual organs, digital penetration, repeated segregation without clothes.
  • repeated sexual intercourse
  • physical beatings
  • repeated sexual-touching, physical assaults, excessive segregation
  • four solid days of segregation
  • repeated sexual assaults, oral sex, physical beatings and confinement to segregation while nude·
  • repeated sexual fondling and segregation
  • repeated sexual intercourse, repeated fondling, excessive internals, physical beatings
  • isolated events of digital penetration with broom handle by inmates, repeated physical beatings, excessive segregation
  • repeated fondling, repeated beatings, excessive segregation
  • sexual molestation, repeated segregation
  • repeated internals
  • repeated sexual touching, repeated internals, physical assaults
  • repeated segregation
  • repeated sexual touching, one physical beating resulting in a broken arm, repeated segregation
  • repeated sexual intercourse
  • rough handling and segregation
  • repeated fondling and internals
  • repeated sexual intercourse, physical beatings and segregation

The settlement discloses that the women were eligible for cash settlements ranging from $3,000 to $60,000. The material does not disclose how many women received the various levels of compensation, but Mr Kaufman's report says that Ontario allocated $16,400,000 for all forms of compensation.




The Government of Ontario operated a training facility for adolescent girls in Galt (now part of Cambridge) from 1932 to 1976. Originally known as the Ontario Training School for Girls - Galt, the facility was renamed the Grandview Training School for Girls in 1967. It housed girls between the ages of 12 and 18. Under the Ontario Training Schools Act, the girls became wards of the Province and the parents of the girls relinquished their rights as guardians. The institution housed an average of 120 girls annually, with approximately one-quarter of them in a secure facility known as Churchill House. While some girls had committed minor crimes such as shoplifting, many were sent to the school because they had been pronounced “unmanageable” under the Juvenile Delinquents Act for reasons such as truancy, the use of drugs or alcohol, or “sexual immorality.” Many of the young women sent to Grandview had been physically, sexually or emotionally abused by family members; some were orphans, and some were from very poor homes whose families were unable to care for them.

A number of students at the school were abused during their residency there. The most significant period of abuse occurred in the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. The school was closed in 1976 after an investigation into the abuse. Residents alleged that they had been subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of guards and other staff. Some of the allegations had been made contemporaneous to the abuse, but had not resulted in any legal proceedings at the time.

The abuse came to public light in 1991, when two women who were being treated by the same psychologist told him of very similar experiences of abuse that occurred at Grandview. The psychologist was shocked by the details, introduced the two women to each other and said that he would support them if they went public with their stories. The women subsequently made appearances on television, asking others who had been at Grandview to contact the police or the provincial Government. In the summer of 1991, the Waterloo Regional Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police began a joint investigation into claims of physical and sexual abuse at the school.

In December 1992, a Victim Witness Program site was established in Kitchener, Ontario, with the express purpose of dealing with Grandview. Some women retained lawyers and initiated civil suits. At the same time, a small group of women formed the Grandview Survivor’s Support Group (“GSSG”) to investigate options for seeking compensation on a collective basis. They also hired legal counsel (whose services were ultimately paid for by the Ontario Government). The group later expanded to include more than 300 women.

The Province decided to pursue, through mediation, an out-of-court strategy to settle Grandview claims. In May 1993, negotiations began between the Government and the GSSG. Over the next 10 months the executive of the GSSG and the group’s legal counsel held extensive meetings with counsel from the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Government’s Grandview Project Manager in an attempt to draft a compensation agreement. The Government provided funding during the negotiations for a crisis line dedicated to Grandview survivors and for continued participation in the discussions by the GSSG executive.

In early 1994, a Draft Agreement was formulated by the Government and the GSSG executive and put to a vote by the members of the GSSG. Over 127 women participated in the vote, and the Agreement was ratified by over 80%. After Government approval, the program was announced in June 1994.

The Agreement allowed all former residents of Grandview to apply for specified benefits and financial compensation from the Government through an alternative dispute resolution process rather than individually pursuing civil suits. It was a group agreement, but it permitted individual women to choose whether or not to participate in the program. Individuals were required to obtain independent legal advice (for which the Government provided $1,000 per applicant) before electing to seek compensation under the Agreement. Those who elected to do so had to provide a complete release of any claim they might have had against the Government of Ontario for damages arising out of their mistreatment at Grandview. Participation in the Agreement, however, did not restrict the individual’s rights to bring criminal charges or civil claims against individual perpetrators of abuse.

An application cut-off date was set for January 2, 1996. Applications received after that date were not automatically rejected, but were considered on a case by case basis.

The purpose of the Agreement was outlined in its Overview:

The purpose of this Agreement is to engage in a process to afford any eligible person real opportunities to heal and to introduce real hope for a better future ... [It] is designed to address the consequences of “abuse” and “mistreatment” as those terms are defined, of those who were actually resident at Grandview ... It is an objective of the various components of this Agreement to facilitate a path of healing and recognition of self-fulfilment for its beneficiaries. It is hoped that the coordination of the various components, will, as an integrated whole, produce a more accountable and effective response for survivors of institutionalized and sexual abuse.

  1. (a) Details of the Compensation Package

    The Agreement provided for three different types of benefits: general benefits (intended to benefit society as a whole), group benefits (for all former residents of the institution), and individual benefits (for those who claimed specific incidents of abuse). An Eligibility and Implementation Committee (“EIC”) was established as an advisory body to oversee and superintend the implementation of the benefits package. This committee was composed of two GSSG-appointed members, one Government-appointed member and a chair jointly appointed by the Government and the GSSG. The Agreement also provided funding for the GSSG to enable it to continue to offer support to its members through meetings, outreach and a newsletter.

    1. General Benefits

      General benefits were not necessarily confined to benefits to former residents of Grandview. They were defined in the Agreement as “programs, actions or commitments that the Government may undertake or foster and which may provide benefits to survivors of sexual, physical and institutionalized abuse generally.”

      The Agreement included specific provisions for legislative and research initiatives.

      The main legislative initiative outlined in the Agreement was a bill to amend various provincial laws to extend or eliminate limitation periods for commencing civil proceedings in relation to sexual abuse. The Government also reviewed its hiring, training and abuse-reporting practices for programs involving youth in institutional settings or under state supervision.

      Three research initiatives were contemplated in the Agreement. First, there was a proposal to evaluate the effect and effectiveness of the Agreement itself. This work was later conducted by Deborah Leach. Results of her study are referred to in the applicable contexts below. Second, a recommendation was made to conduct research to better understand the dynamics of the consequences of abuse and to determine when and how to provide effective intervention. In this regard, the Government supported the production of a video and a booklet entitled “Until Someone Listens.” Third, every applicant was given the choice to tell of her experiences at Grandview and have her history recorded.

      The idea of establishing a Healing Centre was also discussed but not acted upon. Instead, some money was put aside for a needs assessment. However, these funds eventually went back to the Government’s general revenue fund.

    2. Group Benefits

      Group benefits consisted of a dedicated crisis line, money for the removal of self-inflicted tattoos and scars, and a general acknowledgement by the Government recognizing the efforts of the GSSG to bring to the attention of provincial authorities the allegations of abuse and to develop a non court-based process to assist the victims. The crisis line and money for the removal of tattoos and scars were available to all former residents of Grandview. Individuals applying to have a self-inflicted tattoo removed were required to swear a statement declaring when they attended Grandview and that the tattoo was inflicted during that time.

      The crisis line which was established by the Government of Ontario during the negotiations leading up to the Agreement was continued pursuant to the terms of the Agreement. Again, it was available to any former resident of Grandview without proof that she had been subjected to conduct at the school that could have caused or contributed to her crisis. The crisis line existed for four years and was closed March 31, 1997. Ms. Leach reported that a large majority of the women who accessed the service felt it made a positive difference in their lives. However, some felt that the counsellors were not always sufficiently knowledgeable about institutional abuse or Grandview.

      The Government allocated $120,000 for a tattoo removal fund and $50,000 for a scar reduction fund. Fifty-two women had used this benefit as of December 1996, the latest date for which information was available. Ms. Leach found that the impact of tattoo removal was significant in improving self-esteem and the ability to live in the present.

      The general acknowledgement referred to above was read out in the provincial legislature by the Attorney General, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, on November 17, 1999. It included an apology to all the Grandview survivors.

    3. Individual Benefits

      A number of individual benefits, including direct financial compensation, were available to former residents of Grandview whose assertions of abuse were accepted. Individuals had to apply for these benefits. Their applications were reviewed by an adjudicator who determined whether the claimant was in fact the victim of abuse and/or mistreatment (as defined in the Agreement) which caused injury or harm and, if so, what financial award was appropriate. An applicant whose claim was validated was also entitled to apply for a variety of additional non-financial benefits that were purchased by the Government from existing service providers on a case-by-case basis. The total Government expenditure on awards and benefits was $16,400,000. The various available benefits are described below.

      Successful claimants were entitled to a financial award for pain and suffering as a result of abuse and/or mistreatment. “Abuse” and “mistreatment” were defined as follows:

      1.1 ABUSE means an injury as a result of the commission of a criminal act or act of gross misconduct by a guard or other official at Grandview or in some circumstances by another ward and includes physical and sexual assault or sexual exploitation. It is acknowledged that sexual abuse includes arbitrary or exploitative internal examinations for which no reasonable medical justification existed and which resulted in demonstrable harm.

      Act of abuse is the act that causes injury.

      1.2 MISTREATMENT means an injury as a result of a pattern of conduct that was “cruel” and for which no reasonable justification could exist (arbitrary) and includes conduct that was non physical but had as a design the depersonalization and demoralization of the person with the consequent loss in self esteem, and may involve discipline measures unauthorized by any superior authority. This is conduct that is plainly contrary to the policies and procedures governing conduct at Grandview and the purpose of the governing legislation. Proof must establish a pattern of conduct directed towards the individual personally and errors of judgement will not be sufficient. This conduct may include taunts, intimidation, insults, abusive language, the withholding of emotional supports, deprivation of paternal visits, threats of isolation, and psychologically cruel discipline or measures which were not officially permitted in the management and control of the residents of the facility.

      The general environment of Grandview, the discipline and regulation of the conduct of the wards in accordance with policies and procedures established for the governance and management of the institution cannot constitute mistreatment.

      The act of mistreatment is the act or acts that cause the injury.

      In order to qualify for a financial award, an applicant had to demonstrate injury or harm which justified compensation beyond a nominal damages award. The range of available awards was from $3,000 to $60,000. The precise amount conferred upon an applicant depended on the nature, severity and impact of the abuse and/or mistreatment. In determining the amount, the adjudicators were directed to use a prescribed matrix as a guide. This matrix set out the minimum and maximum award ranges for various categories of misconduct, and also itemized the type of evidence expected as proof. The adjudicators had the discretion to fix the award within the range prescribed. The matrix is reproduced in full below.

      Repeated serious sexual abuse (sexual intercourse anal/oral) & physical beating and threats. Continued harm resulting in serious dysfunction. Adjudicator applies standards set out in Agreement. Possible: Medical/ psychological/therapist/ police reports/direct evidence of victim if credible/witnesses/ documentary- conviction of perpetrator. $40,000.00 - $60,000.
      Physical abuse involving hospitalization with broken bones or serious internal injuries. Harm sufficient to justify award must be demonstrated. Adjudicator applies standards set out in the Agreement. Same as above $20,000.00 - 40,000.00 “mid range”
      Isolated act of sexual intercourse/oral or anal sex or masturbation with threats or abuse of position of trust. Harm sufficient to justify award must be demonstrated. Adjudicator applies standards set out in the Agreement. Same as above $20,000.00 - $40,000.00 “mid range”
      No physical interference- forms of “mistreatment” i.e. cruel conduct that was prolonged and persistent. Confinement in segregation alone will not attract an award. Segregation may be justified in accordance with administrative authority. Abusive segregation cannot be. Long term detrimental impact - conduct must not have been lawful or condoned. The nature of the harm will determine once proof of the acts are accepted whether a minimal recovery or a higher award. Same as above $3000.00 on proof of acts of abuse or mistreatment. $10,000.00 - $20,000.00 where serious harm found by the adjudicator.

      The Government of Ontario was responsible for 100% of the financial award. The average award conferred was a little under $40,000. In general, financial benefits were awarded for physical and sexual abuse and mistreatment. In certain cases, psychological abuse and mistreatment were compensated, but few awards were granted as a result of psychological abuse only.

      Ms. Leach’s study found that the vast majority of recipients thought the financial award helped them make a positive change in their lives. Most importantly, it contributed to a sense of validation, gave them some security and independence, improved their ability to take better care of their children and other important people in their lives, and helped them plan for their future with more skills. For a small number of recipients, the award caused difficulties in such matters as money management and demands from others for assistance.

      In addition to any direct financial award, an adjudicator was also able to direct the Government to pay service providers additional sums up to $10,000 to cover exceptional medical or dental costs related to the consequences of the abuse and/or mistreatment where no insurance coverage was available.

      The Government had established an interim therapy protocol to provide counselling and therapy, pending completion of the Agreement. Former wards were then entitled to apply under the Agreement for access to longer-term counselling and therapy. In order to qualify for such services, the applicant had to submit an application for individual benefits within six months of the ratification date of the Agreement. The application had to be accompanied by a treatment plan prepared by a therapist experienced in treating cases of abuse, and the therapist had to support the claimant’s position that her experiences at Grandview likely caused or contributed to her present circumstances and that counselling was required. Alternatively, an applicant could request an assessment by a Government-approved counsellor.

      All applications for counselling were reviewed by the Eligibility and Implementation Committee. Interim counselling services remained in effect pending the review. If a majority of the members of the EIC was satisfied that the requested counselling was appropriate, such services of a value not exceeding $5,000 for a period of one year could be approved. This could occur in advance of validation of the claim, but was subject to confirmation by the adjudicator. Provision was also made for additional funding in appropriate situations. Disputes between the EIC and the applicant (or her treating therapist) were to be resolved by designated independent experts.

      In exceptional circumstances, applicants could also obtain up to $5,000 in funding for short- term residential treatment programs. Appropriate evidence of need was required, as well as evidence of the unavailability of alternative private or public funding. Applicants could access individual counselling services following completion of the residential program.

      The vast majority of women interviewed by Ms. Leach indicated that the therapy and counselling benefit made a significant difference to them. It helped them with improving their self- esteem, going through the Agreement process, coping with their tragedy, and moving on in life. At the same time, many women were concerned about the limits to the funding. Many were unaware of the limits, and said they would have used the funding differently if they had been aware. Some recommended that the cap on this benefit be eliminated.

      The Agreement provided for access to educational or vocational training or upgrading. The Government agreed to pay the “basic costs” of education or vocation programs approved by the EIC. Basic costs were defined to include tuition, books, course materials, a transportation allowance and, where need was established, child care and computer costs. The Government also agreed to pay for psycho-educational assessments to assist applicants in determining a suitable program of study or training. The only conditions of the benefit were that the applicant attend all classes, fulfill all course requirements and successfully complete the course of study. Ms. Leach reported that many applicants thought this benefit was extremely important, especially since education was something stolen from them at Grandview.

      Successful applicants could obtain free debt counselling and debt consolidation and budget assistance. Ms. Leach reported that the reactions of those who availed themselves of this benefit were mixed, some finding it helpful and others finding it shameful.

      A contingency fund of $3,000 per validated claim was set up. It was intended to cover expenses for the following matters not covered, or not covered sufficiently, by other benefits: medical and dental needs, child care and travel expenses incurred in relation to attending counselling sessions, books and other materials required for a course of study or therapy, and fees for attending workshops. Applications for specific expenses had to be submitted to and approved by the EIC, and need had to be established. Multiple applications could be submitted, but the money had to be used within two years of the date the Agreement was ratified. This was the most widely-used benefit. Most applicants used it for medical or dental purposes. All said it made at least some positive difference in their lives.

      Finally, the Agreement provided that each successful claimant was entitled to receive an individual acknowledgement from the Government of the abuse or mistreatment, recognizing that each of the women was harmed and there could be no justification for the abuse. Delivery of these acknowledgements was delayed until the completion of all related criminal proceedings.

      Reproduced below is a chart prepared by Goldie Shea for the Law Commission of Canada detailing the number of applicants who took advantage of the various available benefits as of October 1999.

      Grandview - Usage of Benefits
      Therapy/counselling 123 91.8
      Tattoo/Scar Removal 52 38.8
      Contingency Fund 132 98.5
      Educational/Vocational Assistance 46 34.3
      Financial/Budget counselling 6 4.5
      Total number of women who used at least one of the Agreement benefits 134 100
  2. (b) The Process

    As stated in the Report of the Grandview Adjudicators, the adjudication process had multiple goals. First, it was a forum for the review and assessment of evidence relating to validation of claims and the assessment of damages. To this extent, the hearings were similar to other, more traditional, legal proceedings where judges review exhibits, listen to evidence, and make findings of fact based on legal standards and principles, including the onus of proof. Second, the Grandview hearings were intended to offer the applicants an opportunity to describe their experiences in their own words to someone with authority. Adjudication was to empower the survivors of institutional abuse to define the wrong that was done to them, to explain the repercussions on their lives, to demand accountability and the restitution of their dignity, and to claim official recognition of the injustice.

    The procedure for validation of a claim was as follows. Applicants were restricted to former residents of Grandview or its predecessor, the Ontario School for Girls. Each applicant was required to complete an application outlining the abuse and consequent injuries she allegedly suffered. This had to be accompanied by a sworn statement as to the truth of the information given in the application, a statement releasing the Government from any further liability, and a declaration of having received independent legal advice. The application could also be accompanied by supporting documentation gathered by the applicant.

    Two investigators appointed by the Government reviewed the information and determined if and when the applicant had been a resident at Grandview. They also reviewed the Crown ward files of the applicants to determine whether there was evidence of corroboration, inconsistency or other information relevant to the application. The application and all related documentation were then submitted to an independent adjudicator for review, assessment and validation.

    The adjudicators were all female professionals in the law jointly chosen by the GSSG and the Government. Six in total were appointed. As a group, they had expertise in human rights, feminist legal theory, tort law, criminal law, family law, constitutional law, property law, access to justice, health law, aboriginal legal rights, minority language rights and adjudication within administrative tribunals. Feedback from the applicants suggested that it was very important that the adjudicators were female, with many indicating that they would have been uncomfortable discussing the intimate details of their claims with a man. In addition, the fact that one of the adjudicators was a native woman who could appreciate the unique experiences of aboriginal claimants was noted as being very important.

    Each applicant was entitled to an oral hearing before an adjudicator. The hearing was held in private and no transcript was maintained. The Government, the applicant and the GSSG were all parties to the proceeding and entitled to submit information to the adjudicator. The Government was entitled to attend the hearings and make representations, although no adverse inferences were to be drawn from the fact that the Government chose not to do so. The applicant was entitled to be represented by counsel. In practice, most hearings occurred without lawyers present.

    The burden of proving the claim was on the applicant on a standard of a balance of probabilities. The applicant had to satisfy the adjudicator that the conduct complained of occurred, was not minor, and the injury sustained was substantial and prolonged. The decision of the adjudicator was final and not subject to appeal or other form of judicial review.

    Hearings were held in various locations across the country. Efforts were made to select a venue that would accommodate the particular applicant’s needs, and to provide as comfortable a setting as possible. As a result, hearings were sometimes held in an applicant’s home or in an institution where an applicant was detained.

    The hearings were designed to be informal and non-confrontational. Applicants were advised at the start how the hearing would proceed, and were given the opportunity to ask any questions they might have. Applicants were also informed that any notes taken during the proceeding would be private and confidential, and destroyed after a decision was rendered.

    Applicants were asked at the outset to promise to tell the truth. The adjudicator then asked to hear about the applicant’s experiences at Grandview, and any impact those experiences may have had. The adjudicators sought to give each applicant the chance to tell her own story. Follow-up questions were then asked to clarify confusing points and ensure that all the relevant issues were canvassed. Applicants were always given the opportunity to explain apparent inconsistencies.

    According to section 4.2.5 of the Grandview Agreement, in assessing a claim, the adjudicator was obliged to consider the following:

    1. How long was the claimant in residence?
    2. What was the age of the applicant?
    3. Were complaints made and if so when?
    4. By whom were the acts committed? What was the relationship of the claimant to the person?
    5. What was the frequency of the abuse and mistreatment? Was it an isolated act or a series of acts?
    6. What was the nature and severity of the abuse and mistreatment?
    7. What was the impact on the claimant? What was/is the consequence of the abuse? What treatment has been received for the injuries identified?
    8. Were criminal charges laid; was there a conviction; was conduct criminal in nature? (It is understood that many of the hearings may be concluded before the on-going criminal investigations are concluded, and accordingly, no adverse inference should be made with respect to beneficiaries whose alleged perpetrators have not yet been charged or convicted. Furthermore, neither the laying of criminal charges nor a conviction are preconditions for certification and relief under this agreement.)
    9. Was the claimant a resident of Churchill House?

    As suggested above, the types of material reviewed by the adjudicators included the following:

    1. the applicant’s written application outlining the abuse which she alleged that she experienced and describing the injuries suffered;
    2. the applicant’s sworn statement as to the truth of her application;
    3. a certificate demonstrating that the applicant received independent legal advice regarding her options;
    4. a statement releasing the Government from further liability, signed by the applicant;
    5. documentation from the applicant’s Crown ward file relevant to her claim, such as medical and dental records, reports of discipline, reports from the staff regarding the applicant’s behaviour and progress (collected and compiled by the investigator);
    6. transcripts from interviews conducted with the applicant by police officers investigating criminal charges, if any existed; and
    7. supporting documentation, such as therapists’ reports or other medical reports submitted by the applicant.

    In practice, the primary focus of the fact finding exercise rested upon the oral evidence given by the applicant herself. The adjudicator assessed the applicant’s credibility by observing her demeanour and considering the content of her evidence and any previous statements she had made on the issues. The adjudicators found that the Crown ward files sometimes provided useful information, but were concerned that these records were primarily compiled by the staff of the institution, and therefore might have been coloured by self-interest. As such, they did not always represent reliable accounts of what transpired. Supporting written materials submitted by the applicant (usually reports of therapists, psychiatrists and other medical personnel) were also of some use, but these documents were created long after the applicant’s time at Grandview, and thus were not always cogent evidence about what actually happened to the applicant at the school.

    Once an application had been validated, the applicant received a decision prepared by the adjudicator. The Agreement stated that the reasons for the decisions were confidential and were not to be published by the parties. At the outset, the four original adjudicators deliberated as a group to establish a template that would be used to structure the reasons for the decisions. This template was developed after consultation with counsel from the Ministry of the Attorney General and counsel for the GSSG. The actual decisions generally conformed to the template, but adjudicators departed from the standard format where particular cases so warranted. Most decisions were, therefore, uniform in structure, but unique in their description of the facts proven in the individual case.

    The decisions included both a narrative account of the incidents of abuse and a description of the consequences of the abuse – the harm or injury experienced by the applicant and the effect of the abuse on her life. At the outset, the adjudicators agreed that the account of the incidents should be quite detailed so as to capture the extent and range of abuse and mistreatment that occurred at Grandview, using the applicant’s own words to the greatest extent possible. In this way, each decision would create a detailed historical record of what transpired at the training school. By contrast, references in the decision to the detrimental effect of the abuse on the applicant’s lives were deliberately left brief to avoid freezing the applicant’s life in relation to the damage done, or labelling an applicant in stereotypical terminology. These practices were adopted in light of the goal of the Agreement to make the process one in which healing could take place.

    The reasons for the decision were written primarily for the applicant, not for the other parties to the proceeding or as a precedent for other cases. The narrative was designed to recount what the adjudicator concluded had been proven on a balance of probabilities. In addition, the narrative sometimes mentioned an incident which was not compensable, but was a source of pain and frustration for the applicant. The decision thereby sought to provide justification for the adjudicator’s findings and also served as a record of the applicant’s perspective of wrongs suffered. Feedback from the applicants after receiving their decisions suggested that this aspect of the decisions was very important to them.

    Although adjudicators sat individually, each decision was informally reviewed by a second adjudicator before release. Two adjudicators were responsible for reviewing each other’s decisions for a defined period of time, with the pairs being changed every few months to ensure overall consistency. The review adjudicator made suggestions regarding changes to the draft decision, but the final determination remained with the adjudicator assigned to the case. Where a particular decision required special or difficult interpretation of the Agreement, drafts were circulated to all adjudicators for comment. The goal of this review process was consistency in the quantum of compensation and the interpretation of the language of the Agreement. In addition, it provided adjudicators with much wider knowledge and exposure to evidence being adduced during the hearings. Adjudicators also held group meetings regularly to review the procedures being used in the hearings and the decisions being rendered. The adjudicators found these meetings extremely useful and recommended that they be incorporated as an on-going and integral part of adjudicators’ workload in future adjudicative processes.

    In the end, 329 claims were resolved within two-and-a-half years. Most were validated. The adjudicators determined, on a balance of probabilities, that some former residents had been sexually, physically and/or psychologically abused and mistreated at Grandview. They also determined that the abusive treatment contributed to serious, prolonged and substantial harm.

    In their Report on the process, the adjudicators suggested that the Agreement process allowed them to make reliable findings of fact, and that it may be preferable to evaluate evidence of institutional abuse without requiring all the elements of the adversarial model of litigation. In her evaluation, Ms. Leach found that applicants also viewed the adjudication process positively. In particular, they liked that the process offered the opportunity, in a relatively safe context, for women to tell their stories and have their experiences acknowledged. One notable area cited for improvement related to the use of more understandable (i.e., less legalistic and complex) literature for use by applicants to assess their rights and access benefits.

Source: Searching For Justice — An Independent Review of Nova Scotia’s Response to Reports of Institutional Abuse

Chris Carter has obtained a report from the Archives of Ontario by inspector MV Villeneuve into a Grandview staffer (X). Villeneuve interviewed six wards and one junior staffer, all alleging sexual misconduct by X. X asked the wards what they would do if present with X on a desert island, an interview technique X got from the book Behavior Therapy and Beyond by Arnold A Lazarus, Ph D. X asked several girls to stare at a dot on the wall, and one says she was hypnotized. All this suggests X was a psychiatrist. His taste in women is revealed by the observation that all the accusing women had large breasts.

Here is the Memorandum by MV Villeneuve along with a cover letter. The redactions of names make it impossible to understand the degree of corroboration between witnesses, but the first-hand accounts are all there.