The Anglican Church of Canada’s residential schools settlement fund has topped the halfway mark toward its target of $25 million, according to General Synod’s financial office. As of Sept. 30, $13 million had been collected from the church’s 30 dioceses and from General Synod, the national office.
About $3.4 million has been paid out to claimants who proved they were victims of sexual or physical abuse at Anglican-run schools that were part of a nationwide system of boarding schools for native children.
In March, 2003, the church reached an agreement with the federal government that limited the church’s liability to $25 million in lawsuits. The accord averted bankruptcy for the national church, although the diocese of Cariboo in British Columbia closed its office in 2001 under financial pressure from lawsuits.
The fund is paying 30 per cent of settlements, with the federal government paying 70 per cent. General Synod has paid $3 million into the fund. Dioceses agreed to contribute funds over five years in proportion to their regular annual gift to General Synod. Six dioceses have paid their five-year commitments in full.