Friday, August 10, 2007

Settlement Administration Website

Crawford Class Action Services, the Court appointed administrator of the pre-1986/post-1990 Hepatitis C Settlement, has put up the official settlement website at

From now on, that site will be the place to go for the most up to date information regarding the settlement. While I may post news here from time to time, Crawford's site will be the main source of information.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


A number of people have been asking when applications will be available. They should be available around August 10, 2007.

Under the Settlement Agreement, the Implementation Date for the settlement is 30 days after the last Court Approval Order becomes final. The Court Approval Orders become final when the time period for an appeal expires, or if an appeal is filed, when that appeal is finally dealt with. To my knowledge, no appeal has been filed, and the deadline for filing appeals expired yesterday. So the Implementation Date for the settlement is 30 days from yesterday. The government will not provide any of the money for the settlement until the Implementation Date.

The further 30 day period is necessary because of section 36 of the British Columbia Class Proceedings Act, which says:

(2) If a representative plaintiff does not appeal as permitted by subsection (1) within the time limit for bringing an appeal set under section 14 (1) (a) of the Court of Appeal Act or if a representative plaintiff abandons an appeal under subsection (1), any member of the class or subclass for which the representative plaintiff had been appointed may apply to a justice of the Court of Appeal for leave to act as the representative plaintiff for the purposes of subsection (1).
(3) An application by a class or subclass member for leave to act as the representative plaintiff under subsection (2) must be made within 30 days after the expiry of the appeal period available to the representative plaintiff or by such other date as the justice may order.

We plan to mail applications to everyone we have an address for. The application forms will also be posted on a special settlement website to be set up and run by Crawford. If you don't get an application in the mail, and can't get one from the website, there will be a phone number where you can call and have one mailed to you.

The website address, phone numbers and mailing addresses will be posted here as soon as they are available.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Administration of the Settlement

Crawford Class Action Services has been appointed as administrators for the settlement. This is the same company that administers the 86-90 settlement.

We are working with Crawford to get all of the application forms and standard operating procedures in place as quickly as possible. As soon as the forms are available, I will post a notice here telling people how to get forms, where to get further information, etc.

In the meantime, there is no reason to call Crawford, Health Canada or any of the lawyers' offices asking for application forms or instructions. No one is yet in a position to begin accepting applications.

Link to Court Decisions

The decisions of the Courts in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec approving the settlement can be found here:

Saturday, June 09, 2007

All Courts have now approved the settlement

We have now received the decision of the British Columbia Court approving the settlement. A link to a copy of that decision will also be posted shortly.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Settlement Approved by the Courts in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta

The Courts in Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario have approved the settlement. Links to copies of their decisions will be posted soon. We have not yet received a decision from British Columbia.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Court Decisions by June 8, 2007

We have been informed by the Courts that the decisions on the Settlement Approval Motions will be issued on or before June 8, 2007. We will post information regarding the decisions as soon as they are issued.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

No News

Just a short update to say that there is no update. We have not yet received approval from the Courts. I will post here as soon as we do.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Court Hearings Now Completed

All of the Court Approval hearings have now been completed. We expect we will hear from the judges sometime in the next few weeks. I'll post as soon as we hear anything.

No applications will be available until after we have a decision from all 4 Courts. One of the main reasons for that is the Court will be appointing an administrator to implement the settlement. Until we know who the administrator is, there is no one to send applications to.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ontario Court Hearings

The Settlement Approval Hearing in Ontario was held on February 5 & 6. I believe the hearing went very well. Justice Winkler, who presided over the hearing, is the same judge who has had jurisdiction over the 1986-1990 settlement. He is very aware of all of the issues, and is a very senior class action judge.

We provided to Justice Winkler copies of the various letters people had written in about the settlement.

In addition, there were several class members in the courtroom, and Justice Winkler allowed anyone who wished to speak an opportunity to give their views on the settlement.

At the end of the hearing, Justice Winkler indicated that he would not be issuing a decision until all of the other provincial hearings were completed.

The Quebec hearing is being heard today (Feb. 7) in Montreal. The hearing in British Columbia is on the 21st in Vancouver, and the hearing in Alberta is on the 28th in Edmonton.

No application forms will be available until after we get decisions from the courts. I'll post here when we have any news.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

1958 Start Date removed from Settlement

The Settlement Agreement has been amended to remove the January 1, 1958 start date for the class period.

The new definition of class period under the agreement is:

"Class Period" means collectively the period prior to and including December 31, 1985 and the period from July 2, 1990 to September 28, 1998, excluding the period from January 1, 1986 to July 1, 1990."

Reason for the Red Cross deduction

A lot of people have asked me why 8/11ths of the amounts received under the Red Cross settlement will be deducted from the new settlement with the Federal Government.

The reason for the deduction of the Red Cross settlement amount is as follows:

The concept of this Settlement Agreement is to provide pre-86/post-90 claimants with a compensation program which reflects parity with the 86-90 settlement, at least as far as the Federal contribution to the 86-90 settlement is concerned. The Federal Government contributed 8/11ths of the money to the 86-90 settlement, the provinces contributed the rest (3/11ths).

The 86-90 people did not receive anything from the Red Cross. This was a deal worked out with the Federal Government and the Red Cross at the time the Red Cross was under bankruptcy protection. The Federal Government and the 86-90 group both agreed not to assert any claim against the Red Cross so that all of the available money could go to the pre-86/post-90 group. They did this in recognition that the 86-90 group was getting money from the federal government whereas the pre-86/post-90 group was not.

Now that the pre-86/post-90 group is going to receive compensation from the Federal Government, if there was not a deduction the pre-86/post-90 group would end up getting more in total than the 86-90 group got (at least with respect to the contribution by the Federal Government).

I hope that clarifies things.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Official Notice of Court Hearings

The official Notice of Settlement Approval Hearings is being published in newspapers across the country. It has also been mailed to several thousand people (accepted claimants under the Red Cross settlement, other people who have contacted us over the years, etc.).

You can see a copy of the notice, in French and English, at

The settlement agreement itself is also posted in French and English at

Claimants do not have to do anything right now. If the Courts approve the settlement, there will be further notices telling people how to apply for the settlement. So, you don't have to worry right now whether you are on any particular list, etc. You will be able to apply later.

People are welcome to come to watch the Court proceedings if they wish. If you do wish to come, it would be helpful if you could let us know by email at, so that we can make sure that we have enough room for everyone.

If you want to make an oral statement to the Court, or if you intend to retain a lawyer to make submissions on your behalf, you must let us know by no later than January 31, 2007, so that we can schedule things properly. Instructions, contact addresses, etc. are in the Notice.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Notice of Settlement Approval Hearings

The notices can now be read at

Court Dates Set

The dates have now been set for the Court hearings to seek approval of the settlement. They are:

February 5 - Toronto
February 7 - Montreal
February 21 - Vancouver
February 28 - Edmonton

Some of the hearings may go more than one day.

More details will be published in newspapers across the country starting this week. The official notice will be posted online shortly. I'll post the address here as soon as it is online.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Our office has moved

Roy Elliott Kim O'Connor LLP has moved into new offices. The new address is:

200 Front Street West
23rd Floor
P.O. Box #45
Toronto, ON M5V 3K2

The phone, fax and email remain the same.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Settlement Agreement now posted

The settlement agreement has now been posted here. It is a 91 page PDF file, so it may take some time to download.

Final Agreement

Sorry the Agreement has not yet been posted. I can't post files directly to this Blog, so I have to get it posted on our firm website and link to it. Unfortunately, our firm website is maintained by another company, and I did not get the agreement document to them on time on Friday to get it posted. It should be up today. I'll post an update here with a link as soon as it is up.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Final Agreement Signed

The final settlement agreement has now been signed by the Federal Government. Links to the actual agreement, and some updated Frequently Asked Questions, will be posted later today. The Health Canada press release is here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Negotiations continuing

Many people have been asking for an update on the compensation announced in July. While I can't yet provide many details, I can say that we have been meeting with federal government representatives almost every week for the past few months, and we have been making significant progress. We believe we are still on track for payments to start in
the first part of 2007.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Agreement close to final

We have met with the Federal Government several times in the last few weeks, and are close to finalizing the agreement. We have been working on the procedures that claimants will be required to follow to apply for compensation, and the way in which we will determine the amounts individual claimants will receive. We expect to be in a position to release the details soon.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Phone Number Correction

The phone number listed in the newsletter for the Alberta lawyers, Kolthammer Batchelor & Laidlaw was wrong. The correct number is (780) 489-5003. A corrected version of the newsletter will be posted shortly.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Newsletter now available

You can find the Settlement Update newsletter here.

Please note that no administrator has yet been appointed for the settlement. Please do not call KPMG or the 86-90 Hepatitis Claims Centre, as they will not be able to answer your questions.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Since I can't post a file directly on this blog, I have to upload the Newsletter file to another site. I'm just waiting for that to be done. As soon as it is up, I'll post a link here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Questions, Questions

I'm getting a lot of email and phone calls with questions about the settlement. I'm just finalizing a newsletter with a Frequently Asked Questions section that should address many of the questions people have. I'll be sending it out by email to those people I have email addresses for. I'll also post a link to it here.

I hope to have it up later today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pictures from the Prime Minister's announcement

Lead Plaintiff Mike McCarthy shakes hands with Health Minister Tony Clement at the announcement of the Pre-86/Post-90 settlement.

Lead plaintiff Mike McCarthy listens to Prime Minister Stephen Harper announce a settlement which will provide almost $1 billion to people infected with hepatitis C through the blood system in Canada before 1986 or after July 1, 1990.

Prime Minister Harper announces compensation

This morning, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a settlement for people infected with Hepatitis C through the blood system in Canada before 1986 or after July 1, 1990. The Prime Minister's statement can be found here. Video of the press conference can be found here.

More details to follow.

Monday, July 24, 2006

No announcement today (July 24, 2006)

Despite what several news organizations had earlier reported, there will be no announcement regarding compensation today. However, we do expect an announcement in the near future.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

News Reports about Compensation

Over the past few days, there have been several media reports about compensation. Let me try to set the record straight:

1. There has been no official government announcement.

2. The people close to the negotiations are not speaking to the media, so the people who are commenting are doing so based on speculation.

I expect there will be an official announcement soon. Until then, please take anything you hear with a grain of salt. (see the two previous posts about rumours and confidentiality)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


In the coming days, weeks and months, there are bound to be all kinds of rumours circulating concerning compensation. Links to the official documents will be posted here as they become available. Please check the official documents before assuming that any rumour you hear is true. If you don't understand something, please ask. While we expect that there will be some questions or concerns with respect to some parts of the settlement, we want the discussion to be based on the facts, rather than speculation or wrong information.

So, let's deal with some rumours that have already started to circulate:

1. You have to register for the settlement in the next few days!

Wrong. The settlement has not yet been finalized or announced. There is nothing to register for or sign up for at the moment, and there is certainly no deadline established for registration. When the settlement is finalized and announced, there will be ample notice to people on how they can apply, and when. People will be given plenty of time to apply.

2. The House of Commons breaks for the summer on June 23. If there's no settlement by then, the whole matter will get put off to the fall.

Wrong. The fact that Parliament rises for the summer break on June 23 does not affect our negotiations. There is no deadline to complete negotiations by June 23. Government continues to operate throughout the summer, as do we. Negotiations can continue through the summer, on weekends, whenever. The settlement does not need to be voted on in the House of Commons, so it really does not matter whether Parliament is in session or not. We will continue to negotiate until we reach a fair deal. That being said, we are all trying to get things finalized as soon as possible.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Health Minister testifies regarding Hep C Compensation

On June 6, 2006, Health Minister Tony Clement appeared before the Standing Committee on Health, and was asked questions about compensation for pre-86/post-90 hepatitis C victims. Unfortunately, due to the current state of negotiations, the Minister was not able to give many details. As is typical in most negotiations, the parties have agreed not to release details until the final agreement is reached. It would be unfair to everyone to release details before they are finalized, as things can and do change during the course of negotiations. The whole point of a negotiation is give and take. We need to retain flexibility. If a public announcement were to be made on any particular point, such as how much the total deal was worth, how much the individual compensation amounts were, etc., it would be very difficult to negotiate any change in that position. This could end up hurting the victims, as we could get locked into a position and be unable to negotiate a better agreement.

I can confirm, however, several of the things the Minister did say. In my view, it is accurate to say that the negotiations have advanced more in the last few months than they have in the last several years. Significant progress is being made, and we believe we are very close to an agreement. There are still a few issues which need to be worked out. The federal negotiators and the plaintiffs' negotiating team are working in good faith to get the matter settled as soon as possible.

The plaintiffs' team is working hard to negotiate a good settlement, and so far we are quite pleased with the way things are shaping up. We know that this compensation is very important to thousands of people who need financial assistance to help them deal with the effects of hepatitis C for themselves and their families. We want to ensure that the amounts offered to victims are adequate, and that the process for applying for the settlement is fair and efficient.

We are almost at the finish line. As soon as I can provide more details, I will.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Health Minister to appear at Committee June 6

Further to my last post, the Minister of Health will be appearing before the Health Committee on Tuesday, June 6 at 11 a.m. in Room 237-C in the Centre Block on Parliament Hill. The hearings are usually available live on the internet. Go to http:\\ and check the schedule.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Minister to address Health Committee on Compensation

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health has passed a motion asking the Minister of Health, The Honourable Tony Clement, to appear before the Committee to provide an update on the government's progress towards honouring the Memorandum of Understanding on pre-86/post-90 hepatitis C compensation that was signed last November. The Committee's motion can be found here. I'll post an update when I find out exactly when this will occur.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hepatitis C raised in the House of Commons

The issue of pre-86/post-90 hepatitis C compensation was raised yesterday in the House of Commons. Here is what was said:

Ms. Penny Priddy (Surrey North, NDP): Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives were in opposition they promised all victims of the tainted blood tragedy compensation. Pre-1986 and post-1990, thousands were infected with hepatitis C as a result of the failure of the Canadian government and were not compensated by the Liberals.

Does the Minister of Health have a plan to immediately compensate these victims?

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as hon. members on both sides of the House know, this issue has been festering for a number of years. We made a campaign pledge and we intend to keep it.

Ms. Penny Priddy (Surrey North, NDP): Mr. Speaker, that is not really good enough. When the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health used to speak about this issue, he would promise compensation immediately after the Conservatives were elected. That was three months ago and there is still no compensation.

Why did the government not move immediately after the election to compensate all hepatitis C victims and right this awful Liberal wrong? What is taking this government so long?

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that this is one of my top priorities. I know there has been a little barracking on both sides of the House, but I can tell the hon. member that this is a priority for this government. We are moving with alacrity. I can tell the hon. member that after 13 years of non-action, we will see action with this Prime Minister's government.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Still here, and working hard

I know it has been a long time since my last post (many of you have pointed this out to me, some gently, some quite angrily). We have continued to negotiate with the federal government, and we are continuing to analyze the data from the survey. Over 3,500 people responded to the survey, from all provinces and territories. We have gained very valuable information from this survey.

We are also in the midst of sending questionnaires to class members' doctors, to gather more information on class members' health status. We need this information to determine how much money is required to provide fair compensation to everyone.

We have been getting good signals from the federal government. We believe that they would like this matter settled as soon as possible, so that compensation can be made available to people quickly.

I cannot at this time give a reliable estimate of how long it will be before compensation is available. All I can say is we are working as hard as we can to try to get it settled soon.

I have read all of the emails and letters people have sent. I've also listened to all of the voicemails people have sent to me. I apologize for not getting back to everyone. I will try to respond to everyone, but my main priority at this time is settling, and I have to balance the time I spend communicating with class members with the time I spend doing the work necessary to get the compensation finalized. I appreciate your patience.

Monday, February 06, 2006

New Federal Cabinet

This morning, a new federal cabinet was sworn in.

Tony Clement was sworn in as Health Minister. Mr. Clement was very supportive of compensation for persons infected with Hepatitis C when he was the Ontario Health Minister.

As you may recall, when in Opposition the Conservatives put forward a motion in the House of Commons calling for compensation for all persons who became infected with Hepatitis C through the blood system in Canada. The Conservative's election platform also contained a committment to providing compensation.

We look forward to working with the new government in finalizing and implementing a fair compensation system.

We're busy analyzing data

We now have about 3,500 surveys returned. We are busy analyzing the data we have received to help us in coming up with the cost and structure of a new compensation proposal. It is our goal to create a fair compensation system that will meet the needs of people infected with Hepatitis C through the blood system in Canada. We want the system to be available well into the future, so that people may access further compensation if the effects of Hepatitis become worse over time. Unfortunately, calculating the cost of such a program is extremely complex. It requires us to determine the current needs of the class, and then make medical projections as to how the disease will likely progress over time, and then make financial projections based on the medical projections.

We have a team of medical and financial experts working with us to assist with these difficult issues.

We have met with the government's lawyers several times, and we believe we are making significant progress. We do understand the urgent need for assistance that many people have. We are committed to working as quickly as possible to finalize the compensation system and get assistance to people at the earliest possible moment.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Email fixed!

The email address listed in the survey for Roy Elliott Kim O'Connor LLP,, was not set up properly, so some of you may have had email messages bounce back. That's been fixed.

Surveys coming in quickly

We are receiving hundreds of surveys every day. Thank you to all those who have returned them so promptly. The surveys are providing us with valuable information to use in our ongoing negotiations with the Federal Government. These surveys, along with information and advice from doctors and financial experts, will allow us to determine how much money is needed to provide compensation. We want to be sure that there is enough money to provide fair compensation to everyone who became infected with Hepatitis C through the blood system in Canada before 1986 or after 1990.

We'll be meeting with the government negotiators again next week. Please be assured that there is a team of people working on this everyday, and that we all want to complete the negotiations as soon as possible.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Election Called - Now what?

A lot of people have been asking what will happen to the pre-86/post-90 compensation now that an election has been called. The short answer is it should not have any significant effect. The Liberal Government signed a memorandum of understanding prior to the election which committed them to providing compensation. The Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Quebecois have all supported compensation in the past, and voted in favour of compensation several times, including April 2005.

We are continuing to negotiate with the Department of Justice, and are continuing to gather the information we need to conclude those negotiations. Our work will continue throughout the election campaign, as we are dealing with government lawyers, not politicians.

The only effect the election will likely have is that we will not be able to get any final agreement signed until after the election when a new cabinet is sworn in. However, given the amount of work left to do in the negotiations, it is not likely that an agreement could be reached before a new cabinet is in place anyway.

So, don't worry. We are confident that compensation will be provided regardless of what happens in the election.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Agreement announced in House of Commons

Here is the text of the announcement in the House of Commons:

Mr. Michael Savage (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, on November 22, 2004, the Minister of Health announced the launch of discussions to explore options for financial compensation to Canadians infected with hepatitis C through the Canadian blood system in the class before 1986 and after July 1990.
Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health update the House on the status of these important discussions?

Hon. Robert Thibault (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to inform the hon. members of the House that the Minister of Health and legal representatives for individuals affected with the hepatitis C virus through the blood system before 1986 and after July 1, 1990, today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding committing the federal government to provide compensation to those individuals.
Discussions will continue on both sides, as both sides negotiate the amounts and categories of compensation. By entering into this MOU both sides have made a clear commitment to the ongoing negotiation process.
The federal government will compensate the pre-1986, post-1990 class because it is the right and responsible thing to do.

Federal Government Commits to Compensation

The Federal Government and the lawyers for the Pre-86/Post-90 hepatitis C victims have entered into a memorandum of understanding in which the government commits to providing compensation. Last November, the government stated that they were willing to discuss the issue, and discussions have been ongoing ever since. Today, for the first time, the government has stated publicly that there will be a compensation program for people infected before 1986 or after July, 1990.

The details of the compensation program are still being negotiated. Claimants do not have to do anything at the moment to apply for the compensation. There will be further announcements once the program is finalized.

You can see the government's press release here, and the text of the memorandum of understanding here.

This is an important step. This is the first time the Federal Government has ever stated that there will be compensation for pre-86/post-90 victims.

We will continue to negotiate to finalize the settlement as quickly as possible.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Survey available online

The survey form is now available online for you to download, print, fill out and return to us. You can download it here. KPMG will be sending the survey form out in the mail, but by downloading it now and sending it in rather than waiting for the copy in the mail, you will be helping us to get our work done more quickly.

Survey coming soon

We are continuing to negotiate a settlement with the federal government. One of the things that has been holding us up is trying to get a good estimate of exactly how many people there are, and what their current state of health is. We'll be sending a survey form out to people over the next few weeks to get some of this information. When you receive it, please fill it in and return it as quickly as possible so that we can finalize our negotiations.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I've set up this Weblog to provide more frequent updates on the status of compensation for people infected with hepatitis C through the blood system in Canada before 1986 or after 1990.

Check back here from time to time to see what's new.