Montreal religious school to pay record $18M to sex-abuse victims
In what is believed to be the largest-ever payout in Canada by a religious order, a Montreal private school and its religious owners have agreed to pay their victims $18-million for decades of sexual abuse committed by members.
After denying and covering up for decades widespread sexual abuse, Congregation de Ste. Croix and Notre Dame also have apologized unequivocally for acts by teachers and school employees “that should never have happened.”
Parents who entrusted their children to the boys private boarding school facing the iconic St. Joseph’s Oratory — also owned by the brothers — will be eligible for $10,000 in compensation for the betrayal. Former students, and their parents, of two other Quebec schools run by the brothers also will be eligible for damages.
The out-of-court settlement was signed Thursday morning, months after victims sought permission from Quebec Superior Court to file a class-action suit.
It’s the first time — aside from an apology one year ago — the order has taken responsibility for the actions of its wayward members, many of whom are living with impunity, expense- and tax-free in a large home in Laval, near Montreal. Montreal police opened an investigation a year ago into the abuse but have yet to make any arrests.