As we approach the end of 2020, we want to acknowledge that this has been a difficult year.
COVID-19 has impacted all our lives, and it has impacted this claims process as well—adding unforeseen challenges to an already complex process. We hear and understand people’s frustrations. We want nothing more than to see every eligible Class Member receive the closure and compensation they deserve. The last thing we would want is to move forward in a way that compromises anyone’s legitimate claim.
Given the current public health circumstances, we are continuing the pause on denying applications for the time being. What that means is that no claim will be denied during this time. However, we are actively assessing claims and, where possible, approving them and issuing interim payments.
If you have received a request from us, the Administrator, asking for additional information, we do encourage you to send that information to us as soon as you are able. Because deadlines are suspended, you won’t be penalized for not sending it. However, providing the additional information requested may help us approve your claim. Help is available. We strongly encourage you to reach out to the legal teams whose job it is to support you through the claim process. Remember, their services are available to you at no cost.
We have heard your voices asking for more responsiveness and clearer information. And we’ve made some important changes that we hope have helped. For example, we have recently expanded our call center with the help of Donna Cona, the largest Aboriginal-owned and -operated business and technology consulting service company in Canada. We created a new, regularly updated claim statistics table on our website, which we hope offers you a clearer and more transparent understanding of our progress. And we also hope our expanded FAQ and new resources help answer questions you may have. For those who use social media, the Sixties Scoop Claims Process Information Facebook page, run by the court-appointed communications team at Argyle, may also be a good source of accurate information.
We know that a timeline for completing this process and issuing final payments is something everyone wants. We are working closely with all parties to the settlement to get closer to that. The first step will be determining when we can reinstate deadlines in a way that ensures all claimants can be treated fairly. We promise to keep you fully informed about decision-making as it progresses in the new year.
For those who celebrate this season, we wish you a wonderful holiday and we wish everyone peace and comfort over the coming weeks.
Please note that the call centre will be open every day during the holidays except Christmas Day (December 25), Boxing Day (December 28), and New Year’s Day (January 1).