Judge signs off on Montreal archdiocese sex abuse class-action settlement

Global News [Toronto, Canada]

July 19, 2023

By The Canadian Press

A Quebec Superior Court judge has signed off on a sex abuse class-action settlement involving the Montreal archdiocese.

The agreement, announced earlier this year, includes a minimum $14.8 million in compensation for victims of sexual abuse committed by diocesan priests and lay employees of the archdiocese since 1940.

The lead plaintiff in the class action was a victim of Brian Boucher, a since-defrocked priest who was convicted of sexually abusing two boys under his supervision and sentenced in 2019 to eight years in prison.

Montreal law firm Arsenault Dufresne Wee said today nearly 80 victims are part of the class action it filed in April 2019, which was authorized by the court in 2021.

A settlement was reached this year and Justice Donald Bisson signed off on it earlier this month, describing the agreement as fair and reasonable.

Each victim will be compensated between $96,000 and $160,000, and receive an apology letter from Archbishop Christian Lépine.

The case marks the first time a diocese in Quebec has settled a class action. The court says victims have until Oct. 22 to register to be part of the settlement. The Montreal archdiocese has jurisdiction over an area that includes the Island of Montreal, Laval, Que., and Repentigny, Que