The Province of British Columbia issued the following statement in response to the report of the Office of the Ombudsperson:
Statement from Kim Henderson, Deputy Minister to the Premier and head of the B.C. Public Service:
“As head of the public service, I am accountable to begin acting on these recommendations to ensure events like these cannot happen again.
“The government has engaged the Hon. Thomas Cromwell, former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, to administer a reparation process for those adversely affected by public service conduct in the processes detailed in the Ombudsperson’s report. Those persons would include the individuals who the Ombudsperson recommended receive ex-gratia payments.
“Mr. Cromwell is being asked for advice on whether additional reparations to others harmed by these actions could be appropriate. Further, he is being asked to facilitate a settlement process to allow prompt justice for any person who may have legal claims against the government arising from the matters detailed the report.
“Mr. Cromwell’s engagement will also include monitoring the implementation of these recommendations over the coming year with quarterly reports.
“We have consulted with Mr. Cromwell to establish the terms of reference for this engagement.”
Biography of the Hon. Thomas Cromwell
Prior to serving as a justice of the SCC, Cromwell was a judge with the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal from 1997 to 2008. Before his appointment as judge, Cromwell was executive legal officer to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer from 1992 to 1995. He began his career practising law in Kingston and Toronto, and has taught in the Faculty of Law at Dalhousie University.
Cromwell obtained his B.Mus. and LLB from Queen's University, and subsequently attended Oxford University, where he earned a BCL. He holds honourary doctorates in law from Dalhousie University, Queen's University, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Université de Moncton and is an honorary fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
For terms of reference, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/KH_terms_of_reference.pdf