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Public Appeals: Update on the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund

On 6 July 2018 I posted a blog on Public Appeals, the enactment by Saskatchewan of the Informal Public Appeals Act,[1] and about how the Act was put to good use in resolving how to dispose of the funds raised by public appeal in the aftermath of the tragic accident in which a number of the Humboldt Broncos Hockey team were killed and others were injured.[2] As I mentioned in that blog, the fundraiser and the team decided to apply to the court for an order approving distribution of the fund under the Act. This is a follow-up on that blog.[3]

The Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund was established and it brought the application to the court.  On 15 August 2018 Justice Neil Gabrielson of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench made an order authorizing payments of $50,000 to each survivor and to each family of those killed for a total of $1.4 million. That amount represents approximately one-tenth of the amount raised by the GoFundMe campaign.

The order also established a five-member advisory committee to determine how the balance of the funds will be distributed. Family members may address the committee directly with suggestions. The committee will report to the board of the memorial fund and the fund will then prepare a scheme to be presented to the court for approval in November.

It is gratifying that the legislation could be used to help in distributing the funds raised, so that the moneys can be used quickly for the right purposes. This is so much better than having the money sit in court to no purpose for many years, as has happened in the past.[4]

[1]    S.S. 2014, c. I-9.0001, in force 1 January 2015. The Act was based on the Uniform Informal Public Appeals Act, promulgated by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada in 2011, for which see http://www.ulcc.ca/images/stories/2011_pdf_en/2011ulcc0011.pdf..

[2]    http://welpartners.com/blog/2018/07/public-appeals/

[3]    See further: https://globalnews.ca/news/4389450/interim-gofundme-payments-humboldt-broncos-crash/; https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/court-to-hear-humboldt-broncos-fundraising-case-today-update-1.4785861; https://www.canadianlawyermag.com/legalfeeds/author/aidan-macnab/saskatchewan-court-grants-order-regulating-payouts-for-victims-of-humboldt-broncos-crash-16087/?utm_term=Saskatchewan%20court%20grants%20order%20regulating%20payouts%20for%20victims%20of%20Humboldt%20Broncos%20crash&utm_campaign=CLNewswire_20180820&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email.

[4]    For examples of cases in which that happened, see my earlier blog.

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