A settlement agreement reached in a class action lawsuit brought against Ontario by former residents of the Southwestern Regional Centre was approved in Superior Court on February 24, 2014. Read the news release.

Ontario apologizes to former residents of the Southwestern Regional Centre. Read the news release.

Compensation for former residents

If you have questions relating to Ontario's settlement of this class action lawsuit, please contact the Ministry of the Attorney General.

The deadline to file a claim was November 30, 2014. The claims administrator, Crawford Class Action Services, reviewed each claim and assessed the harm in accordance with the settlement agreement.

On August 25, 2015, the claims administrator sent individual compensation amounts to eligible claimants.

Strategic program investments to benefit people with a developmental disability and their families

In accordance with the settlement agreement, any surplus funds remaining after all settlement terms are satisfied are to be used for one-time investments, called Strategic Program Investments (SPI), to benefit individuals with a developmental disability and their families. Following the payment of all claims and class counsel fees, about $7.4 million is available for distribution for these investments.

Ontario's Superior Court of Justice has made a final decision regarding the allocation of the SPI funds. By November 6, 2017, Crawford Class Action Services notified everyone who applied for SPI funds about whether or not they are receiving a court-ordered allocation. Crawford Class Action Services provided applicants that are receiving a court-ordered allocation with further information, including contact information should they have any questions relating to their allocation.

Commemorative Plaque at Southwestern

Watch a video of the ceremony.

This link will take you to the video : SRC Plaque

On October 16, 2014, the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, participated in a ceremonial event at Community Living Chatham-Kent in Chatham to honour the memory of the former residents of the Southwestern Regional Centre which closed permanently in 2008.

The ceremony was attended by almost 50 people, including class members, people supporting former residents and representatives from developmental services organizations.

The ceremony included reading the wording of a commemorative plaque which has been installed near the site of the former facility near Blenheim.

Commemorative plaques were also unveiled at the former Huronia Regional Centre and Rideau Regional Centre in 2014.

Read the wording on the plaque.

Access to Southwestern Documents

These documents are different from personal resident files.

As part of the settlement agreement, a copy of the approximately 10,000 documents that were produced in the Southwestern litigation has been transferred to the Archives of Ontario to be made available for the purposes of scholarly research. Documents include:

  • ministry policies, facility policies, agendas and minutes of committees involved in running the facility
  • operation memoranda and documents related to all aspects of staffing
  • media reports, annual reports, inspection and investigation documents and correspondence
  • records of injuries, accidents, serious occurrences
  • financial documents.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services has gone beyond this requirement by making these documents available to the public. The work to prepare the documents for release has been done in a manner that safeguards the historical integrity of the document collection, the privacy interests of the individuals involved and the sensitive nature of some of the documents.

You can access these documents through the index to the collection. Note that a small number of documents, due to their highly sensitive nature, are not available online but rather in a Ministry reading room.

Access to Personal Resident Files

Former residents of the Southwestern Regional Centre or their families who want to access their personal resident files can obtain them from the Ministry of Community and Social Services at no cost.

Please contact:

Cate Parker
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Coordinator
Ministry of Community and Social Services
PO Box 978
77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto ON M7A 1N3

Tel: 416-327-6101
Toll free: 1-855-376-9886
Email: SRC.MCSS@Ontario.ca