Manitoba Government Settles With Children In Care For $530 Million In Historic Class Action Lawsuits

March 25, 2024

The Manitoba government has agreed in principle to pay $530 million to children in care over the province's actions and policies relating to the administration of Children's Special Allowances (CSA) from Child and Family Services (CFS) agencies between 2005 and 2019. 

Three certified class action lawsuits sought damages for Manitoba's breach of the Charter rights of vulnerable children. The settlement aims to compensate the affected children, cover legal fees and administer funds to class members. 

Subject to court approval, this historic settlement is a significant step forward in rectifying the discrimination endured by vulnerable children in care. This settlement will compensate every child affected by the CSA policy including interest and additional monies for other damages and costs through the creation of a resolution fund. 

According to federal legislation, CSA payments are made to CFS Agencies as an equivalent to the Canada Child Benefit received by parents in Manitoba. CSA benefits are to be used exclusively for care, education, training and advancement of children in care. 

Instead, over the course of 14 years Manitoba required CFS agencies to remit over $335 million of the federal CSA payments back to Manitoba's general revenue fund.

In response to legal challenges, the Manitoba government passed legislation in 2020, exempting the province from any legal responsibility. This legislation prompted a constitutional legal challenge, leading to a 2022 decision by the Court of the King's Bench, which found that Manitoba's CSA policy and related legislation exacerbated the already-significant disadvantages experienced by children in care and was a breach of their Charter rights to be free from discrimination.


"There can be no question that this is an historic moment, and a clear victory for our kids. Through the settlement of the CSA and other mechanisms like Bill C-92, we can continue expanding our ability to protect our children, giving them every possible chance of success. The MMF will do what it takes to ensure that every child who is eligible for this settlement receives every penny they are owed. Together, we have shown our kids in care that they matter, and that their Red River Métis Government will always defend them."  - David Chartrand, President of the MMF

"I was honoured to stand beside many remarkable young people who bravely came forward and ensured their rights were respected.  We are so proud of them and know their actions and words have created a brighter future for thousands of children and young adults.  I want to thank the many staff, lawyers and caregivers who have assisted our youth in standing strong, resulting in this historic settlement."  - Mona Buors, MMF Minister for Métis Child & Family Services

"Our government believes that every child matters and this agreement is an important step forward. This money was supposed to be used for the advancement for some of the most vulnerable children in our society, and it was taken from them. This settlement is an example of how our government is prioritizing reconciliation through action" - The Hon. Nahanni Fontaine, Minister of Families. 

"It was a privilege to represent the plaintiffs and Métis CFS Agencies in this incredibly important litigation and to work alongside them in achieving a historic settlement that will make a meaningful impact on the lives of so many. We are very proud of what has been achieved and look forward to continuing to support our clients through the settlement approval and administration process."    - Rahool Agarwal, Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP, Lead Counsel for the plaintiffs in the Métis CFS Agencies class action



For more information, media may contact:
Kat Patenaude
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Métis Federation

Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratically elected National Government of the Red River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis. The Red River Métis are a distinct Indigenous Nation and People and Canada's Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.


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