B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

An application filed in the B.C. Supreme Court says the provincial government has agreed to pay back more than $5.5 million in fees deducted from the income-assistance cheques of methadone patients.

Details of the agreement were filed by plaintiff Laura Shaver and outline how B.C. will reimburse 70 per cent of the $7.7 million, plus interest, collected from more than 11,700 methadone patients.

A proposed class-action lawsuit was launched two years ago aimed at preventing private methadone-dispensing clinics from receiving $18.34 a month that the government allowed to be skimmed off their clients’ income-assistance payments.

The reimbursement applies to deductions made between November 2009 and July 2016, when the fees were suspended.

The court notice says the settlement agreement was reached in May, while the B.C. Liberal government was still in power, but was conditional on approval from the province’s treasury board.

The settlement is subject to court approval and will go before a judge on Friday.

Shaver’s lawyer, Jason Gratl, says the average settlement is between $400 and $500.

The B.C. government has declined comment, saying it does not speak on matters before the courts.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

39 caught speeding through Cowichan school zones

On June 1, North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP conducted speed enforcement in several school zones

Lake Cowichan firefighters douse blaze at Mayo Road

Sahtlam called in for mutual aid in abandoned shop and motorhome

Caps send Luciano Wilson to Penticton Vees

Hometown hero led Cowichan in scoring last season

Considerations made to keep Crofton drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

$10,000 stolen bikes recovered after Maple Bay break-in

Police track high-end bikes to storage locker

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Most Read