The Joint Committee and the federal government have filed materials with the Courts relating to financial sufficiency under the 1986-1990 Hepatitis C Settlement Agreement. The actuaries retained by the Joint Committee and the federal government have both expressed the opinion that the Trust Fund is financially sufficient as at December 31, 2013. The actuaries have also expressed the opinion that the assets exceed expected liabilities such that there is a surplus. The surplus is estimated to be between $207 million and $256 million as at December 31, 2013.
At the Joint Hearing, the Courts will hear submissions regarding whether the Courts should exercise their discretion to allocate all or a portion of that surplus in accordance with the orders they issued in 1999 approving this settlement and, if so, how it should be allocated.
The Joint Hearing will take place on June 20-22, 2016 at the Court house, 361 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario - courtroom 6-1 from 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM (Eastern Time).
There will also be video links in British Columbia and in the Province of Québec where you can watch the Joint Hearing live at the following locations:
Vancouver Law Courts, - courtroom 52
800 Smithe Street
from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM (local Pacific Time)
Montreal court house - courtroom 15.04
1, Notre-Dame East Street
from 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM (local Eastern Time)
Copies of the materials that have been filed with each of the Courts including the written submissions to the Courts from each of the parties can be reviewed by clicking on the links to the applicable province below. This website will be updated to include any additional materials that are filed with the Courts as well as any Orders or directions issued in connection with the Joint Hearing.
In summary, the Joint Committee has requested that: about $205 million of the surplus be paid out to benefit Class Members and Family Class Members with specific recommendations on how this should be done; and, the remaining surplus be retained in the fund. An update summary of the Joint Committee’s recommendations to the Courts (which were recently amended) can be found here.
The federal government opposes the Joint Committee’s request and has asked that the entire surplus be paid to the federal government or retained in the fund; or, that the amount sought to be paid out to the Class Members and Family Class Members be limited. The Joint Committee opposes the federal government’s surplus application and has filed responding materials.
The government of British Columbia also opposes the Joint Committee’s request and urges the Courts to find that the facts favour the federal government’s requests.
The government of Quebec opposes the Joint Committee application, alternatively, if any allocation is ordered, seeks a declaration that PGQ will not be affected in any way.
The government of Ontario takes no position on the application by the Joint Committee or the federal government, except to ask that any order made not affect the integrity of the settlement agreement.
The governments of the other provinces and territories take no position on the application by the Joint Committee or the federal government, except to ask that the allocation be made without prejudice to their financial position.
None of the provinces and territories has sought to have any part of the surplus paid to it.
A group of seven physicians, researchers and scientists filed an application seeking leave to intervene as added parties to the class actions and requesting that approximately $155 million of the surplus be paid out to them for a proposed national Hepatitis C virus initiative. The Joint Committee, the federal government and the government of Quebec opposed this request and have filed written arguments in response. The Courts in each jurisdiction denied this request for intervention. The physicians have advised they will not appeal the Courts’ decisions and accordingly their request will not be before the Courts.