A BC Human Rights Tribunal won’t hear from Sons of Freedom Doukhobors taken from their families as children until early next year.
Crescent Valley’s Walter Swetlishoff, who was among the group that filed the complaint in 2004, says the case was initially expected to go ahead this year, but has been delayed. It is also expected to take place in Nelson instead of Castlegar.
Swetlishoff says the delay is frustrating, but he’s taking it in stride: “I asked our lawyer if he’d ever heard of a case that took eight years. He said maybe. I asked is it common? He said no.”
The provincial government seized nearly 200 school-age children between 1953 to 1959 and placed them in a former tuberculosis sanatorium in New Denver because their parents refused to send them to school.
An ombudsman’s report said they are owed a formal apology and compensation.