Manitoba Government Settles with Children in Care for $530 Million in Historic Class Action Lawsuits

March 26, 2024

WINNIPEG, MB — Manitoba has agreed in principle to pay $530 million to children in care over Manitoba’s actions and policies relating to the administration of Children’s Special Allowances (CSA) from Child and Family Service (CFS) agencies between 2005 and 2019.

Three certified class actions 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, Manitoba 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.

This sets a clear precedent that systemic and historic injustices against First Nations children such as this cannot go unchecked. It reaffirms the commitment of the Chiefs of the southern First Nations to continue fighting for equality and fairness for our people, and especially our children, in every aspect of the law.

SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels

For the full media release, click here.

For background Information, contact:

Kris Saxberg

Class Counsel, Cochrane Saxberg LLP


Cell: (204) 330-6423

Office: (204) 925-5353

Jeremy McKay

Class Counsel, DD West LLP


Phone: (204) 975-2535