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Children's Special Allowance (Manitoba) 

Claims Administration

EXG has been engaged as the Claims Administrator for Provincially Funded current and former children-in-care of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous CFS Agencies between January 1, 2005 to March 31, 2019.

Please visit the CSA Settlement website for information about the Settlement.

Background

Between January 1, 2005 to March 31, 2019, the Province of Manitoba required CFS Agencies to remit over $335 million of the Federal Children’s Special Allowance (CSA) payments back to Manitoba’s general revenue fund. Where CFS Agencies refused to remit CSA, Manitoba withheld maintenance and operation funding from the CFS Agencies in amount it estimated to be equivalent to CSA the CFS Agency would have received.​

 

CFS Agencies apply for these funds on behalf of children in their care, consistent with the federal Children’s Special Allowances Act, which states that the funds are to be used exclusively for the care, maintenance, education, training or advancement of the child-in-care. The monthly CSA payments equal the maximum Canada Child Benefit payment plus the Child Disability Benefit.

 

​In 2018, Class Counsels brought a court Application on behalf of six Indigenous Child and Family Services Agencies, at the same time, a proposed Class Action was filed on behalf of the children. The lawsuits pertained to the Province of Manitoba’s illegal claw back from Indigenous Agencies of CSA monies meant for children-in-care (the “CSA Policy”).

In response to legal challenges, the Manitoba government passed section 231 of the Budget Implementation and Tax Statutes Amendment Act (BITSA) legislation in 2020, exempting the Province from any legal responsibility.

Class Counsels subsequently filed a constitutional challenge of that legislation and CSA Policy, alleging that Manitoba’s actions discriminated against the children based on their race and status as a child-in-care, in breach of the children’s Charter rights.

On May 18, 2022, Justice Edmond issued his decision, finding that Manitoba’s actions and section 231 of BITSA were unconstitutional and that they discriminated against foster children in Manitoba, 88% of whom are First Nation and Metis children, all of whom Justice Edmond declared were among the most vulnerable members of our society. Section 231 of BITSA was declared invalid.

On March 19, 2024, an Agreement in Principle was reached between the Province of Manitoba and Class Counsels to settle three Children’s Special Allowance (CSA) Class Action Lawsuits which sought compensation for past and current provincially funded children-in-care of Child and Family Services Agencies (CFS Agencies) in Manitoba, whose CSA benefit was clawed back or withheld between January 1, 2005 to March 31, 2019. The Province agreed in principle to pay $530 million (Agreement in Principle). The agreement is subject to court approval.

The three Class Action Lawsuits are:

Indigenous CFS Agencies (Flette)

Non-Indigenous CFS Agencies (Lavallee)

Metis CFS Agencies (Lafontaine)

The agreed to Settlement amount is allocated to the Flette Action and Lavallee Action for $445,200,000 and to the Lafontaine Action for $84,800,000.

Exchange Solutions Inc. (EXG) has been engaged as the Claims Administrator for the Indigenous CFS Agencies (Flette) Action and Non-Indigenous CFS Agencies (Lavallee) Action.

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