Contribution by the Federal Government

The final question I am asked to address is which level of government should bear the cost of any compensation paid to Mr. Truscott and his wife.

When the Federal/ Provincial Guidelines were entered into, the federal government agreed to share with the provinces, on a 50/50 basis, the costs of compensation paid in accordance with the Guidelines.

I am aware of nine instances where the federal government contributed to ex gratia payments to wrongfully convicted persons. 1 In those instances, the proportional share paid by the federal government ranged from 10% to 50%. 2 In most cases, the amount paid by the federal government was 50%.

The lowest proportional contribution - 10% - was made in the case of Thomas Sophonow, a case where significant criticism was levelled against the actions of provincial law enforcement agencies, notably the police services and the Crown prosecutors, for having contributed to the wrongful conviction.

In the present case, where there is no basis to suggest wrongdoing on the part of either federal or provincial actors, I believe that the cost of this miscarriage of justice should be shared equally by each level of government. Both governments have been involved in this matter virtually since its inception in 1959 and I can see no reason why they should not share equally the costs of the compensation payable to Mr. Truscott and his wife.

  1. Contributions were made by the federal government in the cases of Donald Marshall Jr., Kenneth Norman Warwick, Richard Norris, Linda Huffman, Guy Paul Morin, David Milgaard, Rejean Pepin, and Thomas Sophonow..
  2. There is, in fact, one case - that of Herman Kaglik - where the federal government paid 100% of the amount, because the wrongful conviction took place in a federal territory, and not in a province..