B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

An application filed in the B.C. Supreme Court says the provincial government has agreed to pay back more than $5.5 million in fees deducted from the income-assistance cheques of methadone patients.

Details of the agreement were filed by plaintiff Laura Shaver and outline how B.C. will reimburse 70 per cent of the $7.7 million, plus interest, collected from more than 11,700 methadone patients.

A proposed class-action lawsuit was launched two years ago aimed at preventing private methadone-dispensing clinics from receiving $18.34 a month that the government allowed to be skimmed off their clients’ income-assistance payments.

The reimbursement applies to deductions made between November 2009 and July 2016, when the fees were suspended.

The court notice says the settlement agreement was reached in May, while the B.C. Liberal government was still in power, but was conditional on approval from the province’s treasury board.

The settlement is subject to court approval and will go before a judge on Friday.

Shaver’s lawyer, Jason Gratl, says the average settlement is between $400 and $500.

The B.C. government has declined comment, saying it does not speak on matters before the courts.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo woman to compete in new season of ‘Big Brother Canada’

Carol Rosher, a cancer survivor, is one of 16 houseguests appearing on reality TV show

Nanaimo Buccaneers win in overtime in playoff opener

Bucs goalie Austin Dendl makes 46 saves to lead his team to 2-1 win over Campbell River Storm

Banned Nanaimo investment advisor accused of lying under oath to investigators

B.C. Securities Commission to schedule hearing in March

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Opal frustrations creating danger

Traffic-calming on Opal Road has increased driving speeds on Rock City Road, says letter writer

RDN bylaw allows people experiencing homelessness to camp overnight in some parks

Board of directors unanimously passes park use regulations bylaw

VIDEO: Reconciliation is dead: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Blockade reroutes traffic on Pat Bay Highway

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Commute in Nanaimo slowed as SUV goes up onto highway barrier, gets stuck

Accident happened at 5 p.m. on old Island Highway and Highland Boulevard

Juno-nominated Nanaimo teen Lauren Spencer-Smith to appear on ‘American Idol’

Singer up for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year for ‘Unplugged, Vol. 1’

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Most Read