Terms of reference released for Nova Scotia orphanage inquiry

HALIFAX — An inquiry into alleged abuse at a former Halifax orphanage has taken a step forward with the release of a mandate and terms of reference report on Friday.

The report lays out plans for a $5 million restorative inquiry regarding the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, where former residents allege they were subjected to physical, psychological and sexual abuse over several decades.


Tony Smith, a former resident of the home who is part of the group that designed the terms of reference, says releasing the report signifies that the province is formally moving ahead with the inquiry.

Smith says the terms of reference are designed to ensure that the process differs from a typical public inquiry and creates an environment where people are comfortable sharing their stories.

Last fall, Premier Stephen McNeil formally apologized for the abuse suffered by residents of the home and promised a public inquiry this year.

The report says the inquiry is estimated to begin in October and take up to two and a half years.

The Canadian Press