Inquiry into abuse at Nova Scotia orphanage to present final report in June

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil confirmed today that a public inquiry into abuse at an orphanage for black children will submit its final recommendations by the end of June.

The premier made the commitment as the government released a second interim report that spells out the actions it has already taken to combat systemic discrimination and racism across Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children opened in 1921 and was initially seen as a significant achievement by the African Nova Scotian community.

After the home was closed in the 1980s, residents started to come forward to say they suffered physical, psychological and sexual abuse over several decades, prompting class-action lawsuits, a formal apology from McNeil in 2014 and an eventual settlement worth $34 million.

The latest interim report says the provincial government has expanded a program aimed at keeping children with their families and it is providing more financial assistance to families to prevent children from coming into care.

As well, a new "restorative initiatives unit" has been established within the Justice Department, and the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs has been expanded to provide more outreach.