Unfortunately often times when there is this much money involved there are going to be disputes.
According to a recent report from the CBC News team A Saskatchewan court has just approved the first volley of payments to the families of the Humboldt victims. The payments, which are being labeled as "interim payments", will see each family awarded with $50,000 from the $15 million plus that was raised through a GoFundMe campaign for the victims and they were awarded after lawyers argued that the families needed some money to pay for the expenses they have incurred as a result of this tragedy.
"They urgently require access to funds in order to meet the financial obligations imposed upon them by the accident, in order to pay bills, in order to replace lost employment income and to be able to continue to care for their families," wrote Darrin Duell, president of memorial fund, as per the CBC.
As for the rest of the money there is still some debate as to how it should be divided among the families and two lawyers are now arguing that the money should simply be divided equally among the families of the tragedy and that should be that. It seems however that there is some concern specifically over the terminology used in Saskatchewan law for these types of fundraising campaigns. Attorneys Tim Hodgson and Kevin Mellor argue that the language regarding "expenses incurred" in the law could mean that families that could produce receipts could claim a larger share of the money while those who's children have died in the tragedy would get less. Hodgson specifically pointed to the fact that he doubts people donated with the intent of only helping those who could document receipts about expenses incurred.
Now to play devil's advocate here you could look at the please from these two cynically as the clients they represent both have children who died in the crash. It would be in their best interest to secure as much money for their clients as possible, however it's not only the families with children who have died that feel this way.
Tom Straschnitzki who's son Ryan Straschnitzki has been paralyzed as a result of the accident also expressed support for the idea of simply dividing the money among the families impacted by this tragedy.
"I just say divide it, but that's just me," said Straschintzky. "That's my opinion."
It seems like a great way to avoid any potential anger or bad feelings festering between the families of this tragedy however I have no doubt that there will be those who feel differently. It's perhaps for this reason that a council of 5 people has been formed to best decide how the money should be divided and given the roster on this council I think things are in good hands. It features Canadian hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser, Winnipeg Jets owner Mark Chipman, retired Saskatchewan Court judge Dennis Ball, University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine's head of head and neck surgery Dr. Peter Spafford and Kevin Cameron executive director of the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response.
It seems like the families are in good hands and hopefully this will work out well for everyone involved.
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