July 31, 2018 6:50 pm
Updated: August 1, 2018 7:11 am

Hearing delayed for GoFundMe payment to Humboldt Broncos bus crash victims

WATCH ABOVE: Lawyers are attempting to get surviving team members and families affected by the Humboldt Broncos bus crash an advance of $50,000 from the $15 million raised in a GoFundMe campaign. Rebekah Lesko reports.

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A court hearing has been rescheduled for Aug. 15 to provide victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash with $50,000 each from a massive fundraising campaign.

The Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund Inc. will ask the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench to approve the interim payment to the 13 survivors and the families of the 16 people who died after the April 6 crash.

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“There are affidavit materials filed that establish that certain … families of persons who were travelling on the bus at the time of the accident have suffered financial hardship and require some relief against that – and that’s the purpose of the distribution,” said Jeff Lee, a lawyer who represents the fund.

A GoFundMe campaign was created immediately after the crash and received $15.2 million in donations from all over the world.

Saskatchewan has legislation known as the Informal Public Appeals Act, which outlines a court-supervised process to support the distribution of crowdfunding donations.

The hearing on how to distribute the money, which was initially set for Aug. 13, was rescheduled at the request of the court.

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Lee said he will also ask the court to approve a committee made up of retired judge Dennis Ball; Mark Chipman, chairman of the company that owns the Winnipeg Jets; Olympic gold medallist Hayley Wickenheiser; Dr. Peter Spafford, who’s in charge of head and neck surgery at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine; and Kevin Cameron, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response.

That committee would prepare a report with recommendations to the memorial fund board on how to distribute the rest of the money.

“The objective would be to have the recommendations come back within 60 days after the Aug. 15 court hearing and then see the matter in court shortly thereafter for a final disposition,” said Lee.

The court documents state the non-profit group has received free professional services from its law firm, bank and accountants.

GoFundMe has deducted roughly $483,000 from the money raised to cover 2.9 per cent payment processing fees. An additional $49,000 is being held back by GoFundMe in a temporary reserve in case any donors challenge their contribution.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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