Province settles in Delvee Ranch case

Lethbridge Herald
November 18, 1999

An amicable out-of-court settlement has been reached after six years of litigation between Lori Morgan of Delvee Ranch and the Alberta government's department of social services, after the province closed her residential treatment facility for mentally handicapped children near Claresholm in 1993.

Calgary lawyer, Vaughn Marshall, acting for Morgan in the suit against the government, said now that it has been resolved, all efforts will be put toward an $18-million defamation suit against the CBC in connection with the same matter.

"All proceedings against the government have been resolved and I can't tell you more than that relevant to the settlement," said Marshall . "But I can tell you that we are happy with the result." Morgan, a registered psychologist, is still living on the ranch, 10 miles west of Claresholm, where she ran a treatment home for severely handicapped youth.

Before the province revoked her license, CBC television aired a half-hour documentary Jan. 27, 1993 , called Caring Means Sharing, an I-Team investigative report. "I am relieved," said Morgan from her home. "I plan to carry on with life and with the lawsuit (against the CBC), but ears ago I trained parents to run programs and I know how to do that and ery well, so I plan to do it again. I'm not changed, I never did anything wrong in the first place and I'm not fraid."

In her statement of claim against the CBC, Morgan says allegations of physical abuse against the residents of Delvee were unfounded and damaging. arshall said his client wants to know how the CBC managed to have in its possession confidential government documents which were referred to in the documentary and how, the day after the program aired, those same documents appeared in the hands of then-opposition leader Ray Martin on the floor of he Alberta legislature.

"It is our view that but for the Jan. 27 1993 airing of the I-Team documentary that it is likely the Delvee Ranch never would have been closed y the government of Alberta," Marshall said.

Morgan says she very nearly lost her ranch because of the lost wages and tress brought upon by the government's actions. If not for actions on her behalf by her Claresholm lawyer Don Wellbourn and later of by Marshall , Morgan says she would be "out on the street. "Don Wellbourn saved the land".

"And Vaughn Marshall saved my life" she said

Lethbridge Herald