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Title: Orest Kruhlak Interview
Narrator: Orest Kruhlak
Interviewers: Roger Daniels (primary); Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: August 3, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-korest-01-0018

<Begin Segment 18>

TI: Coming from the United States, something that sort of stands out is twenty-one thousand, versus in the United States it was twenty thousand. Have you any sense of why that extra one thousand?

OK: I really don't know. I've heard stories that it was, "We'll do one better than the Americans" --

RD: Yeah, but given the exchange rate, it was really a little less.

OK: Well, actually not at that time. I think the exchange rate in the late '80s was pretty close.

RD: Yeah, but I think it was a little...

OK: Well, it was a little less than the U.S.

RD: Yeah, so that's --

OK: It may have equaled twenty thousand, I don't know.

RD: It's a funny number.

OK: Oh, it is. But I think it was clearly -- at least in my view -- some people in Ottawa, "We'll go one better than the Americans." There's this thing in Ottawa about, well, in Canada about the U.S. The whole competition is important. But I don't have any doubt. I think that they got a pretty, a pretty good settlement. One of the things that I may have mentioned this to Roger in the past that I've always got a chuckle out of, had we been able to persuade the NACJ to accept the seventy-five million, it was a bargain. 'Cause it ended up costing Canada 388 million. I mean, and I have, I ran into Ron Doering many years later at a meeting in Ottawa, and I took great delight in pointing out the differences between seventy-five million and 388. He was not amused. As you might gather, he's not one of my favorite people.

TI: Well, the other key component of the settlement, too, was the quick payment, the expedited payment. In the United States, we had to go through another whole round before people started getting paid in the early '90s. Do you have any sense of how that came about?

OK: Well, one, it's the difference in, partly it's the difference in the political systems. Once the government decides something in Canada, that's it. You don't have to have a vote in, a separate vote in Congress like you have. You don't have a vote in Canada like you have in Congress. An appropriation was made through the treasury board, the money was assigned to the Department of the Secretary of State, and the checks started to flow rather quickly. The system in Canada is so much simpler in that way, that you don't have to worry about appropriation bills the way you do here. And I'm assuming what happened, if it happened the way it would normally happen, there's a thing called supplementary estimates in Canada. Every year you prepare a budget, that budget's approved in Parliament, and then later in the year, if you need more money, you go to the treasury board, they prepare what are called supplementary estimates, those go before Parliament and they're voted. The government has the majority in the house, bang, it's done. Once Cabinet approves it, it's done. So getting that money out that quickly wasn't a difficulty here, or in Canada.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2010 Densho. All Rights Reserved.