30 Victoria homeless deaths in 4 months draw inquest calls
An anti-poverty group in Victoria wants the regional coroner to hold an inquest into 30 deaths among the city's street population over the past four months.
While the causes of death range from pneumonia to overdose to suicide, the Poverty Law Club at the University of Victoria says the number of deaths has tripled since the same time last year.
Yianni Pappas-Acreman says an inquest could help find ways to prevent poverty-related deaths in the future.
"It is within their power to conduct any inquest that's been reported to them on a class of deaths such as this that are related if it is in the public interest, and we think it is in the public interest,” he said.
"What we would hope to get out of it would be more information about the causes of death, but more importantly, recommendations leading from those facts."
Death Review Panel
Spokeswoman Barb McLintock says the B.C. Coroners Service is considering whether to convene a Death Review Panel instead of an inquest.
She says it would bring together a group of experts to examine a range of deaths among one group.
"The experts sit down for a few days and look at the issues surrounding this and then see if they can come up with some recommendations, which are like inquest recommendations,” she said.
“They're passed on to the chief coroner and then the agencies involved.”
McLintock says it will likely take another month to make a decision about the review.