Office of the Chief Coroner highlights challenges that have arisen from lack of resources and capacity

The former Chief of the Saskatoon Police Service Clive Weighill’s report on the Office of the Chief Coroner had a number of concerns, but the overall causes go back to the Sask. Party not providing proper funding and staffing for the office.

“We are very thankful for the work that Chief Weighill did on this file. Now, what we need from the Sask. Party is to do more than just pay it lip service,” said NDP Justice Critic Nicole Sarauer. “The proper funding and supports need to be in place for the sake of the workers in the Coroner’s Office and to ensure that investigations and inquests can be done properly.”

Some of the concerns raised in the report include that “the Regina regional coroner position is vacant, there are too many demands on the deputy chief coroner and the Saskatoon office is understaffed,” “there is no formal mechanism for child death review or domestic violence death review in the province,” and “community coroners are not properly engaged, trained and supported.”

“We know funding to the office has been cut in the last two years and is lower than 2013-14 levels, so it is not surprising to see some of these findings,” Sarauer said. “It is concerning when staff are feeling abandoned or there isn’t proper training in place. We need to strive to do better for this office, so they, in turn, are put in a position to do a better job for the public.”