This is a joint release with the Yukon Coroner’s Service.
The new Coroners Act came into force today, providing modern legislation that will allow the Yukon Coroner’s Service to continue to serve Yukoners by performing timely and compassionate coroner investigations in the Yukon.
The new Act includes:
- a process for families to request an inquest into the death of their loved ones;
- a requirement that inquests be presided over by a senior lawyer, medical examiner, coroner or judge of the Territorial Court; and
- an expanded set of requirements for notifying the Yukon Coroner’s Service of an unexplained or unexpected death, including those involving children or occurring while a person is detained at a government institution.
The Act replaces legislation based on the Yukon Coroners Ordinance of 1958 and the old Coroners Act, which had only been amended a few times since its creation in 1958.
The new Coroners Act ensures that Yukoners have access to a modernized Yukon Coroner’s Service if they are ever in a circumstance to need it. To develop this legislation, we sought input from Yukoners, coroners, the RCMP, medical practitioners and First Nation governments on ways to better serve the public while maintaining the integrity of coroner investigations.
Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee
I believe this Act helps the Yukon Coroner’s Service meet the needs of all Yukoners in the reporting and investigations of unexpected deaths in our communities. The modernized processes and procedures sparked by this new Act are in the public interest.
Yukon Chief Coroner Heather Jones