Provincial justice minister Don Morgan has announced the review of the Office of the Chief Coroner will be conducted by Saskatoon’s former police chief, Clive Weighill.
Weighill, who retired in October, has more than 40 years of experience with the justice system in Saskatchewan, and is highly regarded for his focus on social determinants of crime and his relationship with First Nations.
He says while he looks forward to the challenge, he will not be looking at any individual cases in particular.
“The scope of the review that I’ll do will not look at specific cases themselves, so I’m not going to be reviewing any of the Coroner’s cases, but what I’ll be reviewing is how the Coroner’s office functions,” Weighill says. “Certainly as I’m doing that, I’ll be talking to members of the public that have been serviced by the Coroner’s office, and seeing what their views are and how the service was from the Coroner.”
The review will examine the mandate and performance of the coroner’s service and offer recommendations.
The scope of the review will include:
• High level interjurisdictional comparison of coroner and medical examiner models and best practices;
• Examination of mandate, structure and goals of the coroner’s model and office;
• Examination of roles and responsibilities of officials and staff;
• Examination of processes and adequacy of coroner investigations;
• Review of coroner inquest model, including structure and inquest recommendations;
• Examination of processes and adequacy of support elements such as laboratory services, transfer services and funeral home services;
• Review of relationships with police, prosecutions and health regions, including an assessment of best practice; and
• Review communications practices and information sharing with the public.
A final report with recommendations is to be presented by Weighill to the minister by July 1, 2018.
The recommendations are to be made public.