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David Ramsay – NWT Coroners

Déclarations et discours de ministres

Mr. Speaker, later today, I will be tabling the Northwest Territories Coroner Service 2013 Annual Report. This report sets out some information on the history of the Coroner’s service, the role and structure of the office and some information on their work in 2013. This report reminds us that in the Northwest Territories, we have a number of dedicated volunteers who are deeply committed to assisting those in their communities at times of tragedy. They work with circumstances and situations that most of us are unable or unwilling to face.

Coroners play a vital role in our justice system. They are at the forefront of investigations of deaths. Their jobs are stressful and difficult, as many of their investigations involve people that they knew within their home communities. They are all too often called out in the middle of the night to deal with scenes that most of us could not face. They must have the strength to deal with the partners, children and parents who are now at the worst moments of their lives. Yet despite these profound challenges, they will tell you that they find their positions extremely rewarding, as they play an important role in helping to bring closure for most families, and they help prevent tragedies in the future.

Mr. Speaker, each Coroner has within their mandate the ability to conduct investigations into deaths when required, and based on what they learn to make recommendations that will assist in preventing serious injuries or deaths from occurring in the future. They remind us to be safer and to critically re-examine our own practices. The role they play can never be understated.

Tomorrow, we will see NWT Coroners from 15 communities come together for the next three days to train. They will become familiar with the latest techniques and technologies in their field, and have discussions with peers and professionals who best understand the work they do.

We have Coroners who have been performing their duties for many years, and are coming to a time when they are ready to pass their knowledge to others. Currently, we have openings in several communities and we expect that in the near future, there will be more. If you are aware of people in your communities who are inquisitive, courageous and community minded, and are looking for truly rewarding work, have them speak with their local coroner, or the Chief Coroner of the NWT located here in Yellowknife, to be part of a proud tradition.

For the Coroners making the trip to learn and share over the next three days, we hope that they are able to be rejuvenated and return with new skills of value to their understanding and delivery of the services they provide. Most importantly, Mr. Speaker I want to express gratitude on behalf of the people of the Northwest Territories for the thorough and professional jobs Coroners do.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.