Ontario Government, Coroner Appeal Human Rights Award

TORONTO – November 30, 2006 – The Attorney General of Ontario and Ontario's Chief Coroner Barry McLellan have appealed the decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario that the Coroners Act contravenes Ontario’s Human Rights Code to the Divisional Court.

The Tribunal ruled in favour of complainants Renata Braithwaite, who lost her mother, and Robert Illingworth, who lost his brother in fatal incidents that occurred in the course of involuntary detention under the Mental Health Act. Both had sought inquests into the deaths. The Tribunal ordered that inquests be held and that the government pay damages for mental anguish.

The Tribunal, was chaired by retired Supreme Court of Canada judge the Honourable Peter Cory. The appellants are represented by Sara Blake of the Crown Law Office (Civil Law). Marshall Swadron and Kelley Bryan of Swadron Associates will represent the intervenors, Mental Health Legal Committee, Empowerment Council and the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office (PPAO) in the appeal. A hearing is expected in the Spring.

For more information about the case, please click here. To read the full text of the Tribunal’s reasons for decision please click here.