Brandon Jansen.

Specialized coroners unit to probe drug deaths

Following recent government funding, the BC Coroners Service has formed a new investigation team to combat illicit drug overdoses.

The BC Coroners Service has formed a specialized investigation team to combat the growing numbers of illicit drug overdose deaths in the province.

The announcement of a new Coroners Service Drug Death Investigation Team was made by chief coroner Lisa Lapointe Tuesday morning, as a way to provide enhanced investigations into accidental illicit drug deaths, and to identify trends and patterns to support prevention efforts.

“Along with our health, community and law enforcement partners, the BC Coroners Service has been deeply concerned about the rising number of illicit drug deaths in our province,” Lapointe said.

According to most recent coroners statistics, 555 B.C. residents have died between January and September from illicit drug overdoses – surpassing the 508 lives lost to drug overdoses in all of 2015.

The team’s work will be funded as part of the $10 million announced by Premier Christy Clark last month.

During Tuesday’s announcement, Lapointe also said there will be a public inquest into the death of Brandon Juhani Jansen in the New Year.

Jansen, 20, of Coquitlam, died while a resident at a substance-abuse treatment centre in Powell River in the early morning hours of March 7.

“A public inquest will provide another avenue to explore some of the issues we have found arising in these deaths and, it is hoped, for a well-informed jury to make practical and useful recommendations to help prevent similar deaths in the future,” Lapointe said.

At the inquest, set for Jan. 16, 2017, presiding coroner Michael Egilson and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding this death.

Just Posted

Raiders claim the crown in Terrace

The Prince Rupert Adventure Paving Raiders went 3-0 in the Terrace Classic

Overnight tsunami threat triggered alarm in Port Edward, while much of Prince Rupert slept

Emergency BC issued the warning after a 7.9 earthquake off Alaska early Tuesday morning

$5 bus hits the road between Rupert and Terrace starting Jan. 25

The Prince Rupert Friendship House put out its first schedule for twice-a-day bus to Terrace

VIDEO: Olympic running coach trains Rupert coaches

Rupert Runners’ Learn To Run program will have BC Athletics trained leaders for the first time

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Shop Prince Rupert winners

In the past years, more than $250,000 has been spent at Shop Prince Rupert merchants

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Vancouver Islanders ponder need for tsunami siren song

Alarm sounds in Port Alberni but not at the DND base in Esquimalt

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alert prompts RCMP, privacy watchdog to probe data breach

Company spokesman: ‘Fewer than 100,000 customers were affected’

Snowboarder dies at Vancouver Island ski resort

Death at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

Most Read