VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The coroner’s inquest into the death of Michael Vann Hubbard has wrapped up today in Burnaby. At the same time, there are concerns the process doesn’t have much accountability. One of the lawyers involved wants recommendations that will come out to be enforced.
 
It’s not enough to just make suggestions, says Vann Hubbard’s lawyer, Doug King with Pivot Legal Society.  In fact, had recommendations from other coroner’s inquests been implemented, he wouldn’t be fighting for the same things.

He points to the report from Paul Boyd’s death; it suggested a review of mental health training, something separate from a hospital for people with problems to go, and intermediate weapons between a baton and a gun for officers. These are all issues emerging in the Vann Hubbard inquest.

“If the [organization] doesn’t like the recommendation and doesn’t want to do it, there’s nothing forcing them,” explains King. “They don’t have any accountability as to why they haven’t done it either. There’s no requirement to report back.”

He thinks the coroner’s office should check in with those who have received recommendations and that organizations like the police and ambulance service should explain why changes were or were not brought in. King adds the problem isn’t that recommendations aren’t being received — it’s just that with no obligation to comply, there’s less of a priority.

Though King is frustrated, he “wouldn’t go so far to say [the system] is broken.”

“I think, if anything, what it really needs is to be stronger. There’s a really positive element to coroner’s inquests because they are not fault-finding at all, it’s not as much as an adversarial process,” he explains.