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New Presiding Coroner Appointed to Ashley Smith Inquest

Archived News Release

New Presiding Coroner Appointed to Ashley Smith Inquest

Ministry of the Solicitor General

Ontario Chief Coroner Dr. Andrew McCallum has appointed Dr. John R. Carlisle as presiding Coroner for the inquest into the death of Ashley Smith. He takes over from Deputy Chief Coroner Dr. Bonita Porter. Due to its protracted length, Dr. Porter, who is scheduled to retire in November, would have been unable to complete the inquest when it resumes in the fall. Dr. Carlisle holds both medical and law degrees from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the Office of the Chief Coroner as an investigative and inquest coroner in 2004 he served as a medical officer of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and as a professor of Law at York University's Osgoode Hall Law School, where he taught a course on the Law and Medicine for over 25 years. Dr. Carlisle will take over as presiding Coroner effective immediately and will review and decide on a number of legal and evidentiary issues linked to the inquiry.


“Dr. John Carlisle has a strong medical and legal background that will serve the purpose of the inquest well as he examines the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Ashley Smith. I would like to thank Dr. Bonita Porter for her years of excellent service to the people of Ontario. Dr. Porter has presided over some difficult and complex inquests. Her medical experience, analytical skills and sound judgment have been valuable assets to the Office of the Chief Coroner.”

Dr. Andrew McCallum

Chief Coroner for Ontario

Media Contacts

  • Cheryl Mahyr

    Issues Manager, Office of the Chief Coroner, Ontario Forensic Pathology Service




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