Ontario Expanding Support for Families at Inquests
New Program to Provide Funding for Inquests on Police-Related Deaths
Ontario is expanding support to family members whose loved ones died in a police-related event and wish to have legal representation at a coroner's inquest.
Through the new Coroner's Inquest Family Reimbursement Program (CIFRP), family members whose loved ones died in police-related events who have been granted standing at an inquest can apply for funding towards their inquest legal fees.
The new program responds to recommendation 6.17 from Justice Michael Tulloch's Police Oversight Review, that "the government should provide funding for legal assistance to represent the interests of the spouse, parents, brother, sister or personal representative of the deceased person at a coroner's inquest in SIU cases."
The CIFRP will run concurrently to the existing Coroner's Inquest Legal Fee Reimbursement Program (CILFRP) and remain in place while the government conducts a broader review of the reimbursement of legal fees for inquests.
- The guidelines and application will be available July 20th and posted to the ministry website.
- Justice Tulloch made 129 recommendations in his report on police oversight.
- The Coroner’s Inquest Legal Fee Reimbursement Program (CILFRP) sets out criteria for when a parent or spouse may be eligible for the reimbursement of some or all of their legal fees, up to a pre-set maximum.
- The current CILFRP was created in April 2008 and is administered by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
- Learn more about death investigations in Ontario
“Acting on this recommendation from Justice Tulloch is the right thing to do. We will move quickly to implement a new program that responds to the needs of families who participate in these inquests.”