About the BC Coroners Service

Mission, Vision and Values

Our Mission is conducting a thorough, independent examination of the factors contributing to death in order to improve community safety and quality of life in British Columbia.

Our Vision is Safe and Healthy Communities in British Columbia.

Our Values include:

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Accountability
  • A Healthy and Dynamic Work Environment
  • Quality Service

Mandate

The BC Coroners Service has a committed workforce, shared values, and a mission to support public safety in this province by:

  • Determining the facts of all sudden, unnatural and unexpected deaths, all children’s deaths, all medically assisted deaths, and all deaths in designated institutions
  • Reviewing all children’s deaths to discover and monitor trends and risks
  • Making recommendations, where appropriate, to improve public safety and reduce the risk of future injury and death
  • Conducting inquests into deaths in the custody of peace officers or when there is strong public interest in a death or a need to review a dangerous practice or circumstance
  • Convening Death Review Panels for the aggregate review of deaths with similar circumstances, to identify opportunities for intervention to prevent future deaths

Contributions to Public Safety

  • Collecting information regarding the circumstances of death and conducting statistical analysis to identify risks to public safety and trends over time
  • Supporting research by sharing information with public and private agencies, academic institutions and other jurisdictions
  • Releasing Public Safety Bulletins when warranted, to warn the public about risks to public safety
  • Providing statistical information and analysis to agencies, government ministries, and other decision-makers to inform policies and legislation in support of public safety
  • Supporting the justice system by providing critical information regarding identification and cause and manner of death for criminal investigations
  • Maintaining a sophisticated missing persons/found human remains database and applying innovative geospatial, DNA, dental and/or other comparative analyses to support the identification of found human remains for legal, criminal, or estate purposes, and to bring closure for families of missing persons
  • Collaborating with other provinces and jurisdictions to exchange information, support research and develop recommendations

Background

In British Columbia, the chief coroner is appointed under the Coroners Act by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council upon the recommendation of the Solicitor General. The position is judicially independent with respect to statutory functions. The chief coroner supervises and directs all regional coroners in the province. The organizational structure from top down is as follows:

downward pointing arrowSolicitor General

Chief Coroner

Deputy Chief Coroner

Regional Directors


Through its independent investigations, inquests and death review panels, the Coroners Service continues to support the Ministry vision for a safer British Columbia by providing the public with information about individual deaths, producing public safety bulletins about health and safety risks, and supporting evidence-based public safety initiatives.