Coroner role after strep-throat death of Indigenous child before Ontario’s top court

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The role of coroners in investigating deaths in remote Indigenous communities is before Ontario’s top court.

The family of a four-year-old boy who died of strep throat complications wants to sue over his death.

They say the coroner failed to go to his Sandy Lake community in northwestern Ontario or do a proper investigation.

Their lawyers say the coroner’s failure was part of a systemic pattern of abuse and dereliction of duty.

A lower court judge, however, said the coroner acted within his discretion and tossed the case without a hearing on its merits.

The family is appealing, arguing the underlying issues need to be thrashed out at a full trial.