POLITICS

Ontario plans changes to the province's death investigation system

08/07/2013 02:18 EDT | Updated 10/07/2013 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - The Ontario government says it is strengthening its death investigation system by expanding the role of forensic pathologists.

Under a new system, forensic pathologists would be appointed as coroners in cases of suspicious death or homicide or where the criminal justice system is involved.

It's one of several changes planned for the province's death investigation system.

Ontario's chief forensic pathologist says the new role will mean better services for families and criminal investigators along with more comprehensive court testimony.

Other changes include posting recommendations from inquests online and allowing an oversight council to advise the province's chief coroner on whether to call discretionary inquests.

The government also says it will look at options that would give the chief coroner the authority to assign a lawyer or judge to preside over inquests if necessary.

The new model will be reviewed in two years.