Homeless death inquiry a critical next step

Reader urges in-depth look at life-threatening conditions

Harm reduction by the numbers in B.C. and Victoria:

• 281 reported street deaths in B.C. 2007 to 2013 (Megaphone Report)

• 30 known deaths on streets of Victoria in 2012 (last available data)

• Zero deaths from overdose at Vancouver’s Insite safe injection site

In 2012, there were two deadly explosions at B.C. sawmills. In March 2015, a coroner’s inquiry was held to determine the cause of the deaths.

It was an appropriate action, as a coroner’s inquiry makes recommendations to prevent similar life-threatening events from happening.

Homelessness is a life-threatening condition.

People living on the street die at half the age and seldom from “natural causes,” but the B.C. Coroners Office has not conducted an inquiry.

In any other situation: automobile, industrial, prisons – more than 30 deaths in such a short period of time would have precipitated an investigation.

The homeless die and are forgotten.

Derek Peach

Victoria