VICTORIA – The BC Coroners Service has postponed the inquest into the death of Jocelyn Nynah Marsha George in response to the continuing provincial public health measures in place to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
The inquest was scheduled to begin on July 6, 2020, at the Port Alberni courthouse.
George was 18 when she died June 24, 2016. She had been in jail twice at the Port Alberni RCMP detachment in less than 48 hours when she was taken to West Coast General Hospital in medical distress, then airlifted to Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria where she died.
The BC Coroners Service will arrange to reschedule the inquest once all COVID-19 public health measures are no longer required. Other inquests have also been postponed.
The decision to postpone the inquest is in line with the Supreme Court of British Columbia’s approach to COVID-19. On March 19, 2020, the Supreme Court of British Columbia suspended regular operations to protect the health and safety of court users and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
All civil and family matters scheduled for hearing between March 19 and May 1, 2020, (the “suspension period”) were adjourned unless the court otherwise directed. The automatic adjournment extended to all trials, conferences, chamber applications and other hearings. On April 16, 2020, the court extended the suspension period to May 29, 2020, and suspended jury selection until July 3, 2020.
While some court operations have resumed, as of May 13, 2020, the court announced that jury selection and jury trials have been cancelled until Sept. 7, 2020.