Wrongful death is death caused by the reckless, careless or intentional wrongdoing of another—a drunk or distracted driver, a healthcare worker who knowingly breaks safety standards and protocols. In British Columbia, however, only the families of deceased income-earners see the inside of a courtroom.

British Columbians would be outraged if they knew that the lives of some individuals are considered “worthless” under the discriminatory law in our province. Most often, awareness is raised only after a family experiences this injustice firsthand.

Families who have suffered a wrongful death have a right to the truth. They are denied this right if their loved one did not have an income.

Wrongful Death rally

Typically the wrongful death of a child, an elderly person, or someone with a significant disability cannot go to trial. Currently, access to the courts requires that the deceased was a breadwinner.

BC’s current Family Compensation Act (FCA) only takes into account the direct financial losses resulting from death. Children, seniors and people with disabilities, who may not represent a financial loss that is immediately measurable, are a class of people whose lives are not fully valued or respected when they are killed in BC.

A further unfair and unjustified distinction exists in BC between wrongful acts that lead to injury and wrongful acts that lead to death: if you are injured, regardless of income, you and your family can seek justice and compensation. However, if you are killed and did not have an income, your family cannot seek justice or compensation.

By creating a law which provides for non-financial losses (i.e., companionship), families who experience a wrongful death in BC can obtain justice.

In Their Name is a non-profit campaign of the BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society that is comprised of 100% volunteer staff. Its members have each experienced a wrongful death in the family and are selflessly dedicated to legislative reform for families in the future.

Families in British Columbia deserve equal access to justice. Petition your MLA. Share your story. Speak with our campaign organizer:

(Images: Ian Smith Photos — PNG)


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