News

One crash is one too many

Kelowna News

By Wayne Moore

The father of a girl killed in a motor vehicle crash in Kelowna last year will make the trek from Japan for the annual National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims in Canada.

Hideki Mimura’s daughter, Melissa, a student at UBC Okanagan, was killed in a multi-vehicle collision on the Coquihalla Highway north of Merritt April 2, 2017.

Mimura was in Kelowna last year for the day of remembrance.

“It is too late for us, but the reason I travelled from Yokohama is to prevent any more tragedy we are going through right now,” he said. “We are still suffering from the great pain of losing her. We cry multiple times, every day,” he said a year ago.

The national day of remembrance was established by local lawyer Paul Hergott and his wife, Terri, after a friend was killed in a “needless” crash in 2010. It’s sponsored by One Crash.

“It is an event to pause and reflect both on the loss of life as well as on the life-changing injuries caused by car crashes and collisions,” Hergott said in a news release.

“We believe that the more awareness we are able to bring, the more we will become motivated to change things.”

The event will be held Wednesday, Nov. 21, in the Orchard Park Mall parking lot, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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About the BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society

‘In Their Name’ is the campaign of the ‘BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society’ – an organization comprised of families who have lost a loved one to wrongful death in BC and were denied access to justice. In response to the biggest human rights issue facing the province today, our goal is to modernize British Columbia’s antiquated wrongful death legislation, which predates confederation (1846). Under current legislation, the value of a human life is measured only by the deceased’s future lost income, so long as they had dependents.

As a result, access to justice has been denied to the families of the wrongfully killed who do not meet this discriminatory criteria. This has affected especially vulnerable groups, namely children, seniors, the disabled, and anyone without dependents when they are killed by the careless or intentional acts of another.

BC is presently the last of all the provinces, including the Yukon, yet to have undertaken this critical legislative modernization to allow for dignity, value, and protections for all its citizens under the law.

When it’s ‘free’ to kill in BC, wrongdoers are not held accountable. This lack of general deterrence holds the province back in innovation of safety measures and protocols to prevent wrongful deaths in the first place.


Here’s How You Can Get Involved…

The Attorney General of British Columbia, David Eby, is the Minister responsible for the ‘Family Compensation Act’ – the guiding piece of legislation that the civil courts must follow in cases of wrongful death. Minister Eby receives feedback from the regional ‘Members of the Legislative Assembly’ (MLAs) and follows orders from the Premier, John Horgan.

Reform is presently at a standstill, as the BC NDP government does not presently view access to justice for the surviving family members of the wrongfully killed as a priority in this province. This is despite the fact that the families behind our Society have been fighting for modernization for over two decades. And despite the fact that all other provinces, including the Yukon, have already modernized in most cases long ago.

The only way to move this forward is by creating massive public awareness and outcry for legislative modernization. Only under the scrutiny of the media and the public will our politicians be forced to take this necessary, and long overdue action.

How many more people will need to die from the same preventable wrongful actions before our politicians will do their job?

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