News

Hon. David Eby, K.C.

BC NDP

Vancouver-Point Grey

Premier and President of the Executive Council

Office:

Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4

[email protected]

Phone: (250) 387-1715

Fax: (250) 387-0087

Constituency:

2909 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6K 2G6

[email protected]

Phone: (604) 660-1297

Fax: (604) 660-0862

Biography

David Eby is the MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey, first elected in 2013. He became leader of the BC NDP in 2022.

Before he was elected, David was the Executive Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association, an adjunct professor of law at the University of British Columbia, president of the HIV/AIDS Legal Network, and served on the Vancouver Foundation’s Health and Social Development Committee.

An award-winning human rights lawyer, he has been repeatedly recognized in local media as one of British Columbia’s most effective advocates and has appeared at all levels of court in BC.

His years of legal advocacy at Pivot Legal Society to protect the human rights and dignity of homeless and under-housed residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside were recognized in 2011 by the UN Association in Canada and the B.C. Human Rights Coalition with their annual award.

Where They Stand on Modernizing BC's Wrongful Death Laws

August 27, 2017

Letter to Attorney General David Eby – Follow up email to Attorney General Minister Eby regarding the mailed package containing Catherine Adamson’s Book and the proposed Wrongful Death Accountability Act.

November 3, 2017

Statement Released to CTV News by the Attorney General’s Office Stating They Are “Looking at Reforms” Attorney General Minister Eby claims to be reviewing the Family Compensation Act.

June 19, 2018

Letter to Attorney General David Eby – Email to Attorney General Minister Eby following up to correspondence from the previous year and requesting a meeting to discuss modernizing BC’s wrongful death laws.

June 26, 2018

Letter to Premier Horgan and Attorney General David Eby – Further to previous correspondence, Catherine Adamson shares a story of Lindsey Kean, who died from the exact same preventable error as Heidi Klompas, both being denied access to justice, resulting in the same type of error repeating decades later.

July 30, 2018

Letter from Attorney General David Eby Attorney General Minister Eby returns correspondence; refuses meeting and refuses review of the Family Compensation Act.

October 9, 2019

Meeting with Minister Eby in Victoria Attorney General Minister Eby agreed to meet and thereafter asked for updated legislative recommendations, stated they would likely get to reviewing in the Spring 2020 legislative session.

October 23, 2019

Presentation to NDP Caucus and Introduction to the Legislature During Question Period Society President, Michael-James Pennie presents to the NDP Caucus at the legislature in Victoria. Attorney General Minister Eby introduces the Society, President Michael-James Pennie, Campaign Coordinator Mattis Bieg to the legislature during Question Period.

March 9, 2020

Legislative Recommendations letter to Attorney General David EbyNo direct response or agreement to meet by Minister Eby to discuss the provided legislative recommendations. BC NDP thereafter release statement that there are “diverging views” about the value of human life, legislated protections, access to justice, and accountability to wrongdoers in the BC government and “no decisions have been made”.

July 27, 2020

Email from Attorney General Minister Eby to BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society President Michael-James Pennie, regarding amendments to the Enhanced Care legislation and Family Compensation Act.

September 22, 2020

Email Sent to Attorney General Minister David Eby – Email to Attorney General Minister Eby requesting his and the NDP Party’s position with respect to modernizing BC’s wrongful death laws in advance of the election.

October 1, 2020

Email Sent to David Eby’s NDP Campaign Email Address David Eby and his campaign provided no response and accordingly refused to go on record about modernizing BC’s wrongful death laws in advance of the election

October 15, 2020

Email to Attorney General David Eby; Premier John Horgan; and MLAs Adrian Dix, Janet Routledge, Rachna Singh, Bowinn Ma, Katrina Chen, Andrew Wilkinson, Michael Lee, Sonia Furstenau, and Don Wilson No response from John Horgan, David Eby, or any BC NDP candidates – refusal to provide position on modernizing the Family Compensation Act prior to the Election.

November 26, 2020

Mandate Letter from Premier Horgan to Minister EbyPremier Horgan outlined what is in Minister Eby’s mandate as Attorney General in the new term. Not a single bullet point is mentioned with respect to reviewing the Family Compensation Act. 

December 21, 2020

Attorney General Minister Eby Releases Statement to Media “It’s a priority for me as attorney general to address it in this mandate of our government. And I look forward to doing that and it will be the memory of people like Natasha that makes that happen,” What was once never, then became Spring 2020, then became never, then has become potentially 2024, even though the legislation has already been drafted and is ready to go.

January 30, 2021

Email to Attorney General Minister Eby Providing Updated Legislative Recommendations Awaiting response for meeting request to review the proposed legislation as requested prior to the Spring 2021 legislative session.

April 14, 2021

Email from Attorney General Minister EbyRefuses to meet with the BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society.

December 7, 2022

Mandate Letter from Premier Eby to Minister SharmaIn late November 2022, David Eby was elected Premier following the resignation of John Horgan, and a subsequent NDP leadership election. Vancouver-Hastings MLA Niki Sharma became Attorney General, receiving her official mandate from Premier Eby in early December 2022.

Yet again, not a single bullet point is mentioned with respect to reviewing the Family Compensation Act.

How Can This MLA Improve Their Grade?

Meet with constituents on this issue. He has refused all meeting requests in recent years.

He has not met with The BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society for over four years, as of May 2023.

He has failed to endorse modernization of wrongful death laws to the standards recommended by The BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society. He has failed to take steps to update British Columbia’s Family Compensation Act.

Please petition MLA Hon. David Eby, K.C. now »

This individual has scored an F (failing) grade with respect to their position on modernizing BC's wrongful death laws. Learn More »

The BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society’s goal is to modernize BC’s wrongful death laws, which unlike other provinces, currently denies justice to the surviving family members of children, seniors, the disabled, or anyone who wasn’t considered a breadwinner with dependents, when killed by the careless or intentional acts of another.

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As Seen In

The following news outlets have featured the issue of BC's antiquated wrongful death laws alongside stories of tragedy countless times for decades, although the provincial government still fails to right this legislative wrong.

What British Columbians Are Saying

The public is unanimously outraged and expressing their views through many channels.

Organizations That Have Endorsed Modernization

The following organizations have endorsed repealing and replacing the 'Family Compensation Act' and replacing it with our Society's drafted 'Wrongful Death Accountability Act' to ensure the full measure of value to British Columbians lives and access to justice with no loopholes for wrongdoers to escape accountability.

Vancouver City Council
Union of BC Municipalities
Lower Mainland Local Government Association

Prominent Figures Who've Endorsed Modernization

The following prominent figures and elected officials have written letters endorsing legislative modernization of BC's wrongful death laws.

Vancouver City Councillor Pete Fry (Green)
MLA Michael DeJong (BC United)
MLA Douglas Routley (NDP)
MLA Andrew Mercier (NDP)

Petition Your MLA Now

Unlike other Canadian provinces, BC has not made any significant amendments to its wrongful death legislation—ever. The current BC Family Compensation Act only values the lives of income-earners. This neglect must stop. Petitioning your local MLA, the Attorney General, and Premier with our automated tool can make a lasting difference to the lives of British Columbians for generations to come.

Dear Local MLA, Attorney General Niki Sharma, Premier David Eby, Minister of Health Adrian Dix, Minister of Public Safety & Solicitor General Mike Farnworth,

I am writing to you about British Columbia’s woefully outdated wrongful death laws; which are still based on colonial-era legislation from 1846.

BC’s current “Family Compensation Act” only takes into account the direct financial losses resulting from the wrongful death of a loved one. As a result, only the families of deceased breadwinners see the inside of a courtroom in cases of wrongful death.

Children, seniors, people with disabilities, or anyone who does not meet the discriminatory criteria of having both an income and dependents are classes of people whose lives are not valued or respected when they are killed in BC.

This is a human rights issue.

Investigations into the wrongful death of these classes of citizens most often do not occur because there is no ‘loss of earnings’ to cover civil trial costs.

Accordingly, families have been denied the ability to right the wrong and ensure that the same preventable actions which resulted in the wrongful death would not happen to another.

Unlike other provinces in Canada, which in most cases have modernized long ago, many of your constituents are considered “worthless” under the discriminatory law in British Columbia.

Their stories are actively being documented and published here – https://intheirname.ca/stories/

The BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society is comprised of families who have been fighting for over two decades to see our laws modernized. They have drafted legislation that can solve this problem now.

These families, based on each individual personal experience of loss, have demanded that the legislation include the following tenets:

#1 The value of human life must not be based merely on whether the wrongfully killed was a breadwinner with dependants. There must be a legal recognition for the value of each life and the loss of love, guidance, care, companionship, and affection wrongfully taken from surviving family members.

#2 The value of human life must not be arbitrarily capped by legislation. Damages for the loss of life must be assessed individually by constitutionally independent superior courts, in recognition of the distinct relationship that existed between each of the surviving family members and the wrongfully killed loved one.

#3 All forms of non-pecuniary damages, including aggravated and punitive damages must be available under the legislation to be awarded in appropriate cases. Financial penalty assessed by a civil court when a wrongdoer maliciously, or recklessly kills another person is essential when criminal prosecution is not pursued or fails. General deterrence of future wrongdoing is an important objective.

#4 If an individual is not initially killed by a wrongful act, but later dies before the conclusion of litigation, this should not be a windfall for the wrongdoer. There should not be a perverse incentive for the wrongdoer to delay, or prolong litigation. Damages relating to conscious pain, suffering, and disability during the period between the wrong and the decedent’s death, including damages for loss of expectation of life, pain and suffering, physical disfigurement, or loss of amenities must remain available under the legislation.

#5 Families deserve the right to have their day in court with the ability to obtain professional legal representation on a contingency basis. No other piece of legislation in the province should bar the pursuit of an at-fault wrongful death claim against a negligent party. The contingency fee system does not discriminate socioeconomically, and it ensures the family can obtain the best representation necessary to obtain truth, justice, and accountability against a wrongdoer, no matter how big and powerful that wrongdoer might be. Families also deserve the right to have the case decided by a jury of their peers. This fundamental aspect of our democracy must be preserved.

What will you do to create a fair and adequate wrongful death law in BC?

Yours Truly,
Your Full Name
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cc: BC United Leader Kevin Falcon, BC United Critic for Attorney General Mike de Jong, BC United Critic for Public Safety & Solicitor General Mike Morris, BC Greens Leader Sonia Furstenau

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