Ontario Council Of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

Ontario Council Of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

June 06, 2012 11:32 ET

Media Advisory: Improved patient, staff and community safety goal of June 7 memorial rally

HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 6, 2012) - Organizers of a noon hour memorial rally on Thursday, June 7 at the mountain (West 5th Campus) site of St. Joseph Healthcare are optimistic that with the support of the community, a public coroner's inquest will be called into the recent violent beating death of Michael Brewer, a patient in the forensic psychiatric unit of the hospital. Another patient from the same unit has been charged with second degree murder.

Earlier this week the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), the hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) representing over 30,000 hospital workers in Ontario sent a letter to Ontario's Chief Coroner Dr. Andrew McCallum requesting that an inquest be called under section 20 of the Coroner's Act.

"We believe that it is in the public interest that there be a coroner's inquest to investigate the underlying systemic conditions at St. Joseph's - including safety and risk factors - that may have bearing on the incident….it is likely the jury on an inquest might make useful recommendations directed to the avoidance of death in similar circumstances," wrote OCHU President Michael Hurley in his letter to the chief coroner.

As a symbol of grief for a life lost, but also of hope that changes will be made in hospitals throughout Ontario to prevent similar deaths, a flower memorial will be left just outside the hospital grounds.

CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn will be among those speaking at the memorial. "Our sympathies go to all involved in this tragedy and our activism is in the hope similar incidents will be prevented in the future," says Hahn.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Council of Hospital Unions
    Michael Hurley
    (416) 884-0770

    CUPE Communications
    Stella Yeadon
    (416) 559-9300