It is truly a shame that the inquest into the deaths of Glenn Roche and Alan Little has gone so far off the rails.
As Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe pointed out Wednesday, inquests are not trials. They are supposed to be adversarial. They are about the “public need for ascertaining the facts.”
She also pointed out that participants testifying at an inquest are protected. In other words, what they say at an inquest cannot be used against them somewhere else. It’s a key part of the process.
However, we should have known on Day 1 that this process was going to go sideways.
Everyone involved was, to use the term, “lawyered up.”
The coroner had two lawyers, WorksafeBC had three, Lakeland Mills had two, the United Steelworkers had two, and the British Columbia Safety Authority had one.
While the goal of an inquest is to get to the truth surrounding the deaths of Alan Little and Glenn Roche, all the lawyers in the room were there to protect the interests of those who were paying them and, sadly, that’s the road they all went down.
Hopefully this is simply a delay. And, more hopefully, when the inquest sits again, it can do the job it’s supposed to … find the truth.