Government of New Brunswick

Coroner Services is an independent and publicly accountable investigation of death agency. It is mandated to review all suspicious or questionable deaths in New Brunswick and conduct inquests as may be required in the public interest.

Coroner Services does not have a vested interest of any kind in the outcome of death investigations.

Coroner Services is responsible for the investigation of all reported deaths in New Brunswick in order to determine for each case the identity of the deceased and the facts as to how, when, where and by what means the deceased came to their death. All deaths that are unnatural, unexpected, unexplained or unattended must be reported to Coroner Services.

Coroner Services is responsible for determining whether such reported deaths are due to natural causes, accident, suicide or homicide, and in some cases may make recommendations to prevent future deaths in similar circumstances.

While Coroner Services is an independent agency, it falls under the Department Public Safety for administrative purposes. Supervision of the service is the responsibility of the Chief Coroner who is assisted by a Deputy Chief Coroner.

The Office of the Chief Coroner reports on all statistical findings related to investigated deaths in its annual report once all investigations for the reporting year have been completed.

An inquest is a formal court proceeding that allows for the public presentation of all evidence relating to a death. The inquest is led by the Chief Coroner, Deputy Chief Coroner or a regional coroner. An inquest does not make any finding of legal responsibility nor does it assign blame. However, recommendations can be made aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future.

In New Brunswick, inquests are mandatory when a worker dies as a result of an accident occurring in the course of their employment at or in a woodland operation, sawmill, lumber processing plant, food processing plant, fish processing plant, construction project site, mining plant or mine, including a pit or quarry.