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As Lapointe retires, B.C. appoints new acting chief coroner

John McNamee has been the chief legal officer for the BC Coroners Service since 2017
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B.C. chief coroner Lisa Lapointe pauses while speaking about the overdose crisis for deaths involving fentanyl-laced drugs in Vancouver on Wednesday September 21, 2016. Lapointe will officially retire from her role as B.C.’s chief coroner on Feb. 18, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth has appointed an acting chief coroners as the hiring process continues.

John McNamee is in the temporary role while the B.C. Public Service conducts a merit-based hiring process for a permanent chief coroner.

McNamee has served as the chief legal officer for the BC Coroners Service since 2017. He has managed the legal services and inquest unit, as well as provided supervision, legal advice and training to coroner service staff and the chief coroner, the release notes.

Lisa Lapointe’s final day as chief coroner is Feb. 18 after 13 years in the role. She spent nearly three decades in public service roles.

Lapointe first announced her retirement in December 2023, and her final public event in the role was Jan. 24 when she confirmed 2023 was the worst year for fatal toxic drug poisonings.

READ MORE: B.C.’s chief coroner stepping down after 13 years in the role

READ MORE: 2023 was the worst year for fatal toxic drug poisonings in B.C. history

“On behalf of the Government of British Columbia, I want to express our sincere thanks for Lisa Lapointe’s dedicated service as chief coroner for the past 13 years and her remarkable 30-year commitment to the B.C. Public Service. Her leadership and contributions have been invaluable to our province,” Farnworth said.



Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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