The NDP opposition continues to pressure the provincial government to call a coroner’s inquest into the death of a homeless man who died earlier this month in Saskatoon.
The body of 42-year-old Jerry Peequaquat was found in the cab of an abandoned semi-trailer in the west side of the city on Nov. 15.
In the legislature Wednesday, Saskatoon NDP MLA David Forbes asked Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer if the government plans to launch an inquest into Peequaquat’s death.
“The social services minister said last week it was too early to commit to an inquest,” he says. “So my question is to the minister, is this government ready now to call that inquest and will it be taking any action as a result of Jerry’s tragic death?”
Harpauer says the government is still waiting for the coroner to complete an investigation into Peequaquat’s death before moving forward.
“The normal process is the coroner would call an inquest,” she says. “The coroner has not yet determined a cause of death. There is still some test results that he is waiting for. So, we will be waiting for those results.”
Forbes also asked the social services minister for an update on how many people in the province are homeless and not on social assistance.
Harpauer did not give a specific number but she says the province does have a cold weather strategy and has doubled the number of emergency shelters.
Peequaquat had been reportedly cut off of social assistance at the time of his death.