Coroner's Inquest into Death of Samuel Brown

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We write on behalf of Samuel Brown- a Canadian teenager in your jurisdiction who died suddenly while under the care of the Government of Ontario. Samuel was Deaf and Blind and was enrolled at W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind, a boarding school for children with disabilities where students live year-round. The onset of Covid19 has only heightened our concerns for reasons that are readily apparent.

On February 4 2018, Samuel Brown left his parents' home in Brampton happy and healthy to attend his boarding school in Brantford, Ontario. On February 9th he was found dead in his bedroom by school staff. To date there has been no adequate explanation as to what happened. His sudden death has impacted the City of Brantford, the City of Hamilton and his hometown, the City of Brampton. The impact has since spread across Ontario and into the United States. It has raised a variety of questions that continue to cause alarm and concern. Prior to his death, warning signs were given. Multiple reports in years past documented a variety of atrocities having occurred at W. Ross MacDonald and warned of the dangers that could accrue to minors in the absence of institutional reforms. Samuel Brown was a kind teenager with a bright future. His death and the call for a Coroner’s Inquest has been covered by the CBC, City News, The Canadian Press, Global News, Brantford Times, CHCH and a long list of non-mainstream media outlets.  

We, the undersigned, hereby call on your good offices to exercise your authority pursuant to section 20(1) of the Coroner's Act to trigger a Coroner's Inquest into the death of Samuel Brown. Samuel Brown has met all the criteria required to trigger a Coroner’s Inquest pursuant to your discretionary powers under the legislation. The law states the following: "A Discretionary Inquest may be held when the Coroner decides that it is desirable for the public to have an open and full hearing of the circumstances of a death"

A Coroner’s Inquest will enable an excavation of all of the facts and the testing of evidence under Oath. Only then can conclusive findings be drawn to prevent future pediatric fatalities and to increase protections for disabled children in the Province of Ontario. Your office’s stated mandate is to ensure that no “death will be overlooked, concealed or ignored.” Your role in this matter is special and the public will benefit from your leadership and ongoing reassurance.

The signatories to this call include: Legal Experts, Medical Experts, retired Diplomats, Canadian Elected Officials (Members of the Provincial Legislature) including those with expertise in disability and federally-elected officials (Members of Parliament). It includes Teachers, Union Presidents, University Professors, Doctoral Candidates and Undergraduates from Harvard University, University of California- Berkeley Campus, McMaster University, University of Toronto and University of Ottawa. It consists of faith leaders inclusive of Rabbis, Pastors and Imams and members of their congregations. It includes nationally-renowned civil society organizations whom are widely respected by community stakeholders. It is signed by Canadian parents and young people whom are impacted directly or vicariously.

We, as members of the community, would warmly receive a response from your offices. This follows the wishes of the family who see the public interest as best served through an open process. To that end, the family has waived its privacy interests pursuant to the FIPPA so as not to hinder your office in any of your communication efforts.