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Haida Gwaii volunteer undertaker can continue to volunteer

Haida Gwaii’s volunteer undertaker can continue his services.

After a Consumer Protection BC complaint was lodged against George Westwood, he was forced to stop providing unlicensed funeral services despite widespread support on Haida Gwaii.

In question period yesterday, Jennifer Rice, NDP MLA for North Coast questioned BC Attorney General Suzanne Anton about Westwood’s services.

Anton clarified that Westwood is allowed to provide volunteer services as long as he doesn’t cross a certain line.

But George Westwood says him providing services isn’t the main issue.

He says access to affordable funeral services in remote communities throughout the province is the issue, and Anton hasn’t addressed that.

Westwood says there should be locally licenced funeral commissioners who can provide basic services, similar to marriage commissioners.

When asked if he’ll continue to volunteer his services, Westwood said saying no to a grieving family is not an option.

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