Haida Gwaii’s unofficial undertaker has received an apology from the province’s attorney general.
George Westwood has been providing funeral services on Haida Gwaii on a voluntary basis, but was nearly forced to stop two years ago when a complaint was filed with Consumer Protection B.C.
At the time, attorney general Suzanne Anton commented that Westwood “was not suitable” to provide funeral services because he was unlicensed.
After an uproar from local residents who relied on his services, Westwood was allowed to continue.
Last week, Westwood got official redress when he was invited to Victoria to receive an apology from Anton.
He says besides the apology, he was able to have meaningful discussions on how remote communities are lacking funeral services.
Westwood holds no grudges against the funeral services industry and adds it’s hard for them to do business in remote communities despite the need.
He encourages anyone who has trouble accessing funeral services to speak up, saying the only way to get things changed is to get attention.