WHITEHORSE—The Minister of Justice tabled a bill to amend the Fatal Accidents Act in the Yukon Legislative Assembly.
The legislation will give Yukoners the right to sue for bereavement damages when a close family member is killed and where another person is found at fault.
“There is support to amend legislation so that it better reflects the loss of a loved one,” Minister of Justice Mike Nixon said. “The Department of Justice asked for opinions about how damages should be awarded and the bill that’s now before the House reflects this feedback.”
The legislation will clarify what damages may be awarded and who is eligible to claim compensation under the act. In most circumstances the awarded damages will be paid by the insurance provider of the person found at fault.
“Most jurisdictions in Canada have provisions in legislation that allow families to seek compensation for grief and loss,” Nixon added. “We’ve heard from Yukoners and they too want the right to access bereavement damages in difficult times.”
The legislation will:
• Require the courts to award bereavement damages of: $75,000 for a deceased’s spouse; $37,500 to each of the deceased’s parents or $75,000 if the action is brought for the benefit of one parent; and $45,000 to each of the deceased's daughters and sons.
• Clarify damages that may be awarded for certain expenses, including the post-injury care of the deceased person and grief counselling for family members.
A What We Heard document and discussion paper detailing bereavement damages in Canada is available on the Justice department’s website.
What We Heard: www.justice.gov.yk.ca/pdf/WhatWeHeard-FatalAccidentsAct.pdf
Discussion paper: www.justice.gov.yk.ca/pdf/Discussion_Paper_-_Proposed_Amendments_to_the_Fatal_Accidents_Act.pdf