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An Open Letter To Premier Wynne Regarding Aboriginal Remains Found In Point Edward

July 11, 2013

Hon. Tracy MacCharles
Minister of Consumer Services
Mowat Block, 6th Floor
900 Bay St
Toronto ON M7A1L2

RE: Registrar’s Determination of – Undue Financial Burden – FBCSA as of 1 July 2012

Dear Minister MacCharles:

As we discussed previously, on June 4th human remains were unearthed in the backyard of a home located in the town of Point Edward, in Lambton County. Upon noticing the remains, the homeowners, Ken Campbell and Nicole Sauve, contacted the Ontario Provincial Police to further investigate the matter. 

The outcome of that investigation determined that the uncovered remains dated back some 400 years. At that point, the matter no longer fell under the mandate of the OPP or the Provincial Coroner’s office, and out of respect for the remains, and as required by the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 (FBSCA), an archaeologist’s services were commissioned by the homeowners to complete the remainder of the work to remove the remains. 

…[Personal information omitted]…

This cost, which runs to several thousand dollars, represents a significant burden for this family and in my opinion should be paid in full by the province. 

My office has been in touch with the Ministry of Consumer Services, Consumer Protection Branch Cemeteries Regulation Unit, to discuss this case.  The Registrar has supplied a copy of the lengthy list of documents that Mr. Campbell and Ms. Sauve will be required to submit in order to prove that this ordeal has placed an “undue financial burden” on their young family.  I can assure you that, despite the objections of many in the community who believe your Ministry is forcing this family to jump through unnecessary bureaucratic hoops, Mr. Campbell and Ms. Sauve are doing their best to compile all of the information. 

As the Minister of Consumer Services you can put an immediate stop to this whole process and lift the burden of these hefty archaeology bills from the shoulders of the Campbell-Sauve family.  I strongly encourage you as Minister of Consumer Services to direct the Consumer Protection Branch Cemeteries Regulation Unit to take immediate action and settle all outstanding charges in this family’s name.  This action by your Ministry would send a strong message that your government is not in the business of punishing acts of good judgement and civic responsibility.

As the outstanding bill in Mr. Campbell and Ms. Sauve’s name is significant and left unaddressed could negatively impact their financial standing for many years to come, I anticipate your immediate reply.

Sincerely,

Bob Bailey, MPP

Sarnia-Lambton