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Remains of Loved Ones Deserve Basic Human Dignity

For Immediate Release

March 6, 2024

NL NDP Leader Jim Dinn (MHA, St. John’s Centre), was appalled to learn just how bad the problem of unclaimed human remains in hospital morgues really is.


“We knew there was an issue and we were deeply concerned. It’s why we filed an access to information request almost a month ago, and why I wrote Ministers Pike, Osborne, and Hogan on February 23,” said Dinn. “It’s appalling to think that government’s solution to the growing number of unclaimed human remains is to install more reefer units and freeze bodies. It’s disrespectful and shows a lack of a plan to address the problem.”


The rising cost of living has affected many aspects of life from food, to medication, to heat, to housing. Now it is affecting families unable to afford funeral services for their loved ones. This issue was brought to the attention of government years ago and, as is typical, they failed to address it.


“Their solution?” said Dinn. “Install more freezer units.”


The situation further demonstrates the budget-based decision making approach that has characterized this government. It attempts to find savings and unfortunately, it often comes at the expense of those who need the most help.


Human remains deserve to be treated with dignity, not stacked on gurneys or stored in freezers. Families deserve respect, compassion, and closure. “When we learned about this issue, we couldn’t imagine the added stress placed on already grieving families.


The NDP is calling for government to simplify the application process and increase the rates for those seeking financial support after a family member or next of kin has passed. Government rates for burials has not increased in over 20 years.


“People must be treated with basic human dignity, no matter their income.”




For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Communications Director, NDP Caucus at 709.697.5363 (o), or

NR 06032024 Remains of Deceased Loved Ones Deserve Basic Human Dignity
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