Death of woman held at YVR sparks call for investigation
An Air Canada jet is seen on the runway of YVR international airport in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, May 6, 2013. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VANCOUVER -- Civil liberties activists in British Columbia are demanding answers after the in-custody death of a 42-year-old woman being held by the Canada Border Services Agency.
BC Civil Liberties Association executive director Josh Paterson identifies the victim as Lucia Vega Jimenez and says CBSA must be accountable for the death of anyone in their care and custody.
Paterson is calling for an independent, civilian investigation, saying that is the only way the public will have confidence in the results.
Coroner Barb McLintock has confirmed Jimenez, who was not a Canadian citizen, was taken into custody at Vancouver International Airport last month, transferred to cells there on Dec. 19, and collapsed shortly afterwards.
She died in a Vancouver hospital on Dec. 28.
McLintock says the coroners service isn't prepared to speculate about the cause or classification of the death because the investigation is preliminary, but she says it is being treated as an in-custody incident, so an inquest will automatically be ordered.