Unfortunate death at new housing complex

Coroner says nothing suspicious about this death

Burns Lake homeless shelter

A death has occurred at the new social housing complex in Burns Lake.

RCMP confirmed that the death was reported to them on Dec. 26 and was investigated.

“There was nothing suspicious about this particular death,” said North District RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Madonna Saunderson. “It was investigated and it was turned over to the BC Coroner’s Service for any action they may wish to take. It was not a criminal matter at all.”

The BC Coroner Service confirmed they were aware of a matter that matched that description, but they, too, found no need to investigate further.

A statement from BC Housing expressed that “We were saddened to hear that a resident passed away at Dzee Inzu Yikh supportive housing [previously the Burns Lake Motor Inn]. We want to extend our sincere condolences to their family, friends and those in the community who knew them.”

It was the first time that the name of the new facility has been used in widespread public discourse. The facility is so new that it is still under construction. The plan for the conversion of the motel to social housing was to be completed in phases, the first being the back side of the building this winter and the front side of the building to follow.

It is a project funded by BC Housing and operated by Lake Babine Nation in conjunction with Ts’il Kaz Koh, Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Wet’suwet’en, Skin Tyee and Nee Tahi Buhn First Nations. Lake Babine Nation personnel declined to comment.

The facility had apparently allowed a handful of people in need to live in some of the rooms that were ready for occupancy during the extreme cold weather event during the Christmas season. According to CAO of the Village of Burns Lake, Sheryl Worthing, the complex is permitted to house 22 people on west side of the building.

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