Direct Access to Certificates of Cremation Reinstated in Ontario

Direct Access to Certificates of Cremation Reinstated in Ontario

Rochelle Martin

Aug. 20, 2017

In October 2016, the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario streamlined its system for the issuance of certificates of cremation. The new, centralized online system permitted access only to funeral industry service providers, shutting families out of direct access to applications for certificates of cremation. Families suddenly found themselves having to employ a funeral home, transport services, or crematorium to apply for a certificate of cremation on their behalf, if they chose cremation as the disposition option for their loved one.

Members of the Community Deathcare Canada Legislative Committee, Barb Phillips and Rochelle Martin, lobbied for revisions to the new system that would return direct access to families who wished to take care of this paperwork themselves, without employing funeral industry providers.

A letter writing campaign was initiated, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario was petitioned, and meetings with the Chief Coroner of Ontario were undertaken. These agencies were reminded of the right of next-of-kin to take care of all funeral arrangements for a deceased loved one, as per the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002, exemptions from licenses: next of kin can provide all funeral services minus embalming, including completing required paperwork, without employing the services of a licensed funeral director or transport service.

Our efforts were successful! The Chief Coroner developed a protocol by which families can directly contact the central Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario to apply for certificates of cremation, at cost, without having to employ funeral service industry providers to apply on their behalf.

We’re thrilled that we were able to reclaim families’ rights in this regard, and believe that this sets a good precedent for contesting any future intentional or inadvertent governmental limitations to direct, at-cost access to obligatory death-related paperwork, for families who wish to care for their own.


Please see details below! Thanks to all who helped to support this effort!


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