Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Are there unethical funeral homes? Province won't say

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LAST May, when the province announced a new code of conduct to deal with unethical funeral homes, journalism student Kevin Hirschfield had a question.

What exactly were funeral homes doing that was unethical and what were people complaining about?

As part of a project with the Free Press, the Red River College student submitted a freedom of information request for all written complaints made under the Manitoba Funeral Directors and Embalmers Act in the past five years, along with their resolution.

More than three months after submitting the request on Sept. 24, the documents are still not in Hirschfield's hands.

Government staff have collected the complaints and Hirschfield has been promised them on three different occasions.

About a month after he submitted the request, Hirschfield received a phone call from staff at Manitoba Consumer and Corporate Affairs saying the request had come under question, but that they would release the documents.

Unbeknownst to Hirschfield, this would be the start of an ongoing waiting game.

For another month, the documents were apparently passed around the government.

Hirschfield was promised twice more he would receive the documents in less than a week's time, but no documents have arrived.

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