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Administrative error results in misidentification of remains at Castlegar cemetery

Mapping error affected four sets of cremains
Castlegar’s Park Memorial Cemetery. File photo

The City of Castlegar says an administrative error is to blame for four sets of cremains at the Kinnaird Park Memorial Cemetery ending up in the wrong locations.

The city was first alerted to a potential problem by a concerned family member.

According to Castlegar CAO Chris Barlow, as soon as the city was alerted to a potential problem, they contacted Consumer Protection BC, the organization that administers the city’s license to operate a cemetery.

The city was directed to verify if an error had actually occurred and given steps to follow to rectify the situation.

The five most recent additions to the cemetery’s cremains ground plots were flagged as potential errors.

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“When we gave a location of a spot against our mapping, they were off by one spot,” explained Barlow.

As all of the graves were relatively new, they were in various states — some had markers, some did not.

“Once we knew what the issue was, we contacted all of the families to let them know,” said Barlow.

Cremains are kept in fibreglass vaults, so the city had to dig down to the containers to verify who they belonged to.

“It was done in the least invasive way as possible under the guidance of Consumer Protection,” said Barlow.

Barlow says that additional administrative controls and better co-ordination between administration and operation staff have been put into place to ensure the situation doesn’t happen again.

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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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