nursing home ontario huyer covid-19 lockdown
During this era of COVID-19 and the 'Great Reset,' administrative officials' clout has rapidly out-paced that of the judicial and legislative branches of government.

And yet there are just three steps to reaching the highest of these unelected and largely unaccountable positions.

I outline the steps below, focusing on one such official, Dr. Dirk Huyer, Chief Coroner for Ontario, Canada.

I've written about Huyer before, in this article and in this one.

Chief pathologists' positions are pivotal because they can either help or hinder the detection of patterns of murder, foul play or deadly malfeasance, particularly those targeting the most vulnerable such as institutionalized elderly. And as detailed in this article, Huyer appears to have done more of the latter than the former.

Then in late May he was rewarded by being appointed by Ontario's premier to head the testing for the novel coronavirus in the province. And on August 26 his was vaulted into the position of head of Ontario's COVID-19 outbreak response.

The jarring juxtaposition of Huyer's being both chief coroner and being appointed to these positions despite having neither expertise in public health nor independence from the premier or other branches of government underlines that the key to the Three Steps is aligning with the interests of the powerful rather than those of the general populace.

A September 20, 2020, investigative article by journalists from the Toronto Star and Hamilton Spectator highlights the apparent inappropriateness of Huyer's appointment. It points out that Ontario's Auditor General devoted a portion of her 2019 annual report to serious shortcomings in the work of the offices of the chief coroner and chief forensic pathologist.

"Although the motto of the [chief coroner's] office is 'We speak for the dead to protect the living,' we find that the office performs limited analysis on the data it collects to identify death patterns or trends," the journalists noted that the Auditor General and her team wrote in the annual report.

Based on the Star/Spectator article, as well as reading the Auditor General's report and other information I've gathered - including directly from people whose searches for answers about why their loved ones passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in Ontario have been stymied by Huyer - it seems a more appropriate motto for the Ontario chief coroner's office may be, 'We stonewall the living to permanently silence the dead.'

There are of course officials in other countries who also have taken this well-trodden Three-Step path. Perhaps the most infamous is Dr. Anthony Fauci. Another appears to be Mark Lucraft, who's the Chief Coroner for England and Wales and who on March 26 followed the World Health Organization's and National Health Service's lead in deeming that deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus are deemed to be natural (unless there are mitigating factors) and therefore should not be investigated. Lucraft also curtails the scope of inquests.

Yet others are Tom Hurd - a long-time friend of Boris Johnson and son of Douglas Hurd, who was a cabinet minister under Thatcher and Major. From May 12 to June 5 Hurd Jr. was the first head of the UK's new Joint Biosecurity Centre. He then went back to his former position as director general of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism. And it's worth also mentioning Matthew Gould, who was promoted to NHSX CEO in May 2019 after previous roles such as the UK government's Director of Cyber Security; and Ken McCallum, who became MI5's youngest-ever Director General on March 30, 2020; the agency is shifting towards a COVID response as a way to potentially gain more funding.

Here's the three-step path.


In the years preceding the Great Reset, steadily climb to ever-higher and better-paid positions in an influential field. Let your actions belie your words.

Huyer became a local investigating coroner in 1992, just five years after being licensed to practice medicine as a general practitioner. He then moved up to the positions of regional supervising coroner in 2008, regional coroner in 2009, interim Chief Coroner for Ontario in 2013 and Chief Coroner in March 2014. His salary and benefits also went up significantly: from a total of $198,000 in 2008 as a regional supervising coroner, to $264,000 when he became a regional coroner in 2009, $291,500 when he took the chief coroner position in 2013, and $435,500 by 2018, the most recent year that salary figures are available for him. (Only a five-day course is needed to become a coroner [with no verification of course completion or competency and no requirement for ongoing training]. Furthermore, coroners' errors are not kept track of by the chief coroner's office.)

The Ontario chief coroner's office oversees investigations into approximately 17,000 deaths a year. There were 118 full-time-equivalent staff in Huyer's office in 2015, the last year the number of staff has been made public.

Yet there have been zero inquests since 2001 by Ontario coroners into medical care at Ontario hospitals (this was confirmed by Huyer and his Issues Manager in an emailed response to questions from me). And the two most recent annual reports from the Office of the Chief Coroner that I could find are 2009-2011 and 2012-2015. (Note also that the annual reports from 2005-2009 are only available upon request.)

In parallel, the number of inquests continues to plummet: it dropped from 72 in 2009 - including only one discretionary inquest - to 44 in 2014. A total of only 114 inquests were conducted in 2012-2014, with just 14 of these being discretionary (that is, not mandated by law but instead usually done at the insistence of the deceased's families and/or communities).

In addition, on July 4, 2019, Huyer and one of his high-ranking colleagues, Ontario chief forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Pollanen, announced they'd unilaterally ordered the closure of the forensic-pathology unit in Hamilton and rerouting of all cases from that region to Toronto. This was despite the unit being the second-busiest in the province and the Ontario government's commitment to supporting regional units.

According to articles in the National Post and the Hamilton Spectator, the closure of the Hamilton unit in fact may have been rooted in revenge against people who worked at the unit who lodged complaints about Huyer and Pollanen to the province's Death Investigation Oversight Council (DIOC).

(The DIOC was created to help provide accountability and objective oversight to death-investigative services, including administering a public-complaints process. Their hearings are held behind closed doors and their recommendation, which go to the chief coroner and chief forensic pathologist, are non-binding. Also Huyer and Pollanen both sit on the DIOC; even though they're non-voting members and aren't members of the complaints committee, this is a clear conflict of interest.)

Dr. Jane Turner, who was a medical director of the Hamilton unit until resigning suddenly in March 2018 in response to erosive interference from above, submitted a complaint in March 2019 against Huyer and Pollanen. One of the unit's three remaining pathologists, Dr. Elena Bulakhtina, then lodged a complaint against the pair on July 16. Turner and Bulakhtina both testified in late June during the DIOC's hearing into Turner's complaint.

According to two of the Hamilton Spectator articles about the closure, Turner alleged among other things that Pollanen interfered in death investigations and pressured pathologists to change their findings. She also wrote to the province's solicitor general asking that the unit closure be delayed, but the solicitor general supported Pollanen and Huyer.

The DIOC made 10 recommendations in December 2019 when its investigation into the two complaints wrapped up. These included calling for an independent operational review of the offices of the chief coroner and the chief forensic pathologist.

Turner was quoted in the National Post article as saying:
"The closing of the unit appears to me to be intended to signal to forensic pathologists and other death investigators in Ontario - including law enforcement - to not stand up to poorly informed opinions foisted upon them from [the offices of the chief coroner and chief forensic pathologist based in] Toronto and to not support evidence-based medicine."
Arvin Minocha is another person who has first-hand knowledge of the erosion of death investigations during Huyer's tenure as chief coroner. Minocha's 33-year-old sister Pamela died overnight in May 2013 at Toronto's St. Joseph's Health Centre after her dentist encouraged her to keep taking an antibiotic even though she was having a very severe reaction to it, followed by more missteps at the hospital.

A review of what happened to Pam was conducted at St. Joseph's but neither Arvin nor any other members of the public were privy to the results and to whether the review resulted in any change. In November 2018 Arvin requested an inquest into Pamela's death but was turned down by an Ontario regional supervising coroner, Dr. Bonnie Burke.

Then in an October 28, 2019, letter Huyer upheld Burke's decision because he agreed with Burke that the circumstances of Pamela's death were "were specific and the cause of death [was] very uncommon" and therefore an inquest would be pointless because nothing could be recommended by an inquest jury that could prevent any other such deaths.

Arvin has received considerable media coverage over the years of his battle to find out exactly what happened and to have systemic changes made to prevent similar tragedies.

"There are many families that've reached out to me after hearing and seeing Pam's story," Arvin told me after contacting me after watching a video interview I gave in which I highlighted Huyer. "All of them have common experiences: their loved ones had unforeseen deaths in hospitals likely because of errors or breaches of standards, and they'd then seen glaring inconsistencies or contradictions in the words and actions of Dr. Huyer and the chief coroner's office."

Huyer and Stephanie Rea, the Issues Manager for his office, responded to questions from me about Pam Minocha's case. They didn't budge from the answers given to Arvin over the years.

For example, they wrote that "Ms. Minocha's death resulted from a very specific and uncommon cause, it was not representative of a systemic issue and the public would not benefit from an inquest into a specific and uncommon death, as the purpose of an inquest is to prevent deaths in circumstances similar to those of the death being investigated."

Huyer and Rea also asserted that the purpose of an inquest is not to "blame or find fault."

But Arvin told me that, "Inquests find implied blame and implied fault all the time - that's why they result in recommendations. The fact is that coroner's office wants to bully and stonewall you, and act as though they're unimpeachable and untouchable. Something needs to be done about it."

Similar evasion of accountability was documented by Ontario's Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk in her 2019 annual report, as also mentioned earlier in this article. Lysyk wrote that the chief coroner's office "has a significant amount of data, such as circumstances of death, and age and gender of deceased persons, that it does not use to study and to then recommend ways to reduce further deaths."

Furthermore the annual report notes, "The Office published about 600 recommendations made by inquests and death review committees in 2018 but did not report information to help the public evaluate whether recommendations were properly implemented."

And "[u]nlike other Canadian provinces that publish government and other organizations' responses to inquest and death review committee recommendations, Ontario does not do this, limiting their usefulness in learning from the past to minimize the occurrence of future preventable deaths."

Dr. Huyer's office's response, recorded in Lysyk's annual report, was that, "As indicated to the [Auditor General's] audit team throughout the process [of reviewing the functioning of his office], there are some key initiatives already under way that, when fully implemented, will satisfy the recommendations and greatly improve efficiencies, effectiveness and documented performance of the organization."

Huyer gave similar lip service to impending improvements in his July 2018 affidavit to the Wettlaufer inquiry (more on this inquiry in Step Three). But as underlined by Lysky's report there's been very little action to back up his words. Said Huyer:
"At present, I do not believe that it is possible to create an effective screening process within the LTC sector to effectively ensure detection of homicidal actions of a person who is carefully taking steps to conceal their actions (i.e., taking steps to avoid association with the death), be it through the IPDR [Institutional Patient Death Record], or the draft Resident Death Screening Tool, or another format. Detection is made more challenging when the deceased person(s) have multiple co-morbidities and the death is caused without externally observable signs of injury or substances identified during typical toxicological testing. In my view, analytics is a method to try to detect crimes of this nature, as it may be used to determine individual residents' likelihood of dying, and identify trends or patterns that may reveal care, compliance, infection, or foul play concerns."
However, Huyer also noted that while "the contemplated goal was the creation of an evaluative mechanism utilizing existing data" about deaths in care homes, "this process was ultimately not undertaken, due to compliance and resource issues."

As shown in Step Two below, all of this has been buried further thanks to COVID-19.


When a pandemic/Great Reset starts, push transparency and accountability further onto the back burner.

In early April 2020, Huyer was instrumental in putting into place, virtually overnight - in the name of the "efficiency" needed to cope with the ostensibly imminent arrival of huge numbers of deaths - rules that remove completion of death certificates from the hands of the healthcare professionals in charge of people living in care homes and hospitals. They also push funeral homes to press loved ones to agree to removal of the deceased's bodies extremely quickly, followed immediately by cremation or burial.

The rules were implemented by Huyer and the self-regulating body for organizations and companies involved in removal and disposition of bodies (the Bereavement Authority of Ontario) with no notice to the public or media.

I wrote about this in May. The new rules in fact help contribute to the high death toll attributed to COVID-19 and to preventing the true causes of those deaths from ever being discovered.

And this was a mere 8.5 months after the release of the recommendations of a very high-profile inquiry into the actions of Elizabeth Wettlaufer, who had been a serial killer of people living in seniors' facilities that she worked in. Her crimes were only uncovered after she confessed to them without prompting. This highlights just how inadequate the coroners' record-keeping has long been for detecting possible system failures and foul play.

The Wettlaufer inquiry's recommendations called for much more oversight and transparency surrounding care of institutionalized elders and more detailed death certificates by the people who were directly treating them.

But thanks in no small part to Huyer, the truth about the causes of the high number of deaths of institutionalized elderly in Canada since the Great Reset started is now under a thick fog.


Prepare to be rewarded by being given oversight roles over COVID testing, contact tracing or diagnosis. And don't forget to keep using the tactics that got you there.

On or before May 29 - just weeks after Huyer radically overhauled the death-certification and body-disposition process for care homes and hospitals in the province - he was appointed by the premier of Ontario to oversee novel-coronavirus testing in the province. His new official title was Executive Lead for the COVID-19 Testing Approach at the Command Table.

Huyer was by then a member of the province's 'Command Table' for dealing with the dreaded virus. The public hasn't been told how much Huyer is being paid for this extra work. (There also isn't any publicly available list of the other members of the Command Table and how much, if anything, any of them are being paid either.)

Then, on August 26, he was bumped into the lead position of coordinator of the province's COVID-19 outbreak response.

However, there's no publicly available reason for why a coroner rather than someone with public-health training is leading the province's outbreak-response team.

Huyer's doing this as part of his role on Ontario's 'Command Table' on COVID-19. (By the way, very few of the names of Command Table members have been made public.)

He doesn't appear very visible other than when he's participating in press conferences; and during those conferences he dutifully parrots the party line.

For example, during the October 15 twice-weekly Ontario public presser, Huyer lectured about the importance of following public-health measures such as hand-washing and 'social distancing.' He professed to care profoundly about protecting society's most vulnerable members - while also greatly downplaying the destruction those measures have left in their wake.
"All of these things are crucially important for us to be thinking about, and taking all those steps; to take our own personal responsibility to try to ensure that we protect those most vulnerable in our society. And yes it's intrusive, and yes it's troubling, and yes it's difficult, but it's just so important for people to think about [the need] to minimize those personal interactions to those most essential..."
On top of all this, when Huyer is mentioned in the media, it's usually with a positive spin.

"In all of the work that I do, there's always sadness and tragedy," Globe and Mail reporter Laura Stone quoted Huyer as saying in a flattering September 11, 2020 profile of him. "I try to always refocus that energy in trying to learn... to help things get better for that child, that family, that community - and then more broadly, the system."

The September 20, 2020, Toronto Star/Hamilton Spectator article is an exception to the reflexive support he's received from the mainstream media and the province's leaders.

Let's hope the Star/Spectator piece is the start of shining real light on Huyer's actions. Anything else solidifies the grasp on the brass ring that Huyer and others of his ilk have attained by following the Three Steps.
About the author

Rosemary Frei has an MSc in molecular biology from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary and was a freelance medical writer and journalist for 22 years until 2016. She now is an independent freelance investigative journalist. You can find her recent articles, interviews and other materials at