Corrections Canada fights Ashley Smith videos release
Corrections Canada is fighting the release of controversial videos of forced chemical injections related to the prison death of troubled New Brunswick teen Ashley Smith.
Lawyers for the head of Canada's prison system will be in court Monday trying to quash a summons that would force the commissioner of corrections to appear in court with videos of Smith being forcibly injected with anti-psychotic drugs.
A psychologist hired by the correctional service's watchdog has called the forced injections illegal.
An inquest, which had been set to begin April 4 in Toronto, will examine factors that may have impacted Smith's state of mind, coroner Bonita Porter said in November.
Porter ruled last month she would not consider the injection videos as part of the inquest into Smith's death.
The family is challenging the coroner's ruling in Ontario Divisional Court and has sought a summons hoping to force the head of Corrections Canada to testify and submit the videos for court examination.
The Moncton teen died in October 2007 after strangling herself in a segregation cell at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont., under the watch of prison guards.
Smith's family is suing the federal government for $11 million over her death. The lawsuit alleges federal corrections staff — from senior bureaucrats to prison guards — engaged in a "conspiracy" that endangered Smith's life by "unlawfully" segregating her for nearly a year and not taking proper action after she was declared a suicide risk.