A start date could soon be set for a long-awaited inquest into the 2008 death of Brian Sinclair, who died after waiting 34 hours in a Winnipeg hospital's emergency waiting room.

Sinclair, a 45-year-old double amputee with a speech problem, was found dead in his wheelchair at Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre emergency waiting room on Sept. 21, 2008.

An autopsy later determined he died as a result of a blood infection brought on by complications of a bladder infection, caused by a blocked catheter.

Manitoba's chief medical examiner, Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra, has said Sinclair's death could have been prevented if the blood infection had been treated.

An inquest into Sinclair's death was officially called in early 2009, but delays have kept hearings from beginning.

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Brian Sinclair, left, sits next to Karl Gompf, who was Sinclair's counsellor at a Child and Family Services (CFS) wilderness camp for at-risk youth in 1977. (Karl Gompf)

The parties who have been granted standing at the inquest are meeting in Winnipeg later this week to work out a schedule.

At the earliest, the inquest could begin in the spring.

"It always surprises me how people don't work together and politics comes in to play," said Karl Gompf, who was Sinclair's counsellor at a Child and Family Services (CFS) wilderness camp for at-risk youth in 1977.

"So [it's] unconscionable that things would be delayed, and it's often for the wrong reasons."

This past July, Winnipeg police announced that no criminal charges will be laid in connection with Sinclair's death.

Was known for helping others

Gompf said he remembered Sinclair, who was 14 years old when he attended the CFS camp, as a well-behaved and thoughtful teen with a lot of potential.

While at the camp, Sinclair helped children with disabilities participate in games, Gompf recalled.

"Of all the boys I worked with, he would probably stand out as the one who would not speak up aggressively to get his needs met," he said.

Years later, Sinclair forced his way into a burning building and pulled two people to safety, according to his sister, Esther Joyce Grant.

"I said, 'I heard you that were a hero.' He said, 'I'll help anybody that's in trouble,'" Grant said.