Nova Scotia

New forensic crime centre opens in Burnside

A new forensic crime centre opened in Nova Scotia Wednesday.
The Dr. William D. Finn Centre for Forensic Medicine will be able to handle multiple bodies in the event of a major disaster. (Phonse Jessome/CBC)

A new forensic crime centre opened in Nova Scotia Wednesday.

Justice Minister Ross Landry said the Dr. William D. Finn Centre for Forensic Medicine in Burnside would help victims of crime find justice.

"The loss of a loved one should not be further complicated by out-of-date facilities," he said in a media release. "Although Dr. Finn would see a substantial difference in the facilities and technology available today compared to 100 years ago, I'm sure he would agree that the professionalism and compassion for families is still what's most important."

The centre will have enhanced security for information and evidence, laboratory-grade air and water handling in the mortuary wing to reduce the risk of microbial contamination and the ability to handle multiple deaths in the event of something like a plane crash or epidemic.

Dr. Finn was Canada's first medical examiner. He worked during the Halifax Explosion and the Titanic sinking.

The centre will have videoconferencing facilities, which may allow pathologists to testify in court remotely.

Granddaughter proud

Nancy Crane, Finn's granddaughter, said her family was proud to have his name on the facility.

"Although I never met my grandfather, the stories and rich history have been passed down in my family for generations," she said. "It is a great tribute to his memory to have the new facility in his name."

The building is built to gold certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design Program.

The medical examiner had worked out of the QEII Health Sciences Centre. The Burnside centre will start performing  autopsies on facility Dec. 10.