The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs is asking for a coroner’s inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of a homeless Aboriginal man during last month’s heat wave.

Witnesses said Curtis Brick spent roughly seven hours passed out on a bench in Grandview Park on July 29, when the city broke a heat record at nearly 34 C.

The popular park was full of visitors, but it wasn’t until 4 p.m. that passerby Eric Schweig saw Brick convulsing and called for help.

He said it took around 45 minutes for paramedics and firefighters to arrive, and when they did show up, he claimed they were derogatory and provided substandard care.

Brick died in hospital that night.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, the president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said the union is making a formal request for a coroner’s inquiry at a press conference in Vancouver today.

Karen Brick, the victim’ sister, and David Eby, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, will also be in attendance.

Vancouver Firefighters and the B.C. Ambulance Service are launching their own reviews of the incident.

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