Coroners inquest set to begin into death of former RCMP spokesperson Pierre Lemaitre

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      Today, coroner Vince Stancato will open an inquest to probe the circumstances surrounding the death of a former Mountie.

      Pierre Lemaitre was a 28-year veteran of the national police force when he died of self-inflicted wounds in Abbotsford in 2013.

      He was a former RCMP media spokesperson and in that capacity, he issued the first public statement following the death of a Polish immigrant at Vancouver International Airport in 2007.

      The statement misreported the number of Mounties who were on the scene when Robert Dziekanski was tasered.

      Lemaitre, a sergeant, was later reassigned to traffic duty in Langley.

      His widow, Sheila, filed a lawsuit in 2015 against the attorney general of Canada and the B.C. minister of justice, alleging that the RCMP made him a scapegoat.

      In her lawsuit, she claimed that Lemaitre released information that had been cleared by superiors of a "Cpl. C".

      After a video surfaced contradicting the press briefing, Lemaitre allegedly asked for permission to correct the information. But according to his widow's lawsuit, the Mounties refused this request.

      Lemaitre was then removed as the media representative. Then he was subsequently investigated as a result of a complaint filed by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

      His widow also alleged that on the day of his death, RCMP officers visited their family home and introduced the RCMP chaplain to her.

      "He assumed control of making the arrangements for the service and denied the Plaintiff the use of the songs that she had selected, advised her that he needed a copy of any and all of the eulogies to be given by Pierre's friends so that he could 'vet' them, and advised her that it was an 'absolute requirement' that he be provided with the name and phone number of the individual giving the eulogy," Sheila Lemaitre alleged in her lawsuit. "He further advised her that they would keep the media away for her as they were concerned that the media might 'pick up' on something that she might say."

      Furthermore, she alleged that the chaplain advised her that she was "not permitted" to give a eulogy.

      None of Sheila Lemaitre's allegations were proven in court.

      In an order filed in B.C. Supreme Court on September 24, the proceeding was dismissed without costs. This came as a result of an application of the plaintiff and occurred without a hearing and by consent of the defendants.