Report into 2008 suicide of Canadian soldier to be released next week

Nearly seven years to the day a troubled young soldier killed himself on an Edmonton base, a report into whether the military police botched the investigation into his death will finally be released.

OTTAWA — Nearly seven years to the day a troubled young soldier killed himself on an Edmonton base, a report into whether the military police botched the investigation into his death will finally be released.

The publication of the Military Police Complaints Commission report next Tuesday is the latest but not the last step on a very long road for the family of Cpl. Stuart Langridge.

The veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Bosnia was 28 when he hanged himself on March 15, 2008 after struggling with drug and alcohol addiction and what was later believed to be post traumatic stress disorder.

Three military investigations were held into the circumstances surrounding his death and what happened afterwards, inquiries the family alleged were all biased toward exonerating the Canadian Forces.

They filed a formal complaint with the Military Police Complaints Commission and the agency agreed in 2011 to hold a hearing, arguing that the issues struck at the very heart of the ability of military police to do its job.

“If these allegations are substantiated the implications are of profound significance,” the head of the commission, Glenn Stannard, wrote at the time.

The subsequent hearing ran for more than 60 days and heard from nearly 100 witnesses before wrapping up in January 2013.

Among other things, the commission heard that at the end of one stint in psychiatric care, the young soldier told a doctor he’d rather die than return to his base.

He was sent back anyway and killed himself 10 days later.

The military argued it did everything it could for Langridge and blamed his problems on substance abuse.

His mother and step-father, Sheila and Shaun Fynes, maintain he was the casualty of a culture that didn’t take mental health issues seriously.

The complaints commission report will examine each of the allegations made by the Fynes and make recommendations.

But since it deals specifically with the actions of military police, broader questions will remain, said the lawyer representing the family.

The Fynes’ still await a copy of the board of inquiry investigation into Langridge’s death — such inquiries are standard practice when a soldier commits suicide and are designed to determine whether the military contributed in any way to a member’s death.

Without it, there’s no way to know if anything could have actually been done to prevent Langridge’s suicide, said retired colonel Michel Drapeau.

“We don’t know if they’ve learned any lessons,” he said.

In 2014, there were 19 suicides in the Canadian military, according to recently released figures.

That’s one of the highest levels in the last decade, surpassed only by 22 suicides in 2009 and 25 in 2011 — the final year of Canada’s combat mission in Kandahar.

The military does not release statistics on suicide attempts.

Just Posted

New RDC president has three decades of experience working at colleges and universities

Peter Nunoda says he’s ‘excited’ to help transition the college into a university

Wildfires put more people on the run in northern Alberta High Level on alert

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — Wildfires have forced more people from their homes… Continue reading

Manitoba teen killed when dirt bike and train collide east of Winnipeg

OAKBANK, Man. — A 15-year-old boy was killed on the weekend when… Continue reading

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

OTTAWA — The federal government is widely expected to green light the… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports manufacturing sales fell 0.6 per cent in April

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.6 per cent to… Continue reading

Pro-pipelines rally draws crowd to City Hall

Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Canada missing out on billions in revenue

Blair says more gun-control action needed, signals no new steps before election

OTTAWA — Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair says more must be done… Continue reading

Pricey tours of decaying Titanic shipwreck delayed until June 2020

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Adventure tourists who paid $168,000 each to help… Continue reading

Police searching for suspect after shooting at Toronto Raptors rally

Toronto police are still looking for a suspect after Monday’s shooting that… Continue reading

The corporate winners and losers from the Toronto Raptors’ historic win

We The North mania spread across Canada as the Toronto Raptors created… Continue reading

Efforts continue to raise profile of New Brunswick sprint champion from 1900s

HALIFAX — A New Brunswick sprinter who achieved world-class success in the… Continue reading

Campaign to eradicate rodents puts other animals at risk

The bird was a female cardinal. It was on the ground and… Continue reading

Opinion: Throwing cold water on fee for calling firefighters

There’s never any upside to adversity. Whether it’s the loss of a… Continue reading

‘This is our story:’ Winnipeg General Strike commemorated on screen, stage

WINNIPEG — A moment in history that changed Canada forever is headed… Continue reading

Most Read