When Pierre Lemaitre graduated in red serge in 1986, he was shipped to B.C., far from his Quebec upbringing. Location didn’t matter: he had his Stetson and his Strathcona boots — he was a Mountie. This was the realization of a lifelong dream.
With an aching smile, his widow Sheila Lemaitre recently testified about photos of little Lemaitre “standing at careful attention” next to Mounties in their iconic uniform. In 2013, after a long and difficult career, Lemaitre killed himself.
He was 55, a 27-year veteran of the force.
The inquest into his suicide, held late last year, was tasked with examining the circumstances that led to his death but ultimately didn’t have the mandate to delve into RCMP management — that, the Supreme Court is quite clear, is a federal power. And so, the work environment that Sheila — herself a former Mountie — many of Lemaitre’s colleagues and several experts believe contributed to the deterioration of his mental health went mostly unexplored.