Dispute Over Mountie’s Remains Comes to an End

January 20, 2009 Hull & Hull LLP Litigation, News & Events Tags: , 0 Comments

The fight over the burial of a slain RCMP officer has finally come to an end. 

In May, and again in June, I blogged about the dispute over the remains of Leo Johnston, an RCMP officer who was slain along with three other officers in 2005.   

Following his death, Mr. Johnston was buried in his hometown in Alberta.  After his burial, his widow (who was also the executor of his estate) became aware of an RCMP policy allowing his remains to be buried in the RCMP cemetery in Saskatchewan.  She was granted a disinterment permit by the Director of Vital Statistics in Alberta allowing her to move the body; however, Mr. Johnston’s mother objected to the issuance of the permit. 

When the Director declined to rescind the permit, the mother applied to the court for judicial review.  When that was unsuccessful, she appealed to the Court of Appeal; the appeal was dismissed

The mother then sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada; however, leave was denied in November of this past year.

At the time, the widow said she was going to wait a little bit to move the body in order to give Mr. Johnston’s mother time to come to terms with the news.  Now comes word that at the beginning of January the body was disinterred and moved to Saskatchewan. 

Incidentally, the criminal proceedings surrounding the death of Mr. Johnston and the other three officers appears to be coming to a close.  On Monday, the two men charged in the killings pleaded guilty to manslaughter. 

Thanks for reading,

Megan F. Connolly  

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