POLITICS

Federal government loses attempt to block inquest in Yukon Mountie drowning

08/07/2012 01:25 EDT | Updated 10/07/2012 05:12 EDT
WHITEHORSE - An inquest into the death of Yukon RCMP Const. Michael Potvin will go ahead after the federal government lost its attempt to block a coroner's inquest into the July 2010 drowning.

Lawyers acting for the federal government went to court hoping to limit the scope of the inquest as part of a dispute over jurisdictional issues, but the request has been denied.

The inquest was originally slated for May and is now tentatively scheduled for this fall.

The 26-year-old officer wasn't wearing a life jacket and was weighed down by his service equipment when he drowned after his RCMP boat took on water on the Stewart River near Mayo, about 400 kilometres north of Whitehorse.

Five separate agencies, including the Transportation Safety Board and Human Resources Canada, investigated the death.

After the drowning, the RCMP ordered nation-wide changes in water safety and vessel maintenance practices, and also set new rules covering the use of safety equipment. (CKRW)