CONTENT WARNING: The following story contains depictions of suicide that may be distressing to some readers.

UPDATE: Updated with response from the family

A 6-person jury at the inquest into the death of Shane Cantre has provided 9 recommendations to Correctional Services Canada to prevent similar deaths in the future.

Cantre died at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in July of 2021. A coroners inquest this week in Saskatoon has heard from ten witnesses on the circumstances around Cantre’s death.

The inquest has heard how Cantre died by suicide in his cell, the means he had to die in this way, and his mental health leading up to his death.

There has been discussion about AEDs, possible communication issues between staff at the facility, and why Cantre did not receive an increased level of care based on previous self-harming behaviour.

After several hours of deliberating, the inquest jury provided a total of 9 recommendations to Correcional Services Canada to help prevent similar deaths in the future.

The recommendations include:

  • All employees of the Regional Psychiatric Centre receive ongoing training for suicide assessment
  • All employees continue ongoing Indigenous cultural sensitivity training
  • There should be an increased number of Indigenous elders and spiritual advisers on contract with the facility.
  • The establishment of a pool system of communication between the health and security side of RPC.
  • To expedite the furniture review process at the facility and to improve audit process of inmate cells.
  • That select corrections officers carry the 911 tool on every shift.
  • Upgrades to life-saving technology including the AED at the facility and automated CPR machines.
  • That staff receive up to date training on suicide prevention.
  • That the facility look to include family in the treatment and case plans of inmates.

These recommendations are not legally binding and CSC can chose to implement or not implement them as they deem appropriate.

Cantre family provides MBC Radio News with a written response to the inquest

Joyce Cantre, the mother of Shane Cantre was provided standing at the trial.  She asked questions of the witnesses during the three days of testimony.

Cantre declined to do a formal interview with MBC Radio News, but provided a written response.

Here is the written statement in full:

“It was difficult to listen to everything that led up to the death of my son, Shane. As I processed everything I heard each day, it was painful and I’m sure the rest of my family felt the same. It opened all our wounds because we had to relive the day he died.
There were times in that inquest when I was frustrated, as did my family, that we didn’t get some of the answers that we were seeking. I believe his death couldve been prevented. As of now we will take into consideration what steps we will take next.”

(Photo courtesy Facebook)