On Feb. 13, the Canadian military justice system dropped the charge against Cpl. Lars Callsen, a member of the 3rd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), who had been accused of negligence leading to the death of a fellow soldier during a live-fire training exercise in 2020. Callsen was due to face a court martial in Edmonton on March 6.
The Department of National Defence (DND) spokesperson informed The Epoch Times that, after further deliberation, the Canadian Military Prosecution Service determined that the charge against Corporal Callsen should not be pursued. DND did not specify whether any other administrative measures would be taken against Callsen, noting that such information would be protected under the Privacy Act.
Callsen was charged in relation to the October 2020 death of 29-year-old Cpl. James Choi, a reservist from the Royal Westminster Regiment in B.C. Choi had been participating in Exercise SPARTAN RESCUE as part of the PPCLI’s fall training program at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright in Alberta. He was shot during a live-fire training exercise involving trench-clearing drills under low light conditions and taken to a hospital in Wainwright, but later died.
DND indicated that policy requires the use of specific personal protective equipment during live-firing where fragmentation munitions are being used. This includes at a minimum a helmet, hearing protection, ballistic eyewear, and fragmentation vests. However, it is not known whether any of these protections were lacking on the day of the incident.
Callsen has been a Regular Force member since 2013 and continues to serve as a rifleman with the PPCLI.