Despite The Globe and Mail's sensational headline, it is very doubtful that the enhanced 9-1-1 service would have made any difference in the sad Williams Lake incident. In order for GPS locating to work, three signal sources are required. A quick look at the wireless towers site map reveals Telus and Rogers each have one tower in/near Williams Lake. Assuming the victim's phone had power to keep sending a signal, the best that could have been done would have been to locate him to within about a 50km radius of Williams Lake, something the RCMP no doubt could have surmised without the aid of any big-city newspaper reporters or modern technology. The Globe's source for its story and headline was the victim's 17 year old girlfriend and apparently no attempt was made to contact Telus/Rogers to corroborate the theory.
The death is sad, but not as sad as the future lives that will be lost because headline hunting, ad-revenue chasing newspapers have mislead readers to believe their cell-phone is a remote GPS device capable of sending their location to emergency personnel. I am sorry the victim's family and friends and this tragedy are being used to sell newspapers.
Nothing sinister should be assumed because a death by other than obvious natural causes is referred to the coroner or that the RCMP will provide their evidence to the coroner rather than the media.