Prime minister tells La Loche government will be there 'in years to come'

By The Canadian Press
January 29, 2016 - 5:30pm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has assured a Saskatchewan community scarred by a mass shooting that his government will offer support for years to come.

"The federal government will be there not just now through the difficult time, but in the weeks, months and indeed the years to come as we look to grieve, to heal and to ... thrive," Trudeau said Friday after meeting with leaders and residents of La Loche.

He did not commit to a request from Mayor Kevin Janvier that Ottawa and the province fund infrastructure, health and education in La Loche for the next 10 years.

"I was here very much to listen today," he said. "There is much that we heard today that we entirely agree with and we look forward to working with municipalities and ... the provinces to address these urgent challenges."

He said the shooting highlights deep social issues facing many aboriginal communities across the country and his Liberals were elected after promising to work with indigenous people to make their lives better.

"I can't speak for past governments, but I do know that governments of all stripes have not done enough to support and invest in northern and remote communities," Trudeau said.

"This is a reminder that in Canada everyone should have a real and fair chance to succeed regardless of where they were born, regardless of where they live."

Two teenage brothers were killed in a home and a teacher and an aide were shot dead at the high school in the Dene community on Jan. 22.

A 17-year-old boy, who can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder. Friends have said he was an outcast at home and a victim of bullying at school.

RCMP Supt. Grant St. Germaine said Friday that investigators have yet to uncover a motive.

He did say the response by La Loche Mounties the day of the shooting was "textbook."

"They followed their training to an exact T," St. Germaine said. "They did what they were trained to do and ... were able to apprehend the suspect very quickly and prevent further loss of life or injury."


Chris Purdy, The Canadian Press

©2016 The Canadian Press

Massive snowball fight likely to break world record

Join the Discussion

We are happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.