Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Tells la Loche That Government Will Be There 'In Years to Come'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Tells la Loche That Government Will Be There 'In Years to Come'

Article excerpt

Trudeau reassures wounded community

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LA LOCHE, Sask. - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shook hands and gave hugs as he tried to assure 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, housing 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, adding 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. Seven people were wounded.

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, but that the response by La Loche Mounties the day of the shooting was "textbook. …

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