Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to stand beside the residents of La Loche today, one week after a deadly school shooting in the small northern Saskatchewan community.
“Today, I will visit La Loche, Saskatchewan, to personally express the country’s shock and sadness over last week’s tragic shootings,” Trudeau said in a statement. “It is both heartbreaking and devastating when lives so full of promise are taken from us too soon. On Jan. 22, four Canadians were senselessly killed. Seven more were injured, and the lives of countless others were altered by these terrible events.”
Trudeau said he’s looking forward to meeting the first-responders in La Loche to thank them for their courage last week. Then at 11:45 a.m., Trudeau, along with ministers Ralph Goodale, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron, Mayor Kevin Janvier and MP Georgina Jolibois, will meet with community leaders at the Ducharme Elementary School.
The prime minister will hold a media scrum at 4 p.m.
“I would like to extend my most heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims, and I would like to wish a rapid recovery to all those injured. Together, as a country, we join in mourning with the people of La Loche,” Trudeau said.
Staff at the La Loche Community School posted a message of solidarity on the school’s Facbook page, reminding the community and those affected by last week’s shooting that they are still in La Loche.
To the Students of LLCS Dene Building:
We’re still here.
The staff of the LLCS Dene Building is a lucky group of people. We spend our days helping the most precious parts of La Loche- our students- learn and grow. We get to see the strength, resilience, intelligence, and beauty of La Loche’s youth every day. Our dream is to see you achieve your dreams.
And this time away from you- from our classrooms, from our school- is hard. We miss you. The events on Friday were painful and scary and they won’t be forgotten. Some people have expressed concern that some of us have left and the fact is, we are hurt and we are healing but we are still here. Some people need to leave to get help. We don’t judge or condemn anyone who needs to be somewhere else to pick up the pieces, but we are choosing to move forward together, as a family and a community.
Families are formed by blood and by circumstance. We are the Dene building family. We are supporting each other so we can help support you. We will be back. We will rebuild. We will get better together.
So if you find yourself wondering where your teachers and school staff are, the answer is: we are in La Loche. Because truly, where else would we be?
On Jan. 22, two brothers, 17-year-old Dayne and 13-year-old Drayden Fontaine, were found dead in their home in La Loche.
The RCMP alleges a 17-year-old, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, killed the brothers before heading to the La Loch Community School where he opened fire on students and teachers. Teaching assistant Marie Janvier, 21, and teacher Adam Wood, 35, were killed in the school shooting; seven others were wounded and taken to hospital.
On Thursday three of the seven wounded were released from hospital in Saskatoon.
Earlier this week Cameron put a call out to schools across Saskatchewan to fly flags at half-mast on Friday at 9 a.m., and hold a moment of silence and prayer to show support and solidarity to the victims and the families affected by the La Loche tragedy.