Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe addressed the media and the people of the province shortly after news broke Saturday of another death tied to the tragic crash of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus.
“I’m asking everyone to do what they can to support families that are suffering and a community that has been devastated by this loss — but a community that we know will persevere,” he said during remarks Saturday in Saskatoon.
As of late Saturday afternoon, 15 people had died following Friday’s collision between the Broncos bus and a semi truck on Highway 35, about 30 kilometres north of Tisdale.
With so many people across Saskatchewan involved in hockey at all levels, Moe said even people who didn’t know someone directly affected could relate to the tragedy.
“In these boys we see teammates. We see classmates. We see friends. We see brothers, sons and grandsons,” he said.
Moe said he’d been in contact with Humboldt Mayor Robert Muench, as well as the mayors of Tisdale and Nipawin. He said he’d offered any resources the province could provide, particularly in the areas of grief counselling and mental health supports for victims, their families and first responders.
RCMP issued an update Saturday saying they expected to take a significant amount of time determining what caused the crash.
Moe said the provincial Ministry of Highways was also investigating the incident, with an eye toward any issues with the roadway or intersection that might have contributed to the collision. He said the province would await those results and would act accordingly on any recommendations.
With it being just over two months since he won the Saskatchewan Party leadership to become premier, Moe said he was feeling the weight of his new office as he responded to the tragedy.
“I don’t know how you could prepare for something like this at any level. I don’t think anyone in the nation could prepare for an incident like this.”
He said he drew inspiration from the strength shown earlier in the day by team and community leaders in and around Humboldt.
“We are there for all of those that are impacted. And by ‘we’ I mean everyone across this province and across this nation. And we will persevere, but it will be tough.”