PM and premier issue statements on anniversary of Sask school shooting

PM marks Sask school shooting anniversary

LA LOCHE, Sask. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is remembering the anniversary of the deadly La Loche, Sask., school shooting, saying the tiny community has inspired the whole country.

Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting that killed two staff and wounded seven others in the high school.

Two teenage brothers were also killed in a nearby home.

Trudeau issued a statement Sunday that said in the year since the tragedy, the people of La Loche have shown resilience, determination to rebuild and optimism for a better future.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said in a separate statement that all of Saskatchewan wept with La Loche after the shooting.

He said the province has been working with the community to strengthen mental health supports, counselling services and programs in La Loche, and continues to measure the effectiveness of those supports.

“We resolve once again as a province to walk with you, to remember the lives that were lost far too soon, and to turn the pain of loss into seeds of hope for the future,” Wall said. 

A private day of remembrance in the community was planned for Sunday and there are no classes in the school Monday.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I join all Canadians in solemn commemoration of this anniversary,” Trudeau said in his statement.

“To the community of La Loche, please accept our deepest sympathies and know that you have our unwavering support.”

A student, who was 17 at the time, has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, second-degree murder and attempted murder. He is to be sentenced in the spring.

The school ended up being closed Friday after an anonymous threat was received, although RCMP determined it was not legitimate.

Earlier this month principal Greg Hatch was critical of the amount of support for the community since the shooting, saying that after the first month, the school was left on its own to make it through the year.

Provincial officials responded that there’s been a new 14-unit affordable rental housing project, more school counsellors, improvements to adult education and skills training, and the hiring of a mental-health nurse.

The government said it has also provided $480,000 dollars for priority projects at the La Loche Health Centre, including a new X-ray machine.

The Canadian Press

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