Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily press conference on COVID-19, in front of his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Sunday, April 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily press conference on COVID-19, in front of his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Sunday, April 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ban on assault-style guns top of mind for Trudeau, as Canada mourns Nova Scotia victims

At least 18 people were killed when a shooter opened fire in multiple communities

Legislation for a ban on assault-style weapons was coming to Ottawa before the pandemic led to the suspension of Parliament , Prime Minister Trudeau said Monday (April 20).

Much of the prime minister’s daily address was dedicated to the small communities of Nova Scotia that lost loved ones in a deadly mass shooting, including an RCMP constable, a nurse and an elementary school teacher. As of late Monday morning, RCMP said 19 people had died as a result of the shooting and that the death toll is expected to rise.

“A gunman claimed the lives of at least 18 people, among them a woman in uniform whose job it is to protect lives even if it endangers her own,” Trudeau said, calling the massacre “heartbreak on top of heartbreak” for a province and a country already dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Const. Heidi Stevenson was among the dead in a deadly mass killing Sunday.

“Const. Stevenson died protecting others. She was answering the call of duty, something she had done every day when she went to work for 23 years.”

Trudeau said his government had been “on the verge of introducing legislation to ban assault-style weapons across this country” before the pandemic hit.

In January, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair call a ban on assault rifles “an important step that perhaps could be accomplished in the near term.”

Trudeau did not answer a question about if the shooter, a 51-year-old denturist, was on any federal or police watch lists.

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions,” Trudeau said, noting the investigation into the mass shooting was in its early stages.

A virtual vigil for the victims will be held Friday, Trudeau added, as physical distancing rules prevent in-person gatherings.

READ MORE: Probe into mass killing in Nova Scotia continues as province grapples with the violence

– with files from The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Nova ScotiaRCMPShooting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District of Port Hardy considering allowing modular homes and short term rentals. (North Island Gazette File Photo)
Port Hardy considering short term vacation rentals and modular homes

Check out the online public hearing on Jan. 26

Creekside Apartment building. (Kimberley Kufaas Photography)
Half of the Creekside Apartment building reopens for tenants

Owners will be looking to rent out the other half of the building’s units tentatively by the spring.

Chris Voller with Gwa’sala First Nation hereditary chief Willie Walkus at a farewell gathering for Voller. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
North Island First Nations nominate RCMP officer for Reconciliation Award

Chris Voller nominated for work in the community over past nine years

Submitted photo of Town Park C Block apartment fire.
Apartment fire in Port Hardy forces residents to jump from building to save their lives

‘multiple people were transported to the hospital with injuries from falling’

Campbell River city council has given unanimous support to its mayor to continue the fight for the aquaculture industry on our coast. Black Press file photo
Campbell River city council unanimous in support of fish farms

‘I’m certainly not willing to roll over and accept a bad decision,’ says one councilor

B.C. Representative for Children and Youth Jennifer Charlesworth (Black Press files)
B.C. watchdog says mentally ill children and youth retraumatized in hospital

The number of children held under the Mental Health Act has increased an alarming 162 per cent in past decade

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Victoria waterfront

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

Most Read