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

Bears are back and they’re not social distancing from humans

As you’re out working in your yard, take care of some items that might attract hungry bears

Funding available for South Cariboo charities

Funding is part of the Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Support Fund

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend about 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Risk of COVID-19 low in schools, Interior Health states

Medical Health Officer reassures parents as some children and staff head back to class June 1

Most Read