LA LOCHE, SASK. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will travel to La Loche one week after the school shooting that plunged the northern First Nations community into shock.
The Prime Minister’s Office announced Thursday morning that Trudeau will travel to the town of about 3,000 people on Friday. The visit had been expected since federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale visited La Loche on Sunday and told reporters that Trudeau intended to make the trip. The prime minister has been in Ottawa this week for the first session of Parliament of the new year.
Trudeau is usually followed by many staffers and media, and his visit to the tiny Dene community comes as some residents have grown wary of the outside attention turned on their town in the wake of the shooting. Many in the tight-knit community had relatives injured in last Friday’s violence, which killed four people and wounded seven others.
On Wednesday, acting mayor Kevin Janvier said the town was in mourning, and asked reporters to keep their distance. “We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received over the last few days. As we continue to grieve, we ask the media to please respect our privacy,” he said in a statement.
According to local media reports, the bodies of two of the shooting victims will be brought back to La Loche from Saskatoon on Friday afternoon.
A public wake for another victim, 21-year-old Marie Janvier, is planned for Friday night.