Saskatchewan·CBC Forum

Your reaction to the La Loche shooting

We asked what you think of the La Loche shooting — you weighed in via the discussion on CBC Forum, our new attempt to encourage a different kind of conversation on our website.

Friday's violence in the small northern Saskatchewan town left 4 people dead

Candles and flowers were placed as a memorial near the La Loche, Sask., junior and senior high school as police investigate the scene of a daytime shooting at the school that left four people dead. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

The small, northern Saskatchewan town of La Loche is in mourning after shootings at two locations — including a school — left four people dead Friday.

Several others were wounded during the violence in the Dene community, home to about 3,000 people.

It is one of just a handful of a deadly school shootings that have taken place in Canada. The shooting has shocked the country and garnered condolences from many political leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

We posed the question to you: what did you think of the La Loche shootings? What impact will they have? You shared your thoughts, personal anecdotes and condolences via CBC Forum, our new attempt to encourage a different kind of conversation on our website.

Here are some of the most insightful, passionate and engaging comments we got in that discussion.

Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the username to see the comment in the blog format.

There was an outpouring of condolences for the town, most underlining a sense of Canadian community.

  • "In times like this we are all a Canadian family; we love you and care for you all in La Loche." — benny100mile
  • "I would like to send my condolences to the families and friends of those who died and those who were wounded. This is a wound in the heart of Canada, we are one family and when one is killed or wounded we all feel pain." — Anne Ashford-Hall
  • "From one small isolated northern community to another, our thoughts are with #LaLoche." — James Lindsay

Several showed sympathy through personal anecdotes.

  • "I teach middle school on [a] northern reserve. I couldn't bear the thought of losing my students or my ed. assistant in this fashion. Spirit bless them all." — Ken Babinchak
  • "My heart goes out to the community and particularly Mayor Janvier. I am also a mayor and I doubt that I would have the fortitude or resolve to continue to be able to lead my community through this dark time after experiencing such a devastating personal loss as his." — Trevor Lowey​

There were a few comparisons to the recent gun incidents in the United States.

  • "Senseless killings [are] totally unacceptable here in Canada. When we cry foul to gun violence south of the border is there any excuse for us to portray the same type of culture here? We offer our sympathies and condolences but urge the Government to take some more concerted efforts to rid of this menace in our society." — Raza Kara

A man holds a rosary as police investigate the scene of a shooting at the La Loche Community School in norther Saskatchewan on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. The shooting took place on Friday, leaving four people dead. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

Many offered their solutions for how to tackle situations like this ...

  • "We all need to get things going in areas across Canada starting industrious solutions that the people as a whole can get behind and give self worth. Not just ripping the resources and running. The youth need something and somewhere to express their ideas with peers and elders." — Darryl
  • "I would like to see all of our schools with PVR wifi cameras connected to a network with gun recognition software that will lock down the school in the event that it recognises a firearm. Yes, there will be false alarms and I am willing to accept them if it stops one killing." — flyercan
  • "The causes of an event like this are vastly complex. They can be understood, if Canadian society puts enough interest, energy and money towards that understanding. Sweeping generalizations based on bias, prejudice and limited knowledge are going to hinder rather than help. We should all think first, then act when we have the knowledge to act." — Habilis

... while others argued that not much could be said so soon after the incident.

  • "It is difficult to comment substantively unless we know the motive of the attack — other than to express our horror at gun violence, and our sorrow for the victims and their families. Access to guns has to be more controlled, as a matter of principle." — Carl

For the most part, the forum was swamped with messages of hope in the face of tragedy.

  • "I am — for better or worse — a proud U.S. citizen, and I was just as appalled as anyone else when I heard from a friend in Manitoba that this had happened. Shootings like this are a tragedy and a scourge no matter where they take place, and my heart goes out to all you guys north of the border … for what it's worth, you all have the love, sympathy and support of one of your noisy, crazy southern cousins. The United States has no better friend and brother than Canada, and the hearts and minds of people across the U.S. are with you." — Ethan Young
  • "I will feel concerned until each and every fact is truthfully uncovered and appropriately dealt with. Hurt feelings and a hurt community seemed to be the objective, but I get the feeling that the community goodness and will of La Loche, and surrounding communities, will prevail." — Sincere best hopes to La

You can read the full CBC Forum live blog discussion on La Loche below.

There will be continued CBC coverage from the community, where we are on the ground and sharing stories of a town in mourning.

Can't see the blog? Click here.