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Northern Saskatchewan MP calls on government to do more for La Loche

An MP who represents the northern Saskatchewan riding where a shooting took place three years ago, said the federal government needs to do more for the community.

Georgina Jolibois said the $2.2 million pledged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not enough for La Loche, and he must do better.

“The key takeaway from the prime minister’s announcement in La Loche (Wednesday) morning was that he’s listening, but not hearing communities who know how to best help themselves,” Jolibois said.

“There is a difference between just listening and actually hearing.”

Trudeau made the funding announcement one day after the third anniversary of shootings at a high school and home that left four people dead and seven injured.

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He said the money, to be spread out over five years, will fund new programs and resources at Dene High School, and mental health services for students.

The high school submitted a proposal two years ago, requesting $15 million for programs, mental health counselling, and school renovations.

The NDP said local medical professionals are also calling for more investment in mental health and addictions services.

“It’s a bit insulting for the prime minister to say his government is listening when the difference between what they’re giving and what’s been asked for is so large,” Jolibois said.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said the province will spend money to build new housing for teachers and health-care staff in the community.

The school held a grand reopening on Jan. 18 to mark the completion of construction on the front entrance, the washrooms and a wellness area.

A student who was weeks away from his 18th birthday when he killed teenage brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine at their home before he fatally shot teacher’s aide Marie Janvier and teacher Adam Wood at the school.

He was sentenced as an adult to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years. The shooter is appealing his sentence and can’t be named.

With files from The Canadian Press

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