Necessary supports still out of reach for victims of La Loche shooting

Months after the tragic school shooting in La Loche, victims are still not getting the full support they need in the aftermath of the event – support that was promised by the Sask. Party. 

“These victims didn’t ask to be in this terrible situation,” said NDP Deputy Leader and MLA for Athabasca Buckley Belanger. “There is still a lot of confusion and there are still a lot of people hurting from what happened in La Loche. We need to make sure that everyone who was touched by this tragedy is getting the support and help they need and deserve. Some are being refused the government supports they are owed. That’s unacceptable. We must help them get on with their lives as best they can.”

One victim was Charlene Klyne, a supply and probationary teacher at the school. As a result of her wounds, Ms. Klyne lost her vision and has had to go through extensive surgeries and physiotherapy. Her injuries have also made travel extremely difficult and painful; however, she constantly has to drive as far as Saskatoon for treatment because it hasn’t been made available in La Loche. On top of her medical problems, she is only receiving $360 every two weeks from the Workers’ Compensation Board, which is far from a minimum wage, let alone a working wage.

“I was victimized that day and it has continued ever since,” Klyne said. “Not having the services I need close to home and having to deal with the Workers’ Compensation Board has been an added burden on me and my family. It’s my hope, as it is for many others affected by the shooting, that we will eventually stop having to jump through hoops to get the help we need.”

Belanger is calling on the Sask. Party to listen to the concerns that are being brought forward by the victims of the shooting because it’s evident that many are still suffering.

“It’s heartbreaking and frustrating hearing stories from members of the La Loche community who feel like they are still tied to the tragic events because they aren’t getting the help they need,” said Belanger. “There were a lot of kind words said and promises made in the days following the tragedy but these victims need the Sask. Party to stand by those words and actually provide some help. It’s long past time for the Sask. Party to step up and give the proper supports.”