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Trudeau announces ban on 1,500 kinds of


assault weapons
 
Media caption Trudeau on weapons ban: "You don't need an AR-15 to bring down
a deer"

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced a long-promised ban on


assault-style weapons following the country's worst gun massacre in April.

New rules would make it illegal to sell, transport, import or use 1,500 varieties of
assault weapons.

The ban is effective immediately but there will be a two-year amnesty period for
law-abiding gun owners to comply.

Mr Trudeau also said he would introduce legislation, which has yet to pass, to offer
a buy-back programme.

Unlike the US, gun ownership is not enshrined in Canada's constitution, but gun
ownership is still popular, especially in rural parts of the country.

Mr Trudeau made a point of saying that most gun owners are law-abiding citizens,
but argued that assault-weapons serve no beneficial purpose.

"These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only — only to
kill the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time," he said in a press
conference on Friday.

"You don't need an AR-15 to bring down a deer."


The call to ban assault weapons was heightened after a number of high-profile
shootings -- in 2017, at a mosque in Quebec, in 2018 on a commercial street in
Toronto and most recently, in a rampage across the province of Nova Scotia that
became the deadliest shooting in Canada's history.

RCMP have said that the shooter was not licensed to own firearms, but had what
appeared to be an assault-style weapon, as well as other guns. The RCMP did not
specify which kind, so it is unknown if it will be covered by the ban.
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Mr Trudeau campaigned on the ban ahead of last November's election, and he said
he was planning on introducing the ban in March, but it was delayed because of
coronavirus.

His government had already expanded background check requirements and made it
tougher to transport handguns, prior to November's election.
 Does Canada have a gun problem?

More than 80,000 of these weapons are registered with the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police.

The government is able to ban the weapons immediately through current


regulation, but a buy-back programme would require multi-party support in
parliament and would likely cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars.

The ban is controversial politically. A petition against the ban started by


Conservative MP Glen Motz in December has more than 175,000 e-signatures.

Many of the weapons used in violent crime in Canada were not obtained legally,
and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said Mr Trudeau would do better to focus
on stopping guns from coming across the border than on banning law-abiding gun
owners.
The Globe and Mail reported that leaked documents show the buy-back
programme would be voluntary, and licensed owners would have their guns
grandfathered. Mr Trudeau had previously promised the programme would be
mandatory.

On Friday, Mr Trudeau would not confirm whether buy-backs would be voluntary,


but reiterated the buy-back programme would have to be supported by other
parties, and be fair to everyone.

"The next steps need to be ironed out," he said.


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Nova Scotia shooting: 'They had no idea the


hell they were going to face'
Over the span of 12 hours, a gunman posing as a police officer went on a rampage
across the province of Nova Scotia that became Canada's deadliest mass shooting.
Here's what people swept up in the tragedy recall.

Dan Jenkins had plans to see his daughter Alanna on Sunday, but a text from a
friend asking him if he'd spoken to her that morning alarmed him.

When she didn't pick up the phone, he decided to hop in his car and check on her,
driving an hour to her place in Wentworth. But when he got to the town, he was
turned back by an RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) blockade.

Meanwhile, his phone was being bombarded by text messages and calls from
Alanna's neighbours. There were fires, and possibly what sounded like an
explosion.

He parked his car, and walked about a quarter-mile to some police vehicles,
realising that something was very wrong. "I'm a dad. I've got to know where my
little girl is," he told them.

But it would be several days before he got confirmation that his daughter and her
partner Sean McLeod had been killed by 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, a denturist
who had a clinic outside Halifax.

Their bodies were found in their home, which was completely burned to the
ground, and coroners had to identify their remains. Their two Labrador retrievers
also died, Mr Jenkins says. Later, Mr Jenkins would learn they were two of 22
victims, the largest mass shooting in Canadian history.

The victims included two frontline healthcare workers, an elementary school


teacher and RCMP Constable Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the RCMP and
mother of two. All were adults, except for 17-year-old Emily Tuck, who was killed
alongside her two parents.

The killings spanned the 12 hours it took police to chase Wortman from
Wentworth all the way to Enfield, where he was shot and killed by police. With 16
different possible crime scenes across at least seven different towns in the
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province, the investigation involved over 25 different units within the RCMP as
well as support from the Canadian Armed Forces.

The complexities of the case meant that it took several days to identify all the
victims, and several more before the police could release a timeline. There are still
large gaps where Wortman's whereabouts are unknown.

All the while, Mr Jenkins was desperate to know what had happened to his
daughter, but also afraid of what he might learn.

"There are things we want to find out and there are [other things] I don't know if I
want to find out," Mr Jenkins told the BBC on Tuesday, before hearing the
devastating news.

The carnage began on Saturday evening, in the seaside community of Portapique,


about 50 km south of Wentworth. From there, police believe Wortman went on a
rampage across the province before dying in a shoot-out with police.

Located on the Bay of Fundy, Portapique has a year-round population of just about
100 people, no sidewalks, no street lights, and is a popular spot for summer homes
and weekenders looking for some relaxation. Local politician Tom Taggart says
Portapique is "just a typical rural community" where people know their
neighbours.

"These people woke up Saturday to sunshine, a spring day, in a beautiful, peaceful


community," he told the BBC. "They had no idea the hell they were going to face
the next morning."

Around 10:30pm, police got a report of gunshots in the area. But when they
arrived, several bodies were found strewn across the lawns and along the road, and
multiple homes were on fire. They also encountered a man who said he had been
shot at from a passing police cruiser by a man in an RCMP uniform.

 Police defend lack of emergency alert

Early into the investigation, police honed in on Wortman as a suspect. They heard
that he had three replica police cruisers, both in Portapique and at his other
residence in Halifax.

With Wortman's own home on fire, they thought he may have committed suicide.
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Believing it to be a limited crime scene, they cordoned off about a 2km-radius of


Portapique, and told residents to stay indoors. Over the course of the night, they
were able to locate all three vehicles, but were not able to find their suspect.

What they didn't know is that there was a fourth vehicle - a detail that would haunt
them in the days to come, as Wortman used the cover of the law to create
confusion.

Word of mouth travels fast in Nova Scotia, one of Canada's smallest provinces
with a population under one million, and news of the mayhem quickly spread.

Harry Sullivan, a reporter with the Saltwire Network based in Truro, wasn't
supposed to work that day. But the veteran journalist got in his car and headed to
Portapique on Sunday morning. As he passed through the town of Debert, about
halfway between his home and Portapique, he saw a police car driving "at a very
high rate of speed with its red and blues flashing" in the opposite direction.

"I thought: Why are they going that way when the action is the other way?" he told
the BBC.

As a journalist for over 40 years, Mr Sullivan says he's "covered some pretty nasty
stuff", including the 1998 Swissair Flight 111 crash that killed all 229 passengers
and crew. "I've never encountered anything like this," he says.

Police are still trying to determine a motive, but they believe Wortman's first
victim was his girlfriend, who escaped after being assaulted by him sometime
earlier on Saturday. Hiding in the woods overnight, she emerged around 6am
Sunday morning after calling 911. She told police about the fourth car, and gave
important details about what kinds of weapons Wortman may be carrying.
Nancy Hudson, who lived near Wortman in Portapique, told the National Post that
Wortman was "very jovial" but that "he had another side".

"He had an obsession with his girlfriend. Just being jealous about things with her. I
think that's where things got in the way," she said. "She was a beautiful girl."

Wortman also appears to have had a longstanding interest in the RCMP, which is
in charge of policing in the province. Several people have noted that Wortman told
them that he liked to fix up decommissioned police vehicles, and a copy of his high
school yearbook that has circulated on social media says "Gabe's future may
include being an RCMP officer".
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Believing they had located all of Wortman's police replicas the night before,
RCMP did not warn the public until 9:17am on Sunday that there was an active
shooter impersonating a police officer.

Shortly after, RCMP began receiving calls about a shooter over 50km north of
Portapique, in Wentworth. That is where Wortman is suspected of killing Alanna
Jenkins and her partner Sean McLeod, as well as their neighbour Tom Bagley. Ms
Jenkins and Mr McLeod were both correctional officers, and police say he knew
two of those three victims.

Ms Jenkin's father believes Mr Bagley had come over to check on the couple.

The suspect then went over to a friend's home, dressed as a police officer and
carrying a long gun. He banged on the door, but his friends did not let him in, and
called the police instead.

David Matthews says he was out walking with his wife near the highway in
Wentworth near Wentworth around 9am when he nearly encountered Wortman
himself.

"When we got halfway through the trail, I heard this pop. It was loud enough to be
a shot. It wasn't real close but it wasn't real far," he said. That pop, he now
believes, was his neighbour, Lillian Hyslop, being shot. She had moved to the area
just a few years ago with her husband.

They would often run into each other on walks, and Mr Matthews believes she was
just getting her daily exercise. "She was out walking a day before," he said. "I said
be safe… you never think that that's the end."

In the hours between his killing spree in Wentworth and his final confrontation
with police, Wortman was able to use the cover of his "very convincing" replica
RCMP cruiser and authentic police uniform to cause even more destruction.

"I've been a police officer for more than 30 years now, and I can't imagine a more
horrific set of circumstances than trying to search for someone who looks like
you," says Superintendent Darren Campbell, who was tasked with updating the
media on Friday.

He says a witness saw someone who appeared to be an RCMP officer pull over a
car in Debert, near Wentworth, and shoot the driver, before shooting another driver
who passed by. These two victims were reportedly Heather O'Brien and Kristen
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Beaton, both frontline healthcare workers with the Victorian Order of Nurses who
were out working with patients at the time of the attack.
Mrs Beaton's husband told CTV News his wife was in the early stages of
pregnancy, and they had watched reports of the shooting in Portapique on the news
the night before.

"We woke up (Sunday) morning and we just assumed it was over," Nick Beaton
told CTV.

Wortman's disguise would also lead to his tragic confrontation with Constable
Heidi Stevenson and Constable Chad Morrison. As one of the many RCMP
officers out on patrol that day, the two had agreed to meet up in Shubenacadie,
about 50km south of Debert.

Constable Morrison arrived at the meeting first, and when he saw another RCMP
cruiser heading towards him, he assumed it was Constable Stevenson. Instead, it
was Wortman, who began firing his weapon. Wounded, Morrison was able to drive
away and escape, while Wortman headed north on the highway. That's where he
ran into Stevenson, who was driving south to meet her colleague.

Police say he crashed into Constable Stevenson head-on, before shooting her and
setting both their cars ablaze. Constable Morrison has recovered from his injuries
and is out of hospital. When a bystander, reportedly Halifax resident Joey Webber,
stopped to help, Wortman shot him too, and stole his silver SUV.

About an hour after the showdown in Shubenacadie, and after killing one more
victim, Wortman's reign of terror would come to an end in a police shootout at a
petrol station in Enfield, about 100km south from Portapique, where the crimes
began.

The tragedy has hit the province hard at a time when people are already under
strain from coronavirus.

Restrictions on public gatherings mean that no mass vigil can be held, and funerals
will be small.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended a national online vigil on Friday evening,
and locals are hoping to plan in-person memorials after the threat of the virus has
passed. Mr Sullivan, the journalist who was called to the scene Sunday morning,
says that since the shootings the entire community has rallied.
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On sign posts and house windows, people have hung messages for the victims'
families reading "Nova Scotia strong" and "We will get over this".

"While people are obviously hurting, we are also resilient and the overall mood
that I am witnessing is one of pulling together to get through all this," he says.

The support has not gone unnoticed by Mr Jenkins, whose daughter Alanna was
killed. Seeing everybody's window with a candle in it "tells you that you have a
community that cares," he says.

But knowing that his daughter Alanna was just one of many victims, and that his
suffering is felt by "probably hundreds" of others is hard to bear.

"I wish it was just us grieving," he says.

Canada shooting: Virtual vigil for victims


due to Covid-19
A national virtual vigil will be held this week to honour the victims of
Canada's deadliest shooting, which unfolded in Nova Scotia as the province
was locked-down due to coronavirus.

Virus restrictions continue and authorities said they would not be lifted to allow
public gatherings to mourn victims.

At least 18 people were shot dead by a gunman during a 12-hour weekend


rampage.

The gunman was killed by police.

Who were the victims?

In the weeks leading up to her death, Heather O'Brien was busy caring for the
elderly during the provincial-wide lockdown.

"First day off after 6 back tomorrow. First day I allowed myself to relax an inch,"
she wrote on her Facebook page on 9 April.
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"My small space in life is marching on. I know atm [at the moment] all I love and
cherish are ok. I am truly blessed."

Ten days later, Ms O'Brien would be killed near her hometown of Debert, Nova
Scotia when a gunman disguised as a policeman killed at least 18 people, burning
several buildings before dying in a shoot-out with police.

Media captionPM Trudeau: Canadians "heartbroken" after country's deadliest


shooting

Ms O'Brien's daughter Darcy Dobson said on Facebook that "a monster" murdered
her mother.

"The pain comes and goes in waves. I feel like I'm outside of my own body. This
can't be real. At 9:59 am she sent her last text message to our family group chat. By
10:15 she was gone," she wrote Sunday evening, about ten hours after her mother
was killed.

Ms Dobson said she wants "everyone to remember how kind she was" and how
much she loved being a nurse and a grandmother, not "the horrible way that she
died".
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Ms O'Brien had continued to work on the front lines during the Covid-19
pandemic, as a home-care nurse with the non-profit Victorian Order of Nurses
(VON), with whom she had been employed for 17 years. Another VON employee,
Kristen Beaton, was also killed during the shooting.

Ms Beaton, worked for VON as a continuing care assistant and had been on the job
when she was killed, according to her neighbour Penny Marchbank.

She was married and had a young child.


"Kristen Beaton however will live on with all of the wonderful things she has done
in her short lifetime and the thousands of lives she has effected in so many loving
and wonderful ways," her neighbour said on Facebook.

VON president and CEO Jo-Anne Poirier told the BBC: "All of our frontline care
providers are heroes. Yesterday, two of those heroes, Heather O'Brien and Kristen
Beaton, were taken from their families, and from VON. We mourn their loss, and
we mourn for their families".

Constable Heidi Stevenson, who had served in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
force for 23 years, was on duty when she was killed.

"Constable Stevenson died protecting others, she was answering the call of duty,
something she had been doing with the RCMP for 23 years," Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau said Monday during his daily press briefing.

"With unwavering courage & compassion, the RCMP patrol these roads to keep us
safe as they have for hundreds of years."

Jenny Kierstead confirmed on Facebook that her sister, Lisa McCully, a mother of
two, was also one of the victims.

McCully had been a school teacher at Debert Elementary School, according to the
school's website.

"Our hearts are broken today as we attempt to accept the loss of my sister, Lisa
McCully, who was one of the victims of the mass shooting in Portapique last
night," she wrote on Facebook.

"Our condolences go out to the other family members who are affected by this
tragedy. Thank you for your support, it's a hard day."
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Not all the victims - all adult men and women, according to police - have been
named.
The CBC reported that correctional officer Sean McLeod and his partner Alanna
Jenkins were among the victims.

An online fundraiser has been set up to help pay for the funeral costs of a family of
three, Jolene Oliver her husband Aaron (Friar) Tuck and their daughter Emily
Tuck.

Ms Oliver's sister Tammy Oliver-McCurdie began the fundraiser, and says her
niece was 17 years old, played the fiddle and enjoyed fixing cars with her dad.

Married couple Jamie Blair and Greg Blair were killed Sunday, according to a
relative.
"My family has been through so much, no one should have ever had to deal with
this. I love you both so much, & sending all my love to my family & every other
families who lost someone today," said Jessica MacBurnie on Facebook.
The Globe and Mail reported that Corrie Ellison, a social worker worker in his
40s, was also among the victims.

Charlene Bagley said her father, Tom Bagley, died while checking in on an
explosion that was allegedly caused by the gunmen.

"He died trying to help, which if you knew him, you knew that was just who he
was all the time. I know he meant something to so many people," she said on
Facebook.

What do authorities know about the shooting?

The deadliest shooting in modern Canadian history unfolded over 12 hours at the
weekend, beginning on Saturday near the rural town of Portapique.

Little is known about what motivated the suspected shooter, 51-year-old Gabriel
Wortman, or how he chose his victims.

At about 23:32 on Saturday (02:32 GMT on Sunday), officers responded to a


"firearms complaint" at a home and advised residents to lock themselves indoors.

The officers found "several casualties" inside and outside the home, but did not
find the suspect.
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A neighbour told CBC News that he saw three properties were also on fire in the
area at the time.

The gunman was identified on Sunday after carrying out shootings over a series
crime scenes that police said were "scattered across the province".

Authorities are in the early stages of the "extremely complex investigation", said
Chief Superintendent of the Nova Scotia RCMP Chris Leather.

Including the suspect, there are some 19 victims across 16 crime scenes, including
five structure fires, Mr Leather said on Monday.

"We believe there may be victims within the remains of those homes which burned
to the ground," Mr Leather said.

Some victims were known to the suspect but others were selected at random, Mr
Leather said, though he would not elaborate on the nature of these relationships.

At some points in the 12-hour rampage, the suspect travelled in a car made to look
like an RCMP cruiser. The replica looked "identical in every way" to an authentic
one, Mr Leather said.

He also wore an RCMP uniform, either an "actual uniform or very good


facsimiles", he said.

"The fact that this individual had a uniform and a police car at his disposal
certainly speaks to it not being a random act."

RCMP officials say more victims may be identified in the remains of some of the
burnt-out buildings.

Due to provincial restrictions on public gatherings put in place to stop the spread of
Covid-19, there can be no mass public vigil.
 Gunman kills at least 17 in Nova Scotia
 Canadian PM promises 'justice' at Iran plane crash memorial

Instead, a national online vigil will be held on Friday evening, which Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau says he will attend virtually.

"As we learn more about what happened yesterday, it important that we come
together to support communities," he said Monday.
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Mr Trudeau said that his Liberal party was "on the verge" of introducing bans to
assault style weapons before parliament was dissolved amid the coronavirus
outbreak.

"We have every intention of moving forward", once the outbreak is curbed, he
said.

The White House sent condolences from US President Donald Trump.

"The United States and Canada share a special, enduring bond," a statement read.

"As friends and neighbours, we will always stand with one another through our
most trying times and greatest challenges. The United States strongly condemns
these murders, and our prayers are with the victims and their families."

Canada shooting: Gunman kills at least 18 in


Nova Scotia
A gunman disguised as a policeman killed at least 18 people, including a
female Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer, in the worst mass
shooting in Canada's modern history.

The 12-hour rampage started late on Saturday and ended with a car chase.

Police said the suspect shot people at different locations in Nova Scotia, many of
them randomly. He was killed in a confrontation with police.

He was reported to have been driving what looked like a police car.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the attack as "a tragedy".

"Violence of any kind has no place in Canada. We stand with you and we grieve
with you," he said, addressing the nation on Monday.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters this was "one of the most
senseless acts of violence in our province's history".

The RCMP said on Monday that they believe there may be more victim within the
remains of homes torched as part of the weekend's attacks.
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Mr Trudeau said that his government was "on the verge" of introducing bans to
assault style weapons before parliament was dissolved amid the coronavirus
outbreak.

"We have every intention of moving forward", once the outbreak is curbed, he
said.

What do we know about what happened?


At about 23:32 local time on Saturday (02:32 GMT on Sunday), the RCMP said
officers were responding to a "firearms complaint" at a home in the small town
of Portapique and advised residents to lock themselves indoors.

The officers found "several casualties" inside and outside the home, but did not
find the suspect.

A neighbour told CBC News that he saw three properties were also on fire in the
area at the time.

At 08:54 on Sunday, the RCMP said there was an "active shooter investigation"
and that there were several victims. It identified the suspect as 51-year-old Gabriel
Wortman, who owned three properties in Portapique.

RCMP officers continued pursuing Wortman for hours, following a series of crime
scenes that police said were "scattered across the province" and which they are still
working to piece together.

Wortman was later seen in the Glenholme and Debert areas, east of Portapique,
driving what the appeared to be an RCMP vehicle and possibly wearing an RCMP
uniform.

"There's one difference between his car and our Royal Canadian Mounted Police
vehicles: the car # [registration plate]. The suspect's car is 28B11, behind rear
passenger window. If you see 28B11, call 911 immediately," the force tweeted.

Wortman then changed cars and was seen driving southbound along on Highway
102 from the Brookfield area in a silver Chevrolet Tracker, according to the
RCMP.

At 11:40, the RCMP said that Mr Wortman had been taken into custody.
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It later emerged that he was killed after being intercepted by officers at a petrol
station in Enfield, about 92km south of Portapique. Witnesses reported seeing a
body lying on the ground.

Sense of the 'incomprehensible'


By Jessica Murphy, BBC News, Toronto

You could hear it in the voices of the RCMP officers on Sunday as they spoke to
the media - a weary disbelief, a sense of the "incomprehensible".

The update came after a long 12-hour manhunt - and at the beginning of what will
be a complex investigation over multiple crime scenes.

Only now is the full scope of the tragedy beginning to be revealed.

Like many countries, Canada has experienced mass killings before.

Canadians would usually gather to commemorate the victims at vigils and funerals,
seeking solace in community.

That this happened during the coronavirus pandemic means Canadians will not be
able to come together in the same way to heal.

What do we know about the victims?

RCMP Constable Heidi Stevenson, who had served in the force for 23 years, was
among those killed.
"Heidi answered the call of duty and lost her life while protecting those she
served," Nova Scotia RCMP Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Lee
Bergerman said in a Facebook post.

"Two children have lost their mother and a husband his wife. Parents lost their
daughter and countless others lost an incredible friend and colleague,"
Commissioner Bergerman said.

Lisa McCully, a teacher at Debert Elementary School, was also killed in the attack,
according to a statement from the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.
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It said union members - along with colleagues, students, family and friends - were
heartbroken, adding that Ms McCully was known "not only as a passionate teacher
but as a shining love in their lives".

Other victims listed by the Globe and Mail newspaper included Jamie Blair and
Greg Blair; and Heather O'Brien, a nurse from Truro, east of Portapique.

A male RCMP officer suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Authorities are still trying to establish the final death toll.

After learning about the shooting, Mr Trudeau said his "first thought" was for
Nova Scotians, "such a connected group".

"I know the vast majority of Nova Scotians will have a direct link with one or more
of the victims," he said.

What do we know about the gunman?

Neighbours say Wortman owned a successful denture clinic in Dartmouth, and had
a strong interest in RCMP and RCMP memorabilia, the Globe reports.

Chief Superintendent Chris Leather said he was not aware that Wortman had a
history of violence, or extremist political views, and that there did not appear to be
anything linking the victims to each other.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said she believed the gunman had an initial
"motivation" that "turned to randomness", according to CBC News.

The police provided few details about how the suspected gunman died.

At a press conference on Monday, Mr Trudeau celebrated the first responders at


the scene in Nova Scotia but did not name Wortman.

"Do not give him the infamy" he so wanted, the prime minister said.

Are mass shootings common in Canada?

Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada where gun ownership laws are stricter
than in the neighbouring United States.
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Last year, two fugitive teenagers confessed to killing three people, including an
Australian-US couple on holiday, in northern British Columbia.

In 2017, university student Alexandre Bissonnette shot dead six worshippers at a


Quebec City mosque.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been targeted in a number of shootings,
including in an attack that left three officers dead in Moncton, New Brunswick, in
2014.

The 1989 Polytechnique massacre in Montreal left 14 women dead. A gunman sent
all the men out of a classroom at an engineering college before opening fire on the
women in what was - until this weekend - the country's deadliest shooting.

Canada shooting: Police defend lack of


emergency alert
Police say they were preparing an emergency alert when police shot and killed
the suspect in the worst mass shooting in Canada's modern history.

Authorities have been criticised for relying on social media to alert Nova Scotia
residents the manhunt for the gunman.

At least 22 people were killed over 13 hours that spanned Saturday night to Sunday
morning.

Police are yet to determine a motive for the crime.

The victims include a 17-year-old, a pregnant healthcare worker and a veteran


Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer.

Family members of some victims have spoken publicly about whether a province-
wide alert sent to all residents of Nova Scotia could have prevented some of the
deaths.

Nova Scotia Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Chief Supt Chris Leather
said that from the time of the initial calls to emergency services on Saturday
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evening reporting gunshots in the rural community of Portapique, police officials


were processing fast-moving information.

Responders found "several casualties inside and outside of a home" but no suspect.

They also discovered "multiple sites in the immediate area, including structures
and vehicles that were on fire".

One tweet was sent out at the time warning residents of Portapique, where the
rampage began, to stay indoors due to a "firearms complaint".

Police set up two parameters to hunt for the suspect.

It was at around 08:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Sunday morning that police met
with a key witness who gave them critical information about the gunman, Chief
Supt Leather said.

After that, the RCMP began providing frequent updates on Twitter, which were
picked up by media.

Victims were also found in the communities of Wentworth, Debert,


Shubenacadie/Milford and Enfield.

The search ended shortly before midday on Sunday when the suspect was located
by police at a service station in Enfield, north of the provincial capital of Halifax.
He was shot and later died.

At around 10:15 that morning provincial officials contacted police to offer an


emergency alert, Chief Supt Leathers said.

They were in the process of preparing our emergency notification when the
gunman was shot by police.

The investigator said he was "very satisfied with the messaging" by police given
the complexity of the crime they were working with.

What more do we know about the investigation?

Little is known about what motivated the suspect, Gabriel Wortman, 51 or why he
chose his victims.
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Police said on Wednesday that while their investigation revealed the suspected
shooter acted alone, "we are continuing to investigate whether anyone may has
assisted him leading up to the incident - that is still part of the active investigation".

They are expected to release a more detailed timeline of the course of events in the
coming days. The rampage took place in multiple communities and over 13 hours.

There are 16 crime scenes being investigated, including multiple fires.

Police say the hunt for the gunman was hampered by the fact he was driving a
vehicle that looked like a police cruiser and was wearing a police uniform. How he
procured both is part of the investigation.

The Guardian
Trudeau announces Canada is banning
assault-style weapons
Move comes after murder of 22 people in worst mass shooting in Canada’s
history

Canada has banned assault-style weapons following the murder of 22 people in the
worst mass shooting in the country’s history, Justin Trudeau announced on Friday.

“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest
number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such
weapons in Canada,” said the prime minister. “Effective immediately, it is no longer
permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military-grade assault weapons in this
country.”

After the Nova Scotia shooting last week, Trudeau said his government intended
“strengthen gun control” to fulfil a campaign promise to restrict certain weapons – a
plan that had initially been derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on Tuesday that the Nova Scotia gunman,
Gabriel Wortman, had been armed with two semi-automatic rifles and several semi-
automatic pistols.
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Supt Darren Campbell said that one of the guns could be described “military-style
assault rifle”.

The new ban would probably not have stopped Wortman from obtaining his weapons:
he did not have a license to possess or purchase firearms, and police have said they
believe the guns were obtained illegally in Canada and the United States.

The prime minister announced a two-year “amnesty period” to allow gun owners to
comply with the law. The ban covers 1,500 models and variants of firearms.

Canada has one of the highest per capita gun ownership rates in the world, at an
estimated 34.7 firearms per 100 people, according to the Small Arms Survey in 2018.
The country still trails far behind the US, which has close to 120 guns per 100 people.

While Trudeau promised in 2015 that a Liberal government would make it more difficult
for gun owners to acquire certain types of firearms, it wasn’t until the most recent
election campaign that the prime minister promised a full ban on “military-style assault
weapons” if re-elected.

“As long as Canadians are losing their loved ones to gun violence, not enough has
changed,” Trudeau said in September. “We know you do not need a military-grade
assault weapon, one designed to kill the largest amount of people in the shortest amount
of time, to take down a deer.”

At present, the Firearms Act does not make a distinction between “military-style”
weapons and other type of long guns – meaning the government would also need to add
amend the law.

Trudeau had also previously promised to ban the Ruger Mini-14 rifle, the weapon used
in the 1989 École Polytechnique shooting in Montreal, in which 14 women were
murdered.

The move to heavily restrict access to certain firearms will probably prompt anger from
the opposition Conservative party and Canada’s gun lobby – but a ban of certain
weapons can be carried out through cabinet, bypassing the need for legislation.

“Justin Trudeau is using the current pandemic and the immediate emotion of the
horrific attack in Nova Scotia to push the Liberals’ ideological agenda to make major
firearms policy changes,” said the Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer, following
Trudeau’s comments. “Taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens does nothing to
stop dangerous criminals who obtain their guns illegally.”

Ken Price, whose daughter Samantha was hurt in a 2018 mass shooting in Toronto in
which two people were killed and 13 injured, said he was “pleased to see movement” on
the issue.
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“Having weapons that can be configured so that they inflict massive damage just doesn’t
seem like the right thing to do – nor is it reflective of what the average Canadian wants,”
he said. “And this still leaves plenty of choice for hunters, fishermen and sport
shooters.”

Price said Canada should also tighten controls on handguns and introduce “red flag
laws” – enabling authorities to remove firearms from individuals deemed a risk to
themselves or others – but said he was “pleased to see movement” on assault weapons.

An “overwhelming majority” majority of Canadians – nearly four out of five people –


support the ban, according to a poll from the Angus Reid Institute, released Friday.

‘Hate is infectious’: how the 1989 mass


shooting of 14 women echoes today
on 6 December 1989, a young man walked into Montreal’s Polytechnique
engineering school with a semi-automatic rifle and killed 14 women, injured 14
others (including four men), then killed himself.

Marc Lépine’s page-long suicide note, written in French, made his motivations
clear: “Feminists have always enraged me,” he wrote. “I have decided to send the
feminists, who have always ruined my life, to their Maker.”

In Canada, 6 December is now a national day of remembrance and action on


violence against women.

But the events of three decades ago are not a horrifying memory safely confined to
a bygone era. From the viewpoint of 2019, the Polytechnique shooting now seems
like an unfortunate foretelling of things to come.

Two weeks ago, a young woman in Chicago was killed by a man after she ignored
his catcalls. Last November, a man whose hatred of women was well-documented
online shot six women at a hot yoga studio, killing two. And seven months earlier,
a man named Alek Minassian drove a van on to a Toronto sidewalk and killed 10
people, eight of them  A victim is wheeled away from the scene after a gunman
opened fire in a packed classroom on 6 December 1989. Photograph: AP

The sexually frustrated young man behind the van’s wheel – a self-described incel,
or “involuntary celibate” – saw his act as retribution against women who had
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starved him of the affection he felt he was rightfully owed. Minassian said he was
inspired by Elliot Rodger, an incel and wannabe pickup artist who shot 20
people in 2014.

“I think the link between Polytechnique and the van attack is so clear, so direct, so
obvious,” said Julie Lalonde, a Canadian educator focused on violence against
women. The link is more than a virulent hatred of women – it is also the ability for
misogynists and antifeminists to find support for that hatred in both fringe groups
and in mainstream culture.

Finding that support is easier now than it’s ever been.

The pseudonymous “Liz” (a volunteer researcher on hate groups in Canada who


“outs” extremists – and who uses a fake name because of the volume of violent
threats her alter ego receives) says misogyny is a powerful undercurrent in all alt-
right and white supremacist online groups.

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“Where do you really start to discuss the intersection between misogyny and hate
groups, when they are really one and the same?” asked Liz, adding that hatred of
women often serves as a base upon which to build other forms of hate.

“The fact that [misogyny] acts as such a pipeline makes the incel movement
exceptionally dangerous,” Liz continued. “I think that’s actually an aspect that
people overlook; people look at it as kind of insular, like it’s in a vacuum – ‘Oh,
they just hate women.’ But hate is infectious. When you learn to hate, you learn to
hate more, and more, and more. It’s a drug.”

When Lépine began composing his ideology back in the 1980s, he didn’t have an
internet commiseration machine; in his suicide note, he said it took him seven
years to form his extremist views. Those views ultimately ended in a mass
shooting and a meticulously assembled hitlist of 19 accomplished women he would
have killed if not for a “lack of time”.
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 A service at Notre Dame Basilica for some of the 14 women killed by Marc
Lépine in Montreal’s École Polytechnique. Photograph: Christopher Morris -
Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Lépine targeted Polytechnique specifically because the women there were pursuing
careers in engineering – a discipline he believed should be reserved for men.

Nathalie Provost was 23 when Lépine shot her. Four bullets from his legally
obtained rifle entered her body and changed her life forever.

Read more

Lépine had entered her classroom and sent the 50 men and nine women to opposite
sides of the room. Then he ordered the men to leave.

“He told us that we were there because he was against feminists,” she told the
Guardian. “I answered back, ‘We are not feminists. We are just engineering
students, and if you want to study at Polytechnique you just have to apply and
you’ll be welcomed.’ And then he shot.” Six of the nine women in that room were
killed.

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Provost believes the same forces that radicalised the Polytechnique shooter were at
work with Minassian and Alexandre Bissonnette, the young man who killed six
people inside a Quebec City mosque in 2017. Both young men were radicalised
online in communities that legitimized their hatred; in Bissonnette’s case, his
online search history revealed he had researched feminism before deciding to kill
Muslims.

A woman or girl is killed every 2.5 days in Canada, yet the issue went unaddressed
during the country’s 2019 federal election. Lalonde and Mélissa Blais, a Montreal
university professor and expert on the Polytechnique shooting, both say that a
major obstacle to solving the issue is a widespread unwillingness to call violence
against women what it is: an act of hatred.

 A flower is placed on a commemorative plaque to mark the 25th anniversary of


the École Polytechnique massacre in Montreal. Photograph: Anadolu
Agency/Getty Images
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“Marc Lépine was not the last of the dinosaurs; it’s the opposite. It’s worrying. We
absolutely need to renew our view of current forms of antifeminism, and to be able
to speak about it without being afraid,” said Blais.

That’s why she campaigned to have the city change a commemorative plaque
hanging outside of a Montreal park honouring the women killed at Polytechnique.
Instead of ambiguously reminding visitors to contemplate the “victims of the
Polytechnique tragedy”, the brand-new sign speaks in no uncertain terms: “This
park is named in the memory of 14 women assassinated in an antifeminist attack.”

For Blais and Liz, it’s critical to recognize that misogyny and antifeminism are
often not ends in themselves, but rather strings that people can follow to the most
extreme, violent forms of hatred.

And there’s no doubt that if Lépine existed at the same time as online hate groups
and YouTube extremism, he would have used the internet to feed and shape his
ideology and plan the shooting, said Liz. “The only difference now is that he
would have live-streamed it.”

Toronto mass shooting victims sue gun


maker Smith & Wesson in $150m lawsuit
This article is more than 5 months old

 Two people died and 13 were injured in July 2018 attack


 Lawsuit claims company created ‘ultra-hazardous product’
 Victims of a mass shooting in Toronto have launched a class action lawsuit against gun
manufacturer Smith & Wesson, alleging the company failed to implement key safety features in
its weapons that could have prevented the 2018 attack.

The suit, the first of its kind in Canada, was filed in Ontario superior court on Monday.
Plaintiffs are seeking C$150m in damages from the American company.

On the evening of 22 July 2018, Faisal Hussain opened fire on the city’s bustling
Danforth avenue, killing two people and injuring 13 others. He killed himself following a
shootout with police.
The weapon used in the attack – an M&P40 semi-automatic pistol – had been stolen
from a gun dealer in the province of Saskatchewan.

The lead plaintiffs in the case are Skye McLeod and Samantha Price, recent high-school
graduates and friends who were celebrating a birthday when Hussain opened fire. As
pedestrians ran for cover, Price was hit in the leg and her friend, 18-year-old Reese
Fallon, was shot dead. A young child in the area, Julianna Kozis, 10, was also killed.
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The suit, which has not yet been certified by a judge, alleges Smith & Wesson created an
“ultra-hazardous product” and delayed implementing technology that prevents
unauthorized users from firing the weapon. The claims within the lawsuit have not been
proven in court.

Often taking the form fingerprint sensor or a radio-frequency microchip, numerous


“smart gun” technologies exist that can prevent unauthorized firing of a weapon. Gun
lobby groups in the United States, led by the National Rifle Association, have fought for
years against widespread adoption of the safety features.

“What we have right now, is a technology from the 19th century,” said Malcolm Ruby,
the lawyer representing victims’ families, told the Guardian. “People aren’t still using
rotary telephones any more. They’ve moved on. But this is an industry that has refused
to modernize.”

Without the technology in place, the lawsuit claims it was “reasonably foreseeable”
people such as Hussain could inflict widespread damage with a stolen weapon.

The suit also refers to an agreement between Smith & Wesson and the US government,
dating back nearly 20 years, in which the company pledged to make smart gun
technology a key feature in new firearm designs – but never did.

“Despite the agreement, in 2005 the defendant introduced the … model of the handgun
used in the Danforth shooting, which failed to include smart gun technology,” the
lawsuit read.

Following a flurry of litigation against American gun manufacturers in the late 1990s,
the companies are now largely shielded from claims of negligence in the US. But families
of victims in the Sandy Hook shooting won a key victory last month, when the US
supreme court allowed a lawsuit against gun maker Remington Arms to go ahead. There
are no special protections for the manufacturers in Canada, said Ruby.
The lawsuit is open to victims of the shooting who suffered injury while fleeing the
gunfire, as well as the families of victims. Smith & Wesson has stated it does not
comment on the pending litigation.

“If you have a product that can harm people – you’re obligated to fix that,” said Ruby.
“And we know these guns have caused widespread harm over the years – and will

Canadian government's gun ban


limits options for P.E.I.
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shooters
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Heather Ford takes aim at a Women Shooters of P.E.I. workshop under the watchful eye of a
member of the P.E.I. Rifle Association. The workshop was held at the range at Alexandra Point. -
Contributed

The gun ban announced May 1 was widely cheered as a step toward a safer Canada, but
some recreational shooters on P.E.I. are not pleased.

On May 1, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that “military assault-style”


weapons will be placed on the list of prohibited firearms. The ban focused on nine
categories, as well as any firearm with a bore larger than 20 millimetres and/or with a
muzzle energy greater than 10,000 joules. Together, it adds up to a list of more than
1,500 firearms.

Nelline Cronje, a member of the Women Shooters of P.E.I. who has been hunting and
competing in firearms sports for decades, called cabinet’s decision to ban the guns
“emotional”.

“The problem is, it doesn’t address firearms violence in Canada. The majority of firearms
used in violent crimes are obtained illegally,” said Cronje.

The ban directly impacts her recreation activities and her wallet.
The federal government firearms ban announced May 1 includes nine principal models of semi-
automatic rifle, including the AR-15, which has been used in a number of U.S. mass shootings,
M16, M4 and AR-10, as well as their component part known as the “upper receiver. It also bans
the Ruger Mini-14 rifle, which is the style of gun used in the Ecole Polytechnique massacre in
Montreal in 1989.

Following is a list of what’s banned:

 M16, M4, AR-10, AR-15 rifle (upper receiver also prohibited) 


 Ruger Mini-14 rifle
 Vz58 rifle
 M14 rifle
 Beretta CX4 Storm carbine
 Robinson Armament XCR rifle
 CZ Scorpion EVO 3 carbine and pistol
 SIG Sauer SIG MCX and SIG Sauer SIG MPX carbine and pistol (upper receiver also
prescribed as a prohibited device)
 Swiss Arms Classic Green and Seasons Series rifles

In addition, all firearms with one or more of the following characteristics are prohibited: 

 Firearms with a bore 20 millimetres greater (e.g., grenade launchers)


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 Firearms capable of discharging a projectile with a muzzle energy greater than 10,000
Joules (e.g. sniper rifles)

Cronje's group had a workshop planned for the fall to introduce women to a variety of
firearms in a safe environment with one-on-one instruction.

“Most, if not all, the (guns) we were planning to introduce the ladies to on that day, we
now can’t use. We spent hundreds of dollars purchasing ammunition for those already,
so we are out of pocket already. So, it’s bad news for many, many people,” said Cronje.

She’s confident Canada has some of the safest gun laws in the world but feels this goes
too far.

What’s getting prohibited on the new list are some of the firearms she uses to compete
with in International Practical Shooting Confederation events.

“You need a shotgun, a pistol and an AR-15-type firearm for those competitions. It’s
sad, really,” she said. “It’s an inanimate object. It depends on who handles it. The safety
depends on the handler; it’s totally the handler’s responsibility.”

Dave Hansen agrees. He has been president of the P.E.I. Rifle Association for the last
four years. The 100-member group shoots at two ranges on P.E.I., as well as at events
across Canada and internationally.

He says rifles are no different than golf clubs.

“In golf, you’re trying to get a hole in one. In target sports you’re trying to get a v-bull
(bullseye),” said Hansen.

Gun ownership in Canada is highly regulated, and Hansen worries the new ban will only
affect law-abiding gun owners. As the government endeavours to tighten the
regulations around gun ownership, it turns into more work for volunteers like him.
Hansen is working full-time, filling out paperwork to abide by the rules and keep his
organization in operation.

He questions the cost of enacting the stringent rules.

“How much are you going to invest in resources, financial or personnel or whatever
else? How much more are you going to throw at the diminishing number of crimes
committed by a legal group of owners?” Hansen asked, rhetorically.
Some shooters on P.E.I. are unhappy with the new list of prohibited firearms issued by the
federal government on May 1.
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But rather than mount a protest, Hansen has decided to focus on what the members of
his group of recreational and competitive target shooters are – community-minded,
inclusive and supportive – rather than what they are not – reckless or violent.

Charlottetown MP Sean Casey said the ban fulfils an election promise.

Made with an Order in Council, it was the result of a “broad consultation process” with
the public and experts from law enforcement.

The ban focused on modern, semi-automatic weapons with large magazine capacities
that are commonly available, said Casey.

“What this has done is effectively frozen the market,” said Casey.

Casey, who is not a gun enthusiast, said he doesn’t have the background to debate the
specific contents of the banned list.

“I can say, I do have faith in the process that was followed, that it was a thorough
process,” he said. “Seventy-eight per cent of Canadians wanted to see this.”

To the comment that opponents described the OIC as undemocratic, Casey explained
that an Order in Council is a legitimate, prescribed power of the government.

“Section 117 of the Criminal Code gives cabinet the power to identify weapons to be
banned, so long as they aren’t necessary for hunting and sporting activities,” said Casey.

The issue isn’t finished yet as there will be legislation to come from the announcement
which will be fully debated in the House of Commons, he said.

As for concerns that the ban was based on appearance alone, Casey pointed to input
from law enforcement when choosing what to ban.

“When you implement (experts’) advice, there wouldn’t be overreach. This has been
targeted at weapons that are designed to kill the maximum number of people in the
least amount of time.”

Firearms safety is not a simple issue, said Casey, adding there is certainly room for
improvement in border security to catch illegal firearms as they enter the country and in
better community and mental health supports to prevent gun violence.

“There are substantial investments being made in border security and mental health,
there’s no question about it. I know the argument of the gun lobby is that’s only where
our efforts should be. The direction we’ve take is to make investments, while at the same
time getting these assault-style weapons off the street. It’s a multi-pronged approach.”

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Nova Scotia mass shooting shows


how deadly unlicensed gun owners
can be
Tokens of appreciation were placed outside of RCMP detachments throughout the Annapolis
Valley Monday following a horrific shooting spree that ended with police taking down the
suspect at a gas station in Enfield Sunday. Photos by Ashley Thompson and Adrian Johnstone

R. Blake Brown, Saint Mary’s University

The federal government is reportedly preparing to ban assault weapons following the


recent mass shooting in Nova Scotia. The man who killed 22 people in the province
had illegally stockpiled firearms.

Gabriel Wortman’s father said his son had a “helluva a gun collection.”

The RCMP says he did not have a firearms licence yet had handguns and semi-
automatic rifles, including firearms sourced from the United States.

It’s troubling that Wortman could accumulate the weapons and ammunition necessary
to carry out his rampage. And it’s possibly evidence of an enduring problem: gun
smuggling from the United States, which provides a stream of illegal weapons for
criminal gangs in Canada.

It also highlights that some seemingly law-abiding Canadians create private gun
collections outside of the normal licensing and registration systems.

Hidden guns

In 2004, Bruce and Donna Montague of Ontario faced multiple charges after police
seized over 200 firearms and thousands of rounds ammunition — many hidden in a
secret room in the basement of their house.

Bruce Montague was a gunsmith and a fierce opponent of gun control who became a
darling of those who claimed Canadians have a right to possess firearms. He fought a
lengthy battle in the courts, unsuccessfully appealing his conviction to the Ontario Court
of Appeal.

People like Bruce Montague are not gang members or professional criminals. Until
caught, they often appear to be law-abiding gun owners, and their defenders dismiss
the charges against them as “paper crimes.” That suggests that otherwise responsible
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gun owners who do not abide by Canada’s firearm laws are committing victimless
crimes. They and their supporters often share a deep distrust of government regulation
and the state.

Several Canadian gun groups encourage this attitude and warn that many firearm laws
are mere pretexts to firearm confiscations. The slogan “registration leads to
confiscation” has been popular for decades.

Groups representing gun owners are generally careful to inform their members they
must comply with the law, but they also warn of nefarious politicians seeking to
confiscate personal property. In 2013, the Canadian Shooting Sports
Association tweeted that there were “only two reasons to register something – gov’t
plans to tax it or confiscate it.”