Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante spoke to reporters Sunday morning for the first time since the deadly Montreal shooting spree last week.
Supported by the city’s director of public safety, Martin Prud’homme, Plante stressed that this was an isolated case and that Montrealers should not give in to fear.
“This could have happened anywhere, anytime on the planet. It has nothing to do with Montreal,” she told reporters outside City Hall.
Police killed the 26-year-old suspect Thursday morning after he allegedly shot dead three men within 24 hours.
Families of victims of the Montreal shootings say they feel unsafe
Quebec’s mental health review board said the suspect posed a “significant risk” to public safety but was released from hospital on certain conditions.
Plante called on the provincial government to improve care for people with mental health problems.
“It definitely indicates a lack of, I would say, control over when people are struggling with mental health issues and when they have certain conditions,” Plante said.
On Friday, the Canadian government announced a ban on handgun imports starting this month. The day before, Secretary of Public Safety Marco Mendicino announced nearly $42 million to help prevent gun violence in Quebec.
The firearm that killed three people in Montreal was obtained illegally, police say
Plante says she personally thanked Mendicino for the investment, but says “it’s not enough” and wants the federal government to go further to control gun violence.
“Money is great, but we also have to look at all aspects of how we can better control all guns and the gun trade,” adding, “You have to make sure it’s safe everywhere in the country.”
Montreal’s official opposition leader, Aref Salem, criticized the Plante government’s late response.
“I’m more concerned after the conference today than before the conference. After the conference I didn’t know anything new. I haven’t seen any action. There is no action at all,” he told reporters after the press conference.
Instead, Salem says he would like to see action in the form of a safety plan and investment in community organizations that work with at-risk youth.
Ahead of the provincial elections in the fall, Plante hopes party leaders will address the issue of public safety during the campaign.
“You know how important the environment is to me, but public safety must be an issue for the next elections,” says Plante.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/9043241/its-not-enough-montreals-mayor-reacts-to-federal-measures-to-curb-gun-violence/ ‘It’s not enough’: Montreal mayor responds to federal action to curb gun violence