Montreal Canadiens star Carey Price apologized on Tuesday to people affected by the 1989 Montreal massacre after he made a social media post in support of a firearms rights group in the days leading up to the anniversary of the mass shooting.
The goaltender said on Instagram that he stands by his opinions but acknowledged the timing may have been hurtful.
“I acknowledge that amplifying any conversation around guns this week may have upset some of those impacted most by the events here in 1989, and to them, I apologize,” he wrote in a statement posted to his Instagram story.
His apology came on the 33rd anniversary of Dec. 6, 1989, when a man motivated by a hatred of feminists shot and killed 14 women and injured 13 other people at the École Polytechnique engineering school.
Price on Saturday posted a photo of himself dressed in camouflage holding a rifle, with a caption expressing his opposition to a federal bill that would ban assault-style firearms.
“I love my family, I love my country and I care for my neighbour. I am not a criminal or a threat to society,” the caption read. Price went on to call the Liberal gun legislation “unjust.”
He also expressed his support for the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, which has been criticized in recent days for using “POLY” as a promo code to offer discounts in its online shop.
The Montreal Canadiens apologized Monday to those who had been hurt by the controversy and said they were making a donation to Polytechnique’s annual fundraiser in memory of the victims. The team said Price was not aware of the promotional code nor of the “unfortunate timing” of his message.
Price wrote Tuesday that “despite a previous statement released,” he was aware of the Dec. 6 tragedy and the importance it holds to Montrealers.
“I think the people of Montreal know my heart and my character and know I would never intentionally cause pain to those impacted by gun violence,” he wrote, adding that his “heart and prayers” are with the victims.
The debate comes as MPs in Ottawa are discussing Bill C-21, which would enshrine a definition of prohibited assault-style firearms.
The coalition for firearm rights and Conservative MPs have denounced proposed amendments to the bill as an attack on law-abiding, licensed gun owners.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said Monday it appears the gun Price is holding in his Instagram post is legal and will remain so under the government’s legislation.
“You see now the consequences of that, where people are operating from false assumptions and confusion. We need to make sure that we have a thoughtful debate that is based on the facts,” he said.
Before his apology, Price had written on Twitter Monday that he raised the issue of guns because the debate is happening now, and “not out of disrespect for anyone.”
“I continue to stand beside my fellow hunters and sport shooters who have legally acquired our property and use in a safe manner,” he wrote.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2022.
The state of the union? Unapologetically pro-American, to hear Joe Biden tell it
U.S. President Joe Biden offered no apologies for his spendthrift, pro-American economic strategy Tuesday, making clear in his second state of the union speech that he intends to persist with a protectionist approach that’s making for anxious allies, including Canada.
Biden, with newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy over his shoulder, preached the virtues of working across the aisle as he found himself addressing a newly divided Congress, Republicans have wrested control of the House of Representatives away from Democrats in November.
With some Republicans spoiling for a fight as presidential election season draws near, Biden is under pressure to justify what political opponents say is a profligate approach to the federal purse, making it all the more important to ensure that money stays on U.S. soil.
And he didn’t just defend Buy American. He doubled down on it, promising new rules for federal infrastructure projects that would require all construction materials — not just iron and steel, but copper, aluminum, lumber, glass, drywall and fibre-optic cable — be made in the U.S.
“On my watch, American roads, American bridges and American highways will be made with American products,” Biden said.
“My economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten. Maybe that’s you watching at home. You remember the jobs that went away. And you wonder whether a path even exists anymore for you and your children to get ahead without moving away.”
Protectionism notwithstanding, most Canadians still see the U.S. as their country’s closest ally, a new poll suggests — but they seem less certain that their powerful neighbour is a force for good in the world.
Nearly 70 per cent of respondents to the online survey, conducted by Leger for the Association for Canadian Studies, said they still see the U.S. as Canada’s best friend, while 16 per cent said they disagreed and 15 per cent said they didn’t know.
Those surveyed were much more divided, however, on the question of whether the U.S. is a positive influence on international affairs: 41 per cent disagreed with that statement, compared with 38 per cent who said they believe it’s true. Twenty-one per cent abstained.
Part of that is likely due to the hyper-partisanship that has come to define U.S. politics and was on clear display as Biden turned to domestic issues like drug costs, oil and gas production, corporate tax increases and the ever-present debt ceiling controversy.
McCarthy has insisted Republicans won’t vote to raise the debt ceiling, a necessary step to avoid the U.S. going into default, without an agreement to reduce spending to 2022 levels, a cut of roughly eight per cent.
Biden said Republicans were proposing deep cuts to cherished programs like Social Security and Medicare, an allegation that prompted eyerolls from McCarthy and catcalls and boos from Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, among others.
“Let’s commit here tonight that the full faith and credit of the United States of America will never, ever be questioned,” he said, before accusing certain Republicans of trying to “take the economy hostage” by proposing an end to those social programs.
“I’m not saying it’s a majority of you … but it’s being proposed by some of you,” Biden told his detractors as they expressed their disdain, which he took as evidence they were backing his position.
“So we all apparently agree: Social Security and Medicare is off the books now, right? All right, we got unanimity.”
The night wasn’t entirely acrimonious.
Biden spelled out an ambitious effort to curb the flow of deadly drugs like fentanyl into the country, to redouble the search for a cancer cure and to mitigate its causes, to better support veterans at risk of suicide and taking on the mental health crisis.
He twice generated rare bipartisan showers of applause — first in introducing RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, the parents of Tyre Nichols, who died last month after a savage beating by police in Memphis. “Let’s commit ourselves to make the words of Tyre’s mother come true,” Biden said.
“‘Something good must come from this.'”
The chamber roared again for Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul, who was attacked in his California home by an intruder, his rage fuelled by the conspiracy theories that now pervade right-wing politics in the U.S., apparently looking for the former House speaker.
Biden also reiterated his call for a ban on assault weapons, cheering Brandon Tsay, the 26-year-old California man who disarmed the gunman who killed 11 people at a dance studio in Monterey Park last month. And he celebrated Ukraine’s defiance in the face of Russian aggression, as well as the American display of unity, solidarity and leadership that helped to make it happen.
With all eyes again shifting toward the coming race for the White House, Biden’s protectionist rhetoric is likely aimed mostly at winning over a domestic political audience, and most observers agree that it’s not Canada but Beijing that the U.S. has in its sights.
And with the country up in arms over what Chinese officials insist was a weather balloon that drifted through Canadian and U.S. airspace last week, downed over the weekend by U.S. jet fighters, the president has ample reason to argue for economic decoupling from China.
But it would be a mistake to assume that the U.S. will automatically turn to Canada for its energy, raw materials and manufactured goods, said Flavio Volpe, president of Canada’s Auto Parts Manufacturers Association.
“Canada will do well to not assume that we are inside the tent. We will have to prove and reprove ourselves on many points we take for granted,” Volpe said.
“Look for transactional language to begin dominating our relationship rather than ideology. Shared values matter, but sharing value matters more.”
Despite what the president may say publicly, however, the U.S. understands how important Canada is to its own economic fortunes, said Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, who will be in Washington later this week with Defence Minister Anita Anand.
“I think it is well understood … that in order for the United States to be resilient, Canada has to be part of the equation,” Champagne said in an interview.
“There’s a lot of opportunities ahead of us. And for me, the big question is how can we innovate more together, how can we do more together, and how can we sell more together to the rest of the world.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2023.
Suspected Chinese spy balloon was 200ft tall – US defence official – BBC
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