Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Hundreds of people have joined events in cities across Canada to in support the March for our Lives march in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 24. (The Canadian Press)

More than a dozen Canadian cities hosted marches Saturday to call for stricter gun control laws in both Canada and the United States in the wake of a deadly high school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla.

In both Montreal and Toronto, several hundred people joined local events in support of the massive March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., which was organized by American students calling for change in the wake of the tragedy.

In one of Montreal’s two marches, hundreds of protesters swayed together singing to the tune of “Glory, Hallelujah” before setting off towards the city’s U.S. Consulate.

Ellen Gozansky Malka, a Montrealer now living in Parkland, told the crowd that two of her children were at the school during the shooting and saw things no child should see.

“Our children should never fear going to school, and they should never jump at the sound of a book falling on the floor,” she said to appreciative applause.

“This will have a lasting effect on our community. We have to make sure this will never happen again anywhere, anywhere in the world.”

READ MORE: Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

A few blocks away, a slightly smaller event was organized by 11-year-old elementary school student Lexington Vickery, who led about 150 cheering classmates and supporters on a raucous march in support of American children.

“Its about making them feel better, and making them feel more supported and working to help them so they can have more courage to go to the government and get their gun legislation,” the sixth-grader explained in an interview beforehand.

In Toronto, marchers carried signs protesting both gun violence in the United States and recent shootings that have plagued the city as they marched from a downtown square to the U.S. Consulate.

An organizer told local news station CP24 that while Canada doesn’t experience mass shootings on the same scale as the U.S., Toronto has seen a number of high-profile fatal shootings recently.

Police have said that last weekend, an innocent man was gunned down in a “cowardly” attack after visiting friends. The following day, two people were shot and killed outside of a bowling alley — one of the victims was allegedly targeted, and the other was described by police as a bystander.

“I think it’s important to have this march today in solidarity with students in the United States because gun violence is taking its toll on families, individuals, communities across North America. In Toronto we’ve seen a hundred per cent increase in gun violence homicides over the last three years,” said Louis March, a co-founder of Toronto’s Zero Gun Violence Movement.

“We can do better.”

Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the march in Washington, D.C., with smaller gatherings to take place in hundreds of cities across the world.

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Needles found at Goldstream campground in Langford

West Shore RCMP respond to several calls for service associated with homeless campers

Only tent city residents allowed access at Goldstream Park campsites

Local RCMP point to reports of criminal activity and drug use in the area as cause for safety concerns

Paving complete, lines coming to the Malahat this week

$34 million safety project is 95 per cent complete with hope to relieve traffic congestion between Victoria and Nanaimo

School crossing guard clears truck debris left from evening crash

Truck crashes into hydro pole on Saanich/Oak Bay border

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Breast density to be included in mammogram results across B.C.

The information is crucial in proactively reducing the risk of breast cancer, doctors say

Most Read