Two of the 26 people killed in the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting had links to Canada.
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6, lived most of her young life in Winnipeg while the father of teacher Lauren Rousseau, 30, was born in Quebec.
“The thoughts and prayers of Canadians are with the students and families affected by this senseless violence,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.
A candlelight vigil was held outside of the University of Winnipeg to honor Ana who moved to Connecticut last summer.
“As much as she’s needed here and missed by her mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to paradise,” said her father, jazz musician Jimmy Greene.
He left his job at the Manitoba university to return to his home state to teach at Western Connecticut State University.
Rousseau’s relatives in Quebec were grieving while denouncing U.S. gun laws.
“It’s revolting how easy it is to obtain firearms – that’s what’s so infuriating,” said victim’s uncle, Francois Rousseau.
Her father, Gilles Rousseau, said he was advised not to view his daughter’s body and was told the gunshots were so powerful they blasted through a wall and into her car outside.
The incident has prompted a review of security at Canadian schools, with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty saying his government will spend $10 million to equip schools to begin a “locked-door” policy by next September.
While the weather outside might be getting frightful with the arrival of winter, Environment Canada says this year was a hot, hot, hot one.
“Winter was cancelled and summer seemed to go on very long to be one of the hottest on record,” said senior climatologist David Phillips.
January through November was the fourth warmest since 1948 and July through September was the hottest in 65 years.
Also noted was the highly active hurricane season with the remnants of Hurricane Sandy causing two deaths and $100 million in property damage.
There was also British Columbia’s massive flooding that swept away bridges, damaged roads and triggered a landslide near Johnson’s Landing killing four people.
Other major weather events were a damaging hailstorm in Calgary and flooding caused by an ice jam on New Brunswick’s St. John River.
News in brief
Facts and figures
Canada’s dollar is lower at $1.0065 in U.S. funds while the U.S. dollar returns 99.35 cents Canadian, before bank exchange fees.
The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3 percent.
Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 12,409 points and the TSX Venture index at 1,179 points on Friday.
Lotto 6-49: (Dec. 19) 1, 13, 16, 30, 33 and 48; bonus 49. (Dec. 15) 11, 22, 36, 37, 43 and 48; bonus 7. Lotto Max: (Dec. 14) 3, 6, 10, 33, 39, 48 and 49; bonus 18.