Price apologizes for showing support for firearms lobby group ahead of Polytechnique anniversary

Montreal Canadiens and goaltender Carey Price have apologized after Price posted a message on social media in support of a gun lobbying group that recently used “POLY” as a promotional discount code.

The team issued a statement Monday saying Price did not know about the 1989 Polytechnique Massacre or its upcoming anniversary.

However, Price said Tuesday that he did know about the massacre, but regretted the timing of its publication.

Price posted his initial Instagram post on Saturday, just days before the anniversary of the Dec. 6 massacre. In it, Price shared his support for a lobbying group, the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights (CCFR), following amendments to the federal government’s gun control legislation, Bill C-21. , In the past week.

The amendments appeared to boost the bill by including a number of firearms used for hunting, a move that was quickly condemned by firearms advocates and which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is seeking to rectify.

Price, 35, has spoken in the past about the importance of hunting to him. He is a member of the Ulkatcho First Nation—his mother was a chief—and grew up in the small, remote community of Anahim Lake in British Columbia.

“I love my family, I love my country and I care about my fellow man. I am not a criminal or a threat to society. What [Prime Minister Justin Trudeau] is trying to do is unfair. I support the [CCFR] to store my hunting tools,” Price wrote.

But the post also came a day after one of the Polytechnique mass shooting survivors, Nathalie Provost, sued the CCFR for creating the promo code “POLY” that gives customers 10 percent off merchandise.

Provost, who is also a spokesman for the gun control group PolySeSouvient, set up by survivors of the massacre, called the discount code “incredibly disrespectful.” The code referred to the group.

Provost was shot four times by the gunman who killed 14 students and injured 13 others that day.

The team apologizes for the post

Monday afternoon, tweeted price that he only made the Instagram post in reaction to the amendments to Bill C-21.

“My views are my own and I believe them. The only reason I bring up this issue is because it is what is being raised now and not to disrespect anyone,” Price wrote. “Not me [don’t] according to the promo code either.”

In a statement earlier in the day, France Margaret Bélanger, president of Groupe CH, the company that owns the Montreal Canadiens hockey team, said the group had shared negative reactions to the post with Price.

“He was unaware of the tragic events of December 6, 1989, nor of the coalition’s recent marketing efforts,” Bélanger told Radio-Canada in an email.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price posted a photo of himself with a gun and the message “I love my family, I love my country and I care about my neighbor.” I am not a criminal or a threat to society. What @justinpjtrudeau is trying to do is unfair. (Carey Price/Instagram)

On Monday night, the team released a statement on Price’s post.

“The Montreal Canadiens wish to express their sincerest apologies to any and all who have been offended or upset by the discourse that has emerged on this matter in recent days,” the statement read.

The statement also recognized the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, saying the team’s thoughts are with the 14 women who died 33 years ago, their loved ones and survivors.

The team said it made a donation to the White Rose Week campaign to send 14 underprivileged girls to Polytechnique Montréal’s summer science camp, Folie Technique.

On Tuesday, Price posted an update on his Instagram page.

“I believe the people of Montreal know my heart and character and know that I would never intentionally cause pain to those affected by gun violence,” he wrote.

“Despite an earlier statement released, I did in fact know about the tragedy. I have been a member of the MTL community for 15 years and understand the weight this day has within the community.”

Price said he stood by the views he shared, but acknowledged that “expanding on any gun talk this week may have upset some of those most affected by the events here in 1989 and I apologize.”

The coach says the timing is unfortunate

Canadiens coach Martin St-Louis said the timing of Price’s initial Instagram post was unfortunate, but he didn’t believe the player had any ill intent.

“I’m not sure Carey knows the full story. [of the Montreal massacre]. I remember it clearly; I was a boarding student at the Collège Notre-Dame. I was 14 years old and it really moved me,” St-Louis told reporters Monday afternoon.

The private university is next door to the Université de Montréal campus, where Polytechnique, the university’s engineering school, is located and where the mass shooting took place.

“I’m not sure that people outside of Quebec know everything about it. Carey is a sensitive guy, he is a family man. I do not believe the post was made with malicious intent,” St-Louis added.

Controversial gun control legislation

As for the relationship between Price and the gun advocacy group, Bélanger said, “I think Carey is in the best position to respond to that.”

Speaking in Ingersoll, Ontario, Trudeau tried to reassure gun owners Monday by promising that legislation is being reviewed to ensure it does not target legitimate gun use.

CLOCK | Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to the rejection of the C-21 amendments:

“We are not going after hunting rifles or shotguns,” says PM

Responding to criticism of the C-21 bill, Trudeau reaffirms his commitment to going after “the most dangerous weapons” and says the government is listening to feedback to ensure it “does not seize weapons that are primarily hunting weapons.”

He made the comments in response to widespread pushback against significant amendments to Bill C-21, a bill originally crafted to ban firearms that liberals are trying to change. with a new list of long arms be banned.

It’s unclear whether or not the firearm Price is holding in the photo he posted is included on that list.

Leader of the Québec bloc Yves-François Blanchet said on Twitter that Price had been convinced “that the purpose or effect of gun control is to harm hunting for sport, which is incorrect.”

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