REGINA — Victims of a deadly school shooting in northern Saskatchewan say they're still not getting the help they need to heal more than 15 months after the tragedy.
A gunman opened fire at the La Loche high school in January 2016, killing a teacher and teacher's aide, and wounding seven others. He also killed two brothers at a nearby home.
"After the shooting in La Loche ... the victims that were hurt that day (were told they) would have nothing to worry about," said Charlene Klyne, a substitute teacher who was one of seven people wounded.
"But that's all we've been doing since day one, is worry about where we'd pay for our bills, what our income is, what our future's going to be, and we just want this to be settled."
Klyne lost all vision in her left eye, can only see dark shadows in her right eye, and has numerous pellets lodged in 13 different spots from her jaw to her chest. She's been told it's too risky to have surgery to remove the pellets.
"With all damage done to the muscles and the tissues, they wanted me to do massage therapy," she said.
She received a $50,000 insurance payment and some benefits for massage therapy.
But she says workers' compensation isn't covering the 30 massage therapy treatments her doctor has ordered. They covered five, then bumped that up to 24, she said.
"When a doctor says you need treatment and you need this many treatments, they shouldn't say, 'no, you can't have them.' If your doctor says you need to have this, there's a reason for it," Klyne said Tuesday at the legislature in Regina.
Klyne says she's getting $800 a month for rent and about $700 for income replacement, but it's not enough to cover the move she had to make to Saskatoon for continuous medical treatment.
Deputy premier Don Morgan says the government will make sure Klyne gets support from victims' services and through workers' compensation.
"She should receive the same benefit as any other injured worker. We want to make sure that she does. We want to make sure that she doesn't miss anything that she would otherwise be entitled to," said Morgan.
Morgan says the government has not looked at the idea of a lump-sum payment, when there is no legal liability to pay, for the shooting victims.
"Because right now, we will make sure that she receives every benefit that she's entitled to. We will make sure that every other person that was injured there receives it," he said.
"We will work with the community to make sure that the things that we've committed to in the community, the housing units, the additional mental health workers, all of those things take place."
The government says Klyne has received more than $120,000, including wage replacement benefits of $781.95 per month and personal care allowance of $892 per month.
But that figure includes the cost of her surgeries, counselling, ambulance fees, medical benefits, including massage therapy, moving expenses and home renovations to accommodate her vision loss.
Klyne has had four surgeries and is expected to have another one for a cornea replacement in an attempt to restore some of her sight.
"I used to be able to sit on the couch beside my son or my husband, and I could look at them and see that they were there. Now I look at them and there's nothing there," she said.
A teenager, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty last October to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.
A sentencing hearing for him is scheduled to start next week.
The Crown has said it will argue to have him sentenced as an adult.