A candlelight memorial was held in Victoria to commemorate the women who were murdered during the Montreal massacre.
The memorial took place at the B.C. legislature, on Wednesday (Dec. 6), marking the 34th anniversary of the École Polytechnique Massacre, in which 14 young women, engineering students, were shot to death in 1989 by a man who entered the Montreal school with the intent to kill “feminists.”
“Today we remember 14 young lives cut short by an act of misogynistic hatred,” said Kelli Paddon, parliamentary secretary for gender equity. “We grieve with their families and friends and all those who hold this day in their hearts. We vow to continue our work to end gender-based violence, support survivors and make our communities safer for everyone.’”
The anniversary of the Montreal massacre was proclaimed the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in 1991.
Those who died were Genevieve Bergeron, Helene Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganiere, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michele Richard, Annie St-Arneault and Annie Turcotte.
“We also recognize the many people who were harmed mentally and physically by this hate crime,” Premier David Eby said in a statement. “More than three decades later, violence against women and girls is on the rise in Canada. Indigenous women and girls, racialized people, transgender and gender-diverse people, people living with disabilities and sex workers continue to be at higher risk. Every two days, one woman or girl is killed, according to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability.”
The Victoria event also included speeches and a moment of silence.
“We can’t forget this day and must commit to act,” Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto said. “I challenge everyone to have that conversation. Help someone be part of the change. I believe that change will continue to happen because all of us have a chance to influence someone in our lives.”