Statement by Minister Monsef on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women


December 6, 2018 

Ottawa – The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, today issued the following statement on Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women: 

“Today, from coast to coast to coast, candles will be lit, roses will be laid, and tears will be shed as we honour the memory of the women who lost their lives on this day, and remember those left behind: their families, friends and communities. On this day, in 1989, Canada suffered a national tragedy when 14 women were murdered and 13 others were wounded in a mass-shooting at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal simply because they were women. 

Nearly 30 years later, Canadians continue to come together to mark this horrendous act of gender-based violence, which led Parliament to designate December 6 as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. 

Annually, this important anniversary is part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which begin on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 and end with International Human Rights Day on December 10. These 16 days serve as an important reminder of the ongoing tragic impact of gender-based violence, and of those who remain the most vulnerable to it, such as members of LGBTQ2 communities, Indigenous women and girls, newcomers, and women with disabilities and exceptionalities. 

Our government is working to build a more inclusive Canada by taking concrete action to end gender-based violence. We are investing more than $200 million to prevent and address gender-based violence, including in the first ever federal strategy; we are ensuring that no one fleeing domestic violence is left without a place to turn by growing and maintaining Canada’s network of shelters and transition houses; and we are working with universities and colleges to prevent gender-based violence on campuses. These are just of few of the steps we are taking, and our government remains committed to advancing gender equality and stopping violence before it starts. 

I encourage all Canadians to take time to reflect on how they can speak up and take action to challenge and change the culture that allows gender-based violence to persist. You can use the hashtags #MYActionsMatter and #December6 on social media to show your support. 

While we cannot change the stories of the women who were taken from us so senselessly on December 6, 1989, we can and will honour their memories, and work to ensure that every Canadian woman and girl has the opportunity to pursue her dreams without threat of gender-based violence. We will continue to listen to the courageous voices of survivors, and together we will build a Canada that is stronger, safer and more inclusive for all.” 


Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

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