Statement by Minister Ien on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Statement

Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, issued the following statement today on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women:

"On this day in 1989, families were having breakfast like on any other day. Parents greeted their daughters, and friends greeted each other as they walked into Polytechnique Montréal – never once doubting that this would be the last time they would see each other.

On this day, 32 years ago, a gunman walked into a classroom at Polytechnique Montréal, separated the women from the men and opened fire on the women. Fourteen women died that day, and 13 more were wounded.

The reason, they were women.

This hateful act shocked people in Montréal and across Canada. In the following years, it brought Canadians together as they sought solutions and charted a path forward. As part of this journey, Parliament declared December 6 a day to remember the loss of these young women and to recognize the ongoing tragic impacts of gender-based violence.

Today, we honour their memory and remember their names: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz. We mourn these women along with the many others we have lost over the years.

As we reflect on this tragedy, we must not overlook the fact that gender-based violence, misogyny, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, and hate remain a reality for far too many in our society.

Gender-based violence can be prevented if we all step up and make a difference by speaking out and taking action against harmful stereotypes and myths. We must also continue honouring the memory of every life that was taken far too soon because of a cruel and senseless act of gender-based violence.

This is something that everyone needs to take seriously, and we must work together to be part of the solution. Signs of gender-based violence are not always apparent, so we need to learn more about the various forms that it can take – including the more subtle ones. If someone near you is impacted by gender-based violence, do not be a bystander; take a moment to check-in safely with them and let them know that help is available.

Let’s continue working together to be part of the solution to end gender-based violence in all its forms and help create a lasting legacy for future generations of women, girls, and gender-diverse individuals – a more prosperous, peaceful, inclusive, and equal future for all.”

Contacts

Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
613-295-8123

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada
819-420-6530
CFC.Media.SWC@cfc-swc.gc.ca

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