Vigils, light ceremony, mark anniversary of Ecole Polytechnique massacre


Almost 100 people crowded into a third floor room at My Sisters' Place on Wednesday, the 28th anniversary of the day 14 women were gunned down by a man at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique.

The gunman, Mark Lepine, 25, killed the women after separating them from the men and then fatally shot himself.

On the anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre, local social agencies across the province are honouring women who are victims of violence and joining supporters across the country in a national day of remembrance.

Seven out of 10 Albertans have known a woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse, McLean said.

"Now I think it has to be attitudes to women and men being proud of changing their attitudes".

To create change, it is essential to recognize that the issue of violence against women knows no frontiers.

On the anniversary of the massacre at Ecole Polytechnique, people like Senior take time out of their busy days to commemorate the young lives lost in a shocking act of violence, women killed simply for being women. A victim, her mother says, of someone with a violent past who targeted women.

"Unions have a significant role to play in ensuring women's safety at home and in the workplace", says Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer, "and in advocating for support for women facing violence every day".

"Today is a day to reflect on the reality that violence against women and girls remains pervasive in our society".

Brown said December 6 is about recognizing the 14 women who were killed because they were women and had the audacity to be in a traditionally men's academic program.

The stark reality is that half of all Canadian women have experienced at least 1 incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.

"We as individuals have a responsibility to respect everyone regardless of their gender", said Nagpal.

"It's a very fitting connection", Keefer said. It not only led to stricter gun control laws in the country, but it sparked national discussion on how to address gender-based violence. "If they're in the workplace and if they are being harassed or any type of violence, that they will feel more confident to come forward - because all those women are being heard now and things are being done about it", she said.