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Today marks the eighteenth anniversary of the Montreal massacre where 14 women were gunned down and murdered at l’École Polytechnique in Montréal, simply because they were women.  Eighteen years ago these women tragically lost their lives, but the memory remains.

The National Day of Remembrance and action on Violence against Women was established by Parliament in 1991.  This date was to coincide with this anniversary and the day is observed across the country with vigils, memorials and other ceremonies.

Beyond commemorating the loss of these fourteen young women’s lives, this day represents a time to pause and reflect on the tragedy of violence against women in our society.  It is also a time to have a special thought for all the women and girls who live daily with the threat of violence or who have died as a result of deliberate acts of gender-based violence.
Last but not least, it is a day for each of us to reflect on concrete actions that we can take to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
We must teach our daughters to be strong.  We must fight back until all
women are free to be.

Let us not forget…

Genevieve Bergeron was 21 years old
Helene Colgan was 23 years old
Nathalie Croteau was 23 years old
Barbara Daigneault was 22 years old
Anne-Marie Edward was 21 years old
Maud Haviernick was 29 years old
Barbara Maria Klucznik was 31 years old
Maryse Leclair was 23 years old
Annie St-Arneault was 23 years old
Michele Richard was 21 years old
Maryse Laganiere was 25 years old and was a CUPE member Anne-Marie Lemay was 22 years old Annie Turcotte was 21 years old Sonia Pelletier was 23 years old

Remember the dignity of your womanhood
Do not appeal
Do not beg
Do not grovel
Take courage, join hands
Stand beside us
Fight with us

Cristabel Pankhurst
19th Century Suffragette