It has been 30 years since the tragic mass shooting at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal (December 6, 1989) that saw the promising lives of 14 young women cut violently short. This senseless act of targeted violence shook our country and led Parliament to designate December 6 as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.
On December 6, we remember 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.
As we come together to commemorate this national tragedy, we also reflect on the troubling fact that for women, girls and LGBTQ2 individuals across our country violence continues to be a daily reality. Violence will have impacts on their physical, sexual and reproductive health. They may experience anxiety and a reduced ability to participate in social and economic activities, leaving gaps in our workplaces and in our communities as a result of violence.
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women is about honouring those who have experienced gender-based violence; it is also a time to take action. December 6 falls within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and this year's campaign #OurActionsMatter calls on each of us to share the concrete actions we are taking in our own communities and in our own lives to question, call out, and speak up against acts of gender-based violence.