Violence against Women still a concern in Canada

On the anniversary of the shooting at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, the Green Party of Canada and the party’s Quebec Wing are sad to note that violence against women is still a great concern in Canada.  “With the loss of the long-gun registry and with an increasingly punitive criminal justice system, we must be on continual guard against the escalation of violence against women,” said Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

Survivors and victims’ families of the 1989 Montreal massacre have protested the loss of the long-gun registry.  The Province of Quebec was also opposed to the move and is fighting to keep the data on gun ownership, which the federal government has proposed to destroy.

Jessica Gal, a founder of the Green Party in Quebec and member of the party’s Quebec Wing, noted that her province is especially sensitive to these issues.  “We will never forget the terrible violence at École Polytechnique. It has left a lasting scar and on each anniversary we remember and we ask how we can reduce violence, for women and for all.” 

Georges Laraque, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada, commented, “A big part of reducing violence is to advance opportunities for women.  This means ending poverty, providing affordable child care, education, and housing.  On the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, we must consider how violence against a particular gender has an impact on our society and how we can prevent any such tragedies in the future.”

December 6th marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada, which was established by the Parliament of Canada to mark the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal — 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 — and 13 others wounded by Marc Lepine, a young man who blamed women for his life of abuse and struggle.