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

Thir­ty years ago.

With­out any­one remind­ing me, I always know when Decem­ber 6th is com­ing near. I was at the Uni­ver­sité de Mon­tréal that night, in 1989, and on my way home I saw police cruis­ers with lights flash­ing at all the road entrances to the cam­pus. The next day, I found out the ter­ri­ble news. I had many friends at École Poly­tech­nique and they all knew at least one of the vic­tims. Imme­di­ate­ly, a deep col­lec­tive sad­ness gripped every­one that was close to me, and every­one in the city could feel the sad­ness as well. The sad­ness was so close and so real you could almost touch it.

Thir­ty years ago. It may seem like a long peri­od of time, but, real­ly, it was­n’t that long ago. Many things have changed since, but there is still so much more to do. We need bet­ter gun con­trol laws. We need pay equi­ty. We need a more equi­table and just soci­ety, and we need to take action to end gen­der-based vio­lence.

On Decem­ber 6th, 1989, 14 women were shot just because they were women.

We must nev­er for­get them.

- Syl­vain Rheault, URFA President