Premier John Horgan and Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, have issued the following statement to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women:
“Thirty years ago, 14 young women were gunned down in an act of horrific violence that shocked people in B.C., Canada and around the globe.
“On Dec. 6, 1989, these women were full of life, with a bright future ahead of them. Their lives were cut short by a man who walked into a mechanical engineering class at École Polytechnique in Montreal. He segregated the women, claimed feminists had ruined his life and opened fire, killing 14 and wounding many more.
“The 14 were Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault and Annie Turcotte.
“These women never had the opportunity to graduate, to build a career, to become innovators and leaders, to start a family or make their communities better.
“Today, we remember them by observing a moment of silence and resolve to work toward a world where no one lives in fear of violence.
“We have a long way to go. Every week in our province, there are an estimated 1,000 physical or sexual assaults against women. These assaults are disproportionately targeted at Indigenous women and girls, people of colour, transgender people and those with disabilities.
“Today, we ask all British Columbians to join us in remembrance and unite with us to end gender-based violence.”
A public vigil will be held at 5 p.m. at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The Canadian flag will fly at half-mast from sunrise to sunset.