The Sudbury YWCA held a vigil on Dec. 6 to commemorate the 14 young women who were murdered in the Montreal massacre, and all women killed by violence.
The École Polytechnique massacre, also known as the Montreal massacre, was a mass shooting at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, that occurred on Dec. 6, 1989.
Twenty-five-year-old Marc Lépine, armed with a Mini-14 rifle and a hunting knife, shot 28 people, killing 14 women, before committing suicide.
Consequently, the anniversary of the massacre has since been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
"Dec. 6 is the day we remember the women who died and recommit to taking action on violence against women and girls until our streets, our campuses, and our homes are safe," said Marlene Gorman, YWCA Sudbury executive director.
The vigil was attended by a few dozen women, and was opened with drumming and songs by the N'Swakamok women's drum group. Those in attendance observed a moment of silence and most shared a few words as to why the vigil was of importance to them.
"Violence against women is the largest and most persistent human rights violation in the world," said Gorman. "Over 50 per cent of Canadian women experience an incident at some point in their lives."
Gorman says that there is a strong support network for women who are victims of violence in Sudbury and around the country, but there is still much more to be done.
"YWCA's Dec. 6 rose campaign calls upon all levels of government to make a commitment toward ending violence agaist women," she said.
"It's also a call to eliminate poverty and homelessness, which are contributing factors to violence. It's a call for equity in employment and opportunity and a call for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women."