Premier David Eby and Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, have issued the following statement to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women:
“Each year in Canada, we mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On this day, we remember the 14 women who were murdered at École Polytechnique in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989.
“These murders took place 33 years ago and yet misogyny, violence and femicide against women and girls remains a reality in communities throughout our province and country.
“Year after year, we come together to honour and mourn the 14 stolen lives of École Polytechnique. And we pay respect to all those who have faced violence and had their lives irrevocably changed because of it.
“We honour and remember the 14 women who were killed on Dec. 6, 1989: 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.
“The Montreal massacre demonstrated what many of us throughout Canada already understood: that misogyny and gender-based violence are systemic harms that continue to be all too common in our communities, schools and homes.
“Even today, gender-based violence remains a horrific reality for people in Canada and B.C. According to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, one woman or girl is killed every other day, on average, somewhere in our country. About once a week, a woman is killed by her partner in Canada.
“We know that Indigenous women and girls, people of colour, transgender people and others in the 2SLGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and sex workers are at even greater risk of being targeted with violence. We stand with those who have faced violence and with the families who have received the life-shattering news that a loved one has been killed or harmed.
“Our government stands against misogyny and gender-based violence and remains committed to addressing it in British Columbia. That is why we are working to make our province safer for everyone, especially those who are marginalized and disproportionately impacted by violence.
“We are building hundreds of homes where women and children escaping violence have a safe place to recover and rebuild their lives. Our government has also dedicated funding for sexual assault services to ensure that survivors have the supports they need when they feel comfortable coming forward. We are making these services British Columbians depend on more inclusive and anti-racist.
“We are also committed to building an affordable, high-quality child care system that will create more opportunities for women’s economic independence, which is essential for those in violent situations.
“And yet there is still much more to do to ensure that everyone in our province can feel safe and build a good life with an equal opportunity to thrive.
“For this reason, we are committed to developing an action plan to help end gender-based violence in B.C. and we need support from all British Columbians as we continue this work.
“We must continue to support and look out for people experiencing gender-based violence. Please watch out for each other, speak up and be there when those around us need assistance.”