Premier David Eby has issued the following statement on National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women:
“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. Annie Turcotte.
“Today, we say the names of the 14 women who were murdered in the Montreal massacre 34 years ago. We say their names, we remember them and we renew our commitment to ending gender-based violence.
“Many of the victims of the misogynistic attack at École Polytechnique were engineering students who were targeted for being women studying in a male-dominated field. They all had bright futures. We stand and mourn alongside the friends and family left behind.
“We also recognize the many people who were harmed mentally and physically by this hate crime. Such injuries can last a lifetime and we continue to keep the survivors in our thoughts.
“More than three decades later, violence against women and girls is on the rise in Canada. Indigenous women and girls, racialized people, transgender and gender-diverse people, people living with disabilities and sex workers continue to be at higher risk.
“Every two days, one woman or girl is killed, according to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability. The observatory has also found that the number of women and girls killed by a male suspect increased by 27% from 2019 to 2022. There are many intersecting reasons for this concerning escalation, including the fact that violence increases during times of crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic and climate-related disasters.
“Our government condemns every single act of gender-based violence and is taking an intersectional approach to prevention, protection and healing.
“We’re making post-secondary institutions safer and more accessible for women and gender-diverse people by supporting initiatives that prevent and respond to sexualized violence, running sexualized violence awareness campaigns and providing grants for low- and middle-income students.
“We’re supporting women’s economic independence and advancing gender equity by creating more affordable child care spaces, taking steps to close the gender wage gap, permanently increasing the BC Family Benefit and offering universal free contraception.
“We’re helping women and children get into safe, secure and affordable housing by building new transition houses, safe homes and second-stage housing.
“And we’re supporting survivors by investing in crisis support services, sexual assault response services, victim services, counselling and outreach.
“There’s much more work to do, and we’re committed to doing this work in partnership with survivors, advocates, service providers and Indigenous communities.
“We will continue doing this work in memory of the 14 women we lost on Dec. 6, 1989, and the thousands we’ve lost since then.
“Today, Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, is hosting a candlelight vigil at the legislature.
“She says: ‘Today we remember 14 young lives cut short by an act of misogynistic hatred. We grieve with their families and friends and all those who hold this day in their hearts. We vow to continue our work to end gender-based violence, support survivors and make our communities safer for everyone.’”