The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is observed on December 6th to honour the 14 women who were killed at École Polytechnique, in what is often referred to as the École Polytechnique massacre or the Montreal massacre.
A lone gunman opened fire in a classroom at the school in Montreal, Quebec on December 6th, 1989 after separating the women from the men. He claimed that he was “fighting feminism” and called the women “a bunch of feminists” before shooting all nine of the women in the room, killing six of them. He then moved through the school targeting women to shoot. Before taking his own life, he killed 14 women and injured 10, as well as injuring four men, in under 20 minutes. He left a suicide note blaming feminists for ruining his life and claiming to have political motives for his actions. His note also named 19 women he considered to be feminists and wanted to kill. The is the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.
It’s widely believe that the massacre was an anti-feminist attack that is representative of the broader social issue of gender-based violence. Consequently, the anniversary of the massacre has been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This incident also led to stricter gun control laws in Canada.
We honour the memories of each of the women who lost their lives in this senseless act:
Geneviève Bergeron (civil engineering student)
Hélène Colgan (mechanical engineering student)
Nathalie Croteau (mechanical engineering student)
Barbara Daigneault (mechanical engineering student)
Anne-Marie Edward (chemical engineering student)
Maud Haviernick (materials engineering student)
Maryse Laganière (budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department)
Maryse Leclair (materials engineering student)
Anne-Marie Lemay (mechanical engineering student)
Sonia Pelletier (mechanical engineering student)
Michèle Richard (materials engineering student)
Annie St-Arneault (mechanical engineering student)
Annie Turcotte (materials engineering student)
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (nursing student)