On December 6th, 1989, we commemorate and honour the lives of the 14 women murdered at Ecole Polytechniques in Montreal. The gunman responsible for this massacre systematically targeted females at the school and remarked “I hate feminists”. This was a somber day that highlights the ongoing crisis of gender-based violence.
We need to stand in solidarity with one another in the fight against gender inequalities and gender-based violence. Although this was an act of physical violence, we must prevent all forms of violence and harassment; be it physical, financial, sexual, or emotional. Our country and our province are making steps towards improving protections and assistance for survivors of violence, but there is much more that can be done.
It is essential we lobby and pressure our government to strengthen our laws and to put in place stronger systems of support. I encourage everyone to attend vigils in your areas and to take the time to remember those we lost on December 6th, those we lost before, and those we have lost since.
Missy Taylor, Ontario Regional Council – Regional Women’s Committees Representative