On December 6, 1989, an armed man entered the Polytechnique building at University of Montreal and opened fire, killing 14 women and injuring 14 other people. Today marks the 29th anniversary of the massacre. Its consequences still weight heavily, especially on women.
For those who remember hearing the tragic news on December 6, 1989, thinking of those who lost their lives is inevitable on December 6th. Fourteen people in the prime of their youth, studying to further their society, were killed for being women – their gender was their crime in the killer’s mind. The memory of these tragic events is exacerbated by the fact that even in Canada, women are still the subject of a disproportionate amount of violence today, despite so many other positive social changes in the meantime.
Still today, 84% of homicide victims by a partner or ex-partner are women.
Just last April, 10 people were killed in Toronto by a crazed van driver apparently motivated by his own “involuntary celibacy” – a gross way of justifying his irrational hatred for women.
Clearly, things need to change in order for women and other vulnerable people to feel safe in our communities. Even though in Canada, we are privileged to lead relatively safe lives, that in no way means our society can’t strive for better. We can, and we should.
No matter what happens of these delicate and difficult social issues, we will always remember the 14 women who lost their lives at Polytechnique on December 6, 1989.
- Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), mechanical engineering student
- Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
- Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
- Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
- Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
- Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
- Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department
- Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
- Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
- Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
- Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
- Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
- Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
- Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student