Flags have been lowered to half-staff at Ecole Polytechnique to commemmorate the 23rd anniversary of a deadly shooting at the school.

In what has become an annual tradition, at 9 a.m. 14 white roses were deposited in front of a plaque honouring the dead.

In Montreal about 50 people gathered as the Quebec Women's Federation marked the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women with a ceremony at noon in front of the Montreal courthouse.

Alexa Conradi said violence against women is still a problem throughout the nation.

"While women are quicker today to denounce it there's still a lot of ways in which we keep in in the family or want to not make it known," said Conradi.

She, like many other people, expressed concern about the destruction of the long gun registry by the Harper government.

"We know that women, for example, in situations of conjugal violence, when there's a gun in the house there's a higher likelihood that the gun will be used to kill them," said Conradi.

"We're really concerned that the government is serving the interests of the gun lobby instead of the interests of women's security."

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women was established in 1991, two years after the fatal shooting.

In addition to honouring the victims who were killed, the day is meant to be a day for Canadians to reflect on violence against women and discuss ways to fight it.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canadians must stand united in their efforts to fight violence against women and girls.

“Around the world, violence against women and girls is a sad daily reality. Our government strongly believes in protecting the most vulnerable in society and continues to take a stand in combatting violence against women, at home and abroad, to help put an end to tragedies such as that of the Montreal Massacre,” he said in a statement.

On Dec. 6, 1989, Marc Lepine entered the engineering school and killed 14 women, shot and injured ten more women, and shot four men before taking his own life.

He left behind a note saying he blamed feminists for ruining his life.


The victims

  • Geneviève Bergeron
  • Hélène Colgan
  • Nathalie Croteau
  • Barbara Daigneault
  • Anne-Marie Edward
  • Maud Haviernick
  • Maryse Laganière
  • Maryse Leclair
  • Anne-Marie Lemay
  • Sonia Pelletier
  • Michèle Richard
  • Annie St-Arneault
  • Annie Turcotte
  • Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz