24 years later, Montrealers remember victims of Ecole Polytechnique massacre
It has been 24 years since a lone gunman Mark Lepine entered the Ecole Polytechnique.
That day, on Dec. 6 1989, Lepine killed 14 young women, injuring ten others and four men. He then took his own life.
“It’s important to remember what Mark Lepine’s message was,” said Alexa Conradi of the Quebec Federation of Women, speaking while attending a vigil held at Montreal's courthouse.
“He explicitly said during the separating of the men and women before shooting people that he hated feminists, and that he hated the fact that they wanted to become engineers.”
Conradi said that since the tragedy, her organization has been making an effort to try to understand why violence against women has not gone down, despite society widely condemning it, and claiming to be egalitarian.
“I wake up every December 6 with sadness in my heart but also those women, we're not going to forget them,” said Conradi.
On Dec. 6, vigils are being held across Quebec and Canada, to commemorate the victims of the Polytechnique tragedy, and other acts of violence against women.
The day is designation as Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
Members of Parliament in Ottawa held a minute of silence to recognize the day.
A bouquet of white roses, along with a single red one, was placed outside the House of Commons in memory of the fourteen women that lost their lives in the tragedy.
The date is also one which has evoked the need for better gun control.
“What we're fighting for here in Quebec is gun control, that's why we want to keep our registry,” said Louise De Sousa, whose daughter was killed in a similar shooting at Dawson College seven years ago.
And one prominent Canadian politician said he’ll embrace that issue if he becomes Prime Minister.
“I'm committed to gun control and making sure that Canadians who are united in seeing less violence find a way that doesn't set Canadian against each other,” said Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.
In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his government is making an effort to eliminate the violence that claimed the women's lives.
-- with files from the Canadian Press