MONTREAL -- A day after two Quebec women died in a grisly double homicide, the province's premier opened a press conference that was meant to be about COVID-19 with a special appeal to the province's men.

"I'd like to say a few words on what happened, once again, to two women," said Premier François Legault on Wednesday, saying he'd speak about the virus afterwards.

"I want to speak to the men, from one man to another."

He asked the province's men to do their part in stopping domestic violence, including talking to their sons about it.

Two women died following a Monday night attack in a home in the town of Sainte-Sophie in the Laurentians, just northwest of Montreal.

Police have said the victims, 28-year-old Myriam Dallaire and 60-year-old Sylvie Bisson, were related, though they haven't confirmed exactly how.

Several Quebec media outlets reported the women were mother and daughter, and that they were attacked with an axe.

A male suspect is in hospital after fleeing the scene and getting into a car crash, and police have said they'll question him when his condition improves.

Legault said that it "makes no sense that in 2021, we are living like barbarians," and asked men to think about what they can personally do.

"There is nothing masculine... about violence towards women. On the contrary, it's exactly the opposite. I find that to be very cowardly," he said.

 "It's time that men get together and say 'We're going to speak to our boys, we're going to speak to our friends.'"

Legault himself has two sons in their 20s.

"All women, all of our children, have the right to be in a safe environment," he said.

"So, let's spread the word, and let's hope that the measures that we're setting up for housing centres and shelters for women [help] so that the situation can finally improve."

Yesterday, Manon Massé, a co-leader of Quebec Solidaire, also posted a tribute on Facebook to the two women, saying that a lack of housing, shelter space and options for women facing violence is costing lives.

Myriam Dallaire, 28 ans. Sylvie Bisson, 60 ans. Une mère et une fille assassinées par l’ex-conjoint de Myriam hier soir...

Posted by Manon Massé on Tuesday, March 2, 2021