On December 6, 1989, 14 female engineering students were shot and killed at Montreal’s École Polytechnique by a man who hated feminism. In 1991, the Canadian Parliament passed an order-in-council to create the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
This day is an act of remembrance for those women who have suffered gender-based violence and are missing. This day also serves as a reminder of the importance of taking action against misogyny, discrimination and acts of violence based on sex and gender identity.
Several commemorative activities and candlelight vigils are being organized across the country to pay tribute to the 14 victims: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault and Annie Turcotte.
December 6 also marks the end of the 12 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women. This campaign begins with the International Day Against Violence Against Women on November 25. December 6 is also part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence sponsored by the United Nations that ends on December 10.