From sunrise to sunset, flags will be lowered to half-mast today outside the B.C. Legislature and Victoria City Hall to honour the 14 lives that were lost on Dec. 6, 1989, when a man opened gunfire at l’Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal.
Since 1991, the day has become the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women for the women and girls who faced and continue to face violence simply because of their gender.
“On December 6, 1989, at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal, 14 young women were brutally murdered, simply because they were women,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a press release. “Today, on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, we mourn the loss of these promising young lives. We remember the victims of this hateful act of violence, and unite against the misogyny at the root of this tragedy.”
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is also taking place, encouraging people to listen to survivors and help enact change.
In his statement, Trudeau added that $50 million was announced in the Budget 2018 to help fund programs to support survivors. He said more support was added for preventing teen dating violence and cyberbullying.
In Victoria, the First Metropolitan United Church is also hosting a candlelight vigil at 5 p.m. with poetry, music and storytelling. The Parliament buildings in Victoria will also hold a vigil at 5 p.m.