Montreal Massacre is a constant reminder for gun control in Canada
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor
“I hate feminists.”
That’s what Marc Lépine screamed at École Polytechnique in Montreal 29 years ago. The killer claimed that feminists had ruined his life.
On Dec. 6, 1989, he shot and killed 14 women — Canada’s worst mass shooting.
The massacare significantly impacted Canadians. This was a turning point at the time for gun control. This mass shooting encouraged Canadians to call for restrictions on guns — many of the gun restrictions and laws that we see in the country today.
It was a senseless act against women who were killed simply for being women. For the last few years, Canadians have all gathered to honour the victims of this horrific massacre.
Last year, there were 14 beams of light in memory of the victims across Montreal’s skyline. In other cities for the 28th anniversary of the massacre, flags flew at half-mast.
The anniversary of the mass shooting is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and the day for Action on Violence Against Women.
At École Polytechnique, students gather around a plaque installment that honours the victims and place flowers to show their respects.
At Mount Royal University, the Student’s Association has hosted memorials over the years. This year, MRU will be hosting a passive display in Wyckham House on Dec. 6.
In the past, MRU’s memorials have seen a few discussions on gender violence. In 2014, the university hosted speaker Steph Guthrie, founder of Women in Toronto Politics, in Wyckham House. This was in memory of the victims on the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.
SAMRU’s website indicates the importance of having these discussions on and near the anniversary of this massacre: “The victims of the Montreal Massacre were attending their final class of the fall semester. They were targeted for specifically being women studying in a traditionally male dominated environment. Violence against women continues to this day against women in all ethnic groups, socio-economical, and religious communities. Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16 years old.”
In 2013, MRU said it was important to carry out these types of conversations. “The Students’ Association is dedicated to engaging students in furthering the conversation on violence against women, its effects, and creating a safe space for women on campus.”
If you are experiencing varying forms of violence, do not hesitate to reach out for help:
MRU Wellness Services: 403.440.8877
Distress Centre: 24/7 support and crisis line at 403.266.HELP (4357), crisis support and information line at 403.237.5888
Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter: 24/7 family violence helpline at 403.234.SAFE (7233)