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Montreal’s École Polytechnique Massacre – December 6: Remembrance and a Call to Action

A message by President Roydon Fraser, PhD, P.Eng., FEC


Thirty-four years ago, on December 6, 1989, Canada was horrified by the targeted murder of 14 young women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in an act of misogynous violence.

On December 6, we must not forget the 14 lives that were cut short by hatred—by gender-based violence. On December 6, we need to remember these young women by remembering their names and by recognizing each individual life that was lost:

Victims of Ecole Polytechnique massacre

One consequence of Montreal’s École Polytechnique massacre was the establishment in 1991 of December 6 as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. To honour these women, and the many other women whose lives were tragically taken by misogynous violence, it is important to reaffirm our commitment to fight gender-based violence faced by women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ in Canada and around the world. This reaffirmation requires actions that everyone can take, including, but not limited to:

  1. Being educated on gender-based violence,
  2. Speaking up against harmful behaviours, and
  3. Supporting a culture of gender equity, diversity and inclusivity.

In addition to remembering the 14 young women lost—12 engineering students, one nursing student and one employee—it is by taking action against gender-based violence that you become part of the solution and most deeply honour the victims of the École Polytechnique massacre.

On December 6, consider showing your commitment to this goal of a Canada free from gender-based violence by observing a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m., by wearing a white ribbon, by attending a vigil in your community, or by joining the conversation supporting solutions to end gender-based violence.