Next Friday, Dec. 6 marks the 24th anniversary of the massacre of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. These women were killed for no other reason than they were women.
Dec. 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
The Boundary Women’s Coalition will be holding a vigil at the Grand Forks City Hall cenotaph at noon on Friday, Dec. 6. The vigil will be followed by a light lunch and the National Film Board short video “After the Montreal Massacre” at the Women’s Resource Centre.
More than 20 years after the tragic events in Montreal, violence against women continues to be a serious issue in Canada. We need look no further than the campus of UBC in Vancouver or the government’s failure to act on the recommendations of the Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.
Key among the report’s recommendations is the creation of a shuttle service along the notorious Highway of Tears. Bringing in this service would make a significant difference in the lives of women in rural communities by creating safer and affordable transportation options. Despite this recommendation and a 2006 Highway of Tears symposium endorsing the need for public transportation along Highway 16, the government has done nothing and public transportation options remain scarce.
Attending the vigil on the 6th followed by a letter to Victoria would be an appropriate response on our part.