Episode 296: On December 6, 1989, a tragic and profound event shook Canada and had a lasting impact. That evening, a gunman entered the École Polytechnique in Montreal, an engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal. This act of violence was specifically targeted against women, marking it as a horrific instance of gender-based violence. The attacker, motivated by his hatred for feminists whom he blamed for his personal and professional failures, embarked on a rampage through the school.
The consequences were devastating — in less than 20 minutes, 14 young women lost their lives.
They were: Anne-Marie Edward, Sonia Pelletier, Geneviève Bergeron, Maryse Leclair, Barbara Daigneault, Maud Haviernick, Michèle Richard, Anne-Marie Lemay, Annie Turcotte, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Annie St-Arneault, Maryse Laganière and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.
Also, ten more women and four men were injured before the cowardly gunman ended his own life. The event, later known as the École Polytechnique Massacre or the Montreal Massacre, left a deep scar on Canadian society. It led to increased awareness and action against gender-based violence, prompting changes in gun control laws and police procedures. The date, December 6, was subsequently declared the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada, serving as a sombre reminder of the need to combat gender-based violence and discrimination.
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