“On this day in 1989 a 25 year old man walked through L’ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. In less than 20 minutes he shot and killed 14 women and wounded 13 others,” some of the facts from that chilling day 30 years ago described in a media release from the Status of Women Council of the NWT.
The shooter made violent, gender-based statements and claimed he was fighting feminism. It’s been widely reported over the 30 years since the massacre, an act of femicide. In his suicide note he blamed women for everything that had gone wrong in his life, including being denied entrance into the Canadian Military.
Louise Elder is the executive director the NWT status of Women Council. She says the federal government is marking the 30th anniversary with a moment of silence being observed in all federal offices across the country at 11 am. Women and Gender Equity Canada has been promoting 16 days of activism against gender-based violence leading up the 30th anniversary of that tragic in Quebec.
Great Slave MLA Katrina Nokleby says talking about gender-violence is a tough conversation she’s had with young women in Yellowknife prior to her election this fall. She says she’s faced normalized sexism as a female engineer, which is part of what inspired her to enter politics.
In an interview with CKLB, Nokleby noted the low number of female engineers, a field that 13 of the 1989 victims were studying.
“Only 12 percent of engineers in Canada are women, that’s still really low,” noted Nokleby on Friday.
Nokleby is now the NWT’s Minister of Industry Tourism an Investment, a roll that has been mainly held my male politicians in the past.
There will be a vigil this evening in Yellowknife for the National day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against women in Canada.
It’s being held between at 7 at the Calvary Church on Franklin Avenue.