Remembering those Canadians killed because of their gender

Kootenay Columbia MP David Wilks poses with Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Govnerment Services and Minister for the Status of Women. The retired Mountie says the federal government is committed to gender equality and stopping violence against women. Photo courtesy of MP David Wilks

Canadians will always remember the tragic events of December 6, 1989, when 14 young women were killed – targeted because of their gender. Reaction was swift and determined, as our nation resolved to end violence against women and girls in all its forms.

Today, this important work continues. It involves all Canadians, across all communities and jurisdictions, in every part of Canada. Why? Because violence against women affects us all, destroying families, tearing apart communities and placing an incredible burden on our economy.

That is why the government of Canada remains absolutely committed to eliminating gender-based violence. We are taking action that is improving the safety and well-being of women and girls, their families and their communities.

Recently, for example, the government of Canada made investments in initiatives that engage men and boys in ending violence, and that support community-based projects to help students be safe and secure during their post-secondary studies. In fact, since 2007, more than $54 million in federal funding has been approved for projects that seek to address violence against women and girls.

In fact, the government of Canada has supported a wide range of initiatives that are yielding concrete results across Canada. To name just a few:

  • changes to the Safe Streets and Communities Act that result in better protecting children and youth from sexual predators, eliminating the option of house arrest for those who have committed serious crimes, including sexual assault, and no longer allowing pardons for such offences;
  • introducing Canada’s National Action Plan to combat human trafficking;
  • Budget 2012’s measure for funding for shelters and violence prevention programming on First Nation reserves;
  • more than $1.3 million, approved in 2009, for “Uniting to End Violence Against Women,” a 36-month project to build a nation-wide network linking women’s shelters;

As a retired member of the RCMP I have had been involved in numerous incidents involving violence against women and it is something that cannot be tolerated. Beyond the criminal elements, there must be a change in attitude in society in general and it must start at home and then expand. We must make every effort to bring added awareness to a serious problem.

As we work toward a more peaceful, more equitable society, we will succeed only if we work together. On December 6, may we pause to reflect and remember the women who have died, then resume our work for change.  We must double our efforts to ensure the violence against women becomes a thing of the past.  It cannot and must not be tolerated in our society.

David Wilks is the Conservative Party MP for Kootenay Columbia riding. You can reach him in his Ottawa Office at:
Suite 620 – 151 La Promenade, House of Commons K1A 0A6
613-995-7246 (voice)
613-996-9923 (fax)

You can also reach his constituency office at:
100 – B Cranbrook Street North, Cranbrook, British Columbia V1C 3P9
250-417-2250 (voice)
250-417-2253 (fax)

Click here to visit his website,