By the Frontline Staff at
the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter
In 1991, the federal government proclaimed December 6th as “Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.” December 6, 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the École Polytechnique Massacre, also known as the Montreal Massacre.
On December 6, 1989, a lone gunman, 25-year-old Marc Lepine, entered a classroom at the university where he separated the male and female students. Lepine claimed he was fighting feminism and, calling the women “a bunch of feminists,” he shot all nine women, killing six. He then moved through the corridors, cafeteria and another classroom, targeting women. In 20 minutes he shot and killed 14 women and injured another ten. Lepine then turned the gun on himself, committing suicide.
His suicide note claimed political motives and blamed feminists for ruining his life.
The women who lost their lives that day were all young, inspiring women. Those 14 women were:
- Geneviève Bergeron: 21 years old and in her second year of a scholarship in Mechanical Engineering;
- Hélène Colgan: 23 years old and in her final year of mechanical engineering;
- Nathalie Croteau: 23 years old and graduating as a mechanical engineer;
- Barbara Daigneault: 22 years old. She was graduating as a mechanical engineer and was working as a teacher’s assistant at another engineering school;
- Anne-Marie Edward: 21 years old and studying chemical engineering;
- Maud Haviernick: 29 years old and in second-year metallurgical engineering;
- Barbara Maria Klucznik–Widajewicz: 31 years old and a first-year nursing student;
- Maryse Leclair: 23 years old and in fourth-year metallurgical engineering;
- Anne-Marie Lemay: 22 years old and in fourth-year mechanical engineering;
- Sonia Pelletier: 28 years old, she was killed the day before graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering;
- Annie Turcotte: 21 years old and in her first year of metallurgical engineering;
- Michelle Richard: 21 years old and in her second year of metallurgical engineering;
- Maryse Laganière: a 25-year-old nonstudent, she worked in the budget department of the engineering school; and
- Annie St-Arneault: 23 years old and a mechanical engineering student.
The Revelstoke Women’s Shelter believes that all people should be able to live free of violence. On December 6, please take a moment to remember these 14 women and the impact that violence made on the lives of all of us that day.