The Alexa McDonough Institute for Women, Gender and Social Justice (AMI) at MSVU held an event earlier today (December 6, 2022) to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, and to honour the 14 women who were murdered during the mass shooting at the École Polytechnique de Montréal on December 6, 1989.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Tegan Zimmerman, Chair of the AMI, thanked those in attendance for “embodying this year’s theme ‘UNITE: Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls’ by … participating collectively as we think through and share experiences on the local, global and national level, and ask ourselves how we can meet the call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.”

Nya Urciuoli, a Modern Languages student at MSVU, read aloud the names of each of the Montreal Massacre victims, and then paused for a moment of silence. Breagh MacDonald-Rahn and Ann de Ste Croix of the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia (THANS) then spoke about their work and the many issues faced by victims of gendered violence, particularly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In 2021, THANS member organizations provided services to about 2,500 women and children in our province. What we’ve seen across the country, and what we’ve seen in Nova Scotia as well, is an increase in the reported cases of domestic violence cases and in the severity of these cases during the pandemic. This has continued even as restrictions have eased. It’s estimated that rates of domestic violence increased by about 30% during the pandemic. This is a shocking number in and of itself, but when you consider the fact that a lot of cases go unreported, it’s likely that that rate is even higher,” said de Ste Croix.

Claudia Chender, MLA for Dartmouth South and NDP Party Leader, then began the open dialogue among the large crowd of attendees.

Below are the names of the 14 women murdered in the Montreal Massacre

  • Geneviève Bergeron
  • Hélène Colgan
  • Nathalie Croteau
  • Barbara Daigneault
  • Anne-Marie Edward
  • Maud Haviernick
  • Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz
  • Maryse Laganière
  • Maryse Leclair
  • Anne-Marie Lemay
  • Sonia Pelletier
  • Michèle Richard
  • Annie St-Arneault
  • Annie Turcotte