December 6th – A Day of Reflection and a Day of Action

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, informally known as “White Ribbon Day”, is a day of mourning and remembrance to mark the École Polytechnique anti-feminist massacre, and to help raise awareness about gender-based violence.

On December 6, 1989, 14 female engineering students were targeted and killed at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal because they had chosen to pursue an academic career and discipline that was male dominant.  This was an act of gender-based violence.

An armed man entered a class of 60 students at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. He asked the men to separate from the women and proceeded to shoot 9 of those women, killing 6. The armed man continued throughout the halls of the school, shooting additional women, and killing another 8.

On December 6, 1989, a total of 14 women were killed and 13 other individuals were injured at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal.

On December 6, we remember:

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

In 1991, the Parliament of Canada designated this day to remember not only this specific incident, but also to honor and remember all women, girls and gender-diverse people who have experienced gender-based violence and lost their lives as a result.

Gender-based violence disproportionality impacts those faced with intersecting grounds of oppression. Individuals who are more likely to experience gender-based violence include Black or Indigenous women and girls, other racialized women, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, transgender and gender-diverse people, women living in rural and remote communities, and women living with disabilities.

Take action on December 6th by wearing a white ribbon, observing a moment of silence at 11 a.m., attending a vigil in your community, or donating to a charity fighting gender-based violence or promoting gender equality.

You can also continue to respond to gender-based violence by paying attention to survivors, learning from them and believing their reports, educating yourself and the next generation, and starting the conversation.

Written by

Krista Potter is an associate at Burn Tucker Lachaîne PC. She obtained her J.D. from Université de Moncton in 2021. Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, Krista is fully bilingual, completed her studies in French, and practices law in both official languages.

Krista is best known for her research skills and her ability to build a strong rapport with clients as she works with them to move their matter forward through various stages of litigation.

With a particular interest in personal injury, Krista is committed to working with every member of the Burn Tucker Lachaîne team to resolve legal matters.