Statement on the 25th Anniversary of the tragedy of École Polytechnique

On December 6th Canada commemorates the tragedy of École Polytechnique, “The Montreal Massacre”, when 14 women were killed in an act of misogyny.  This is a National day of mourning for all gender based violence, as well as a call to action: Violence against women must end!

New Democrat Status of Women Critic, Niki Ashton has tabled a private members motion (M-444) which calls upon the federal government to create and implement a consultative, coordinated National Action Plan to Address Violence Against Women, including a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

Sexual violence, intimate partner violence, gender based hate, sexual harassment and assault remain prevalent throughout Canada. Disability, race, immigrant status, gender expression, sexuality, Indigeneity and place of residence can compound risk and prevent access to safety.  Violence Against Women is a systemic crisis in Canada, that is not being addressed effectively by the federal government.

New Democrats recognize that government can be a major catalyst for change in the lives of women. We are committed to taking all necessary steps to address Violence Against Women, and will continue to hold the Conservative government responsible for gender equality in Canada.

The federal government must take a leadership role in coordinating and strengthening all services and systems that prevent violence against women including  shelters, affordable housing, legal aid, immigration services, refugee health care, rape crisis management, police training, childcare, counselling services and social assistance to provide economic security for women and their children. 

Today all New Democrats call upon the government to pick up this motion and take real steps towards ending violence.