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Today is a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

On December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine entered L’École Polytechnique de Montréal with a legally-obtained rifle and killed fourteen women, wounded nine more women, and injured four men in the crossfire. Fiona Tinwei Lam writes in the Tyee.ca, “After the horrific targeted killing, the federal government declared Dec. 6 the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The wording is significant: it goes beyond what happened 23 years ago to include violence that has occurred in the past and still occurs in the present here and elsewhere, and emphasizes the need for all of us to take steps to prevent and eradicate it.”

Sadly there are too many examples of how violence against women continues, but what comes to mind for me this morning are the words of Jody Williams who links violence against women to the Harper government’s backing of Canadian mining companies in Latin America.

She writes, “The very people who are supposed to be protecting women in Honduras pose the greatest threat to them, namely state security forces. And increasingly, private security firms being hired by mining companies, mega projects and the business elite in Honduras are also behind the extreme violence against women. …A proposed law would accelerate the licensing process for new mines in Honduras (and) it appears that the Canadian government is eager for the deal. …Canada must ensure that the Honduran government consults with its own people, insist that the environmental and health impacts of existing Canadian operations are adequately addressed, and urge Honduran authorities to protect the right of Hondurans to dissent and freedom of expression. Honduran women, their families and their communities deserve nothing less.”

Let us recommit on this day 23 years after the Montreal Massacre to remember and to continue to do everything we can to stop violence against women.