On every December 6, the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) recognizes the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. LEAF remembers those who lost their lives as a result of gender-based violence and reflects on the daily reality of women who face gender-based violence. We remember the fourteen women who were singled out and murdered at the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre because they were women: 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 and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.
LEAF also remembers Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam, all three of whom were killed near Wilno, Ontario on a September day this year. The man charged in all three of their murders was on probation after conviction on charges relating to his violent acts toward two of the women. He was also subject to a lifetime weapons ban, yet he used a gun on that day this September.
According to Statistics Canada data for 2014, there were 83 intimate partner homicides in Canada, 11 more than in 2013, and the rate of intimate partner homicides was four times greater for females than for males. There was an increase in firearm-related homicides in 2014.
LEAF welcomes the news this week that the Québec government has introduced Bill 64, the Firearms Registration Act, which would require that all firearms in Québec be registered.
With our allies, LEAF will continue to urge the federal government to commit to adopting and implementing a comprehensive national action plan to end violence against women in Canada.
The violent deaths of women in this country are all too common. Yet each one should provoke outrage and a concerted response.
Violence against women must end.
On this National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, we at LEAF are united in our determination to make this country a safe and equal place for all women and girls.
Since 1985, LEAF has been committed to challenging all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls through litigation, public education, and law reform under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For more information visit www.leaf.ca or contact us at [email protected] or 416.595.7170 or toll-free 1.888.824.5323.