More than 30 years later: Remembering the Montreal Massacre

On December 6, 1989, a senseless act of gender-based violence at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal claimed the lives of 14 women. This tragedy shook our country and led Parliament to declare December 6 as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.

BCIT White Rose Day
White Rose Day will take place at the BCIT Burnaby Campus on December 6 to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

It has been over 30 years since the devastating Montreal massacre. As we come together to commemorate this national tragedy, we also reflect on the troubling fact that gender-based violence continues to be a daily reality for girls, women, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, plus)  individuals across our country. According to a report by the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, a woman or girl is killed every 2.5 days in Canada and this has been a consistent trend for four decades. Violence not only negatively affects the long-term health and wellbeing of the individual involved but also their community.

We all have a role to play in making a difference to stop gender-based violence. Join BCIT to commemorate those whose lives have been lost to gender-based violence and learn how you can take part in creating a safer community.

Honouring, building resilience, and inspiring change

All flags across BCIT campuses will be lowered to half-mast on December 6. The BCIT Student Association will have an in-memoriam table set-up on the second floor of SE2 to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.

In remembering the 14 young lives lost, many of whom were engineering students at École Polytechnique, we also acknowledge the value that women bring to the engineering profession and our society. Engineers Canada has profiled 30 women engineers who graduated around the time of massacre, including Her Excellency, The Right Honourable Dr. Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada. While the women profiled were all deeply affected by the event, they persevered and forged a path forward that inspires others to follow for a positive change.

We remember the 14 women who lost their lives due to violence perpetrated against them on December 6, 1989.

  • Geneviève Bergeron, Mechanical Engineering student
  • Hélène Colgan, Mechanical Engineering student
  • Nathalie Croteau, Mechanical Engineering student
  • Barbara Daigneault, Mechanical Engineering student
  • Anne-Marie Edward, Chemical Engineering student
  • Maud Haviernick, Materials Engineering student
  • Maryse Laganière, Budget Clerk
  • Maryse Leclair, Materials Engineering student
  • Anne-Marie Lemay, Mechanical Engineering student
  • Sonia Pelletier, Mechanical Engineering student
  • Michèle Richard, Materials Engineering student
  • Annie St-Arneault, Mechanical Engineering student
  • Annie Turcotte, Materials Engineering student
  • Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Nursing student

We invite all BCIT community members to learn more about gender equality, join the conversation at #OurActionsMatter, and join the UN Women’s HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality.

Available resources

Do you know someone who may need help? VictimLink BC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across BC and Yukon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including victims of human trafficking exploited for labour or sexual services.

Call or text 1-800-563-0808 or send an email to

Even if you’re not sure if you have been a victim of crime, you can call or text VictimLinkBC at 1-800-563-0808 or email for assistance. Your call will be completely confidential.

Vancouver’s Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) also provides immediate emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year through their 24-Hour Crisis Line. Call 604-255-6344 or toll free at 1-877-392-7583 today for immediate crisis support.

2 thoughts on “More than 30 years later: Remembering the Montreal Massacre”

Leave a comment