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Executive Council
December 6, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women:

Minister Honours Victims of the Montreal Massacre

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House today to honour the memory of 14 young women who were killed during what is referred to as the Montreal Massacre.

On December 6, 1989, 14 female students were brutally murdered at Montreal’s École Polytechnique. These women were students in the traditionally male-dominated field of engineering and targeted simply because they were women.

In 1991, the Federal Government designated today, December 6, as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It is important we honour the memory of these 14 young women and encourage every person in Newfoundland and Labrador to take a stand to end violence against all women.

Violence against women in our province remains a serious issue. According to Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Royal Canadian Mounted Police data, between 2006 and 2010 more than 14,000 violent incidents were committed against women over the age of 18. Unfortunately, the majority of cases of violence against women go unreported to the police.

We all have a responsibility to address violence against women. Through our $12-million Violence Prevention Initiative, the Provincial Government is proactively working to identify long-term solutions to prevent violence against women.

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Provincial Purple Ribbon Campaign, funded through the Violence Prevention Initiative, was launched throughout the province. The campaign promotes awareness about the prevention of violence against women and honours women who have suffered violence or have died in a violent situation. Wearing the purple ribbon, as Members of the House of Assembly are wearing today, shows support for preventing violence against women, and making it an issue we can openly discuss in our society. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador encourages all residents to support and participate in the Purple Ribbon Campaign by wearing lapel pins or displaying the purple ribbon car magnets.

As a reminder to us all of the tragic events of December 6, 1989, I will now read into the record of the House of Assembly the names of the 14 women who died that day:

Twenty-three years later, their memory continues to serve as a reminder that violence against women is a devastating reality in our society today.

To learn more about how to help prevent violence against women, please visit www.respectwomen.ca.

Thank you.

2012 12 06                      1:55 p.m.

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