Remembering December 6, 1989

It’s a grim anniversary, but one that needs to be remembered. Twenty-five years ago, on December 6, 1989, fourteen women were murdered at the École Polytechnique de Montreal. Although the massacre is regarded by criminologists as an example of a hate crime against women, it is remembered in the broader community as a stark example of how violence against women has tragic and horrific consequences.

The commemoration of the events of December 6, 1989 reminds everyone of the urgent need to do more to end violence against women and to take more proactive measures to address the related issue of domestic violence. A recent research collaboration between the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and the University of Western Ontario found that close to 40% of women respondents to the survey reported experiencing domestic violence from an intimate partner. The study also found that aboriginal respondents, respondents with disabilities and those indicating a sexual orientation other than heterosexual were particularly likely to have reported experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime.

The research confirms that we need to do more. Governments need to take more proactive measures, both legislative and program related, not only to address the root causes of violence against women, but to provide real and effective protections for women who experience violence. Unions and employers can also be part of the solution by making respectful workplaces a reality, advancing pay equity and ensuring that workplace policies support the career aspirations of women.

This December 6, make a pledge to work with colleagues at your institution to end violence against women in our communities and workplaces.

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.