Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre

Statement from Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen on the 20th Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, read at a number of vigils around the constituency today.

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“Please accept these words on my behalf as I cannot be here with you today at this very important memorial.

Today marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Canadians gather to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre at the École polytechnique on December 6, 1989, where 14 women were shot and killed simply because they were women.

December 6th has also come to symbolize the struggle women and their families face across the country. Economic and sexual exploitation and the violence that too many women face every day.

Here in the Northwest, we struggle to find justice for the missing women of the Highway of Tears and the many other cases that have received too little attention. We must have a full public inquiry into the Hwy of Tears, a national shame, to restore our faith in the governments that are meant to protect those most vulnerable.

In Ottawa, my caucus colleagues and I continue to work hard alongside you to help stop violence against women.  Some of our goals:

- restore federal funding for shelters and transition houses;

- support First Nations’ women’s efforts to develop healing centres and educational and training opportunities, including those that target the root causes of violence, and;

- re-open regional Status of Women offices and strengthen their mandate to achieve equality for women.

Today is also about celebrating the power of women and the courage of those who stand together working for a better, safer future. Peace is not a thing that is simply accomplished but must be struggled for each and every day.

Please know that I am an ally in your work.  Even as we gather in sadness and to commemorate the lost lives of 14 young women, I will forever offer myself to your work and your vision for a more beautiful future for women and girls everywhere.”

Yours sincerely,

Nathan