Friday, December 06, 2019

Rescuing The Legacy Of The Montreal Massacre

In Montreal this evening fourteen light beams will rise from the top of Mount Royal, one by one into the sky. 

One for every woman murdered in the École Polytechnique Massacre 30-years-ago.

Murdered just for being women, by a man who hated feminists.

They were so young, they were so full of hope in the future.

Only to have their dreams of being engineers, so long reserved for men, brutally extinguished in a few murderous minutes.

And then have their legacy defiled by Stephen Harper and his bestial Cons.

Who like the Scheer Cons cared more about god and guns, than they cared about women and girls.

And didn't give a damn about the effects of gun violence. 

The bastards.

I remember how angry I used to be to see the gun lobby treat the murdered women as The Enemy for making them look bad.

I remember how they insisted that the massacre was the work of a madman not a misogynist.

And how some of them threatened to kill me for refusing to believe that cowardly lie.

So I can't tell you how relieved I am to see that after thirty years, attitudes are finally changing. 

At last, 30 years later, the reluctance of officialdom to call what happened what it was has been made right. 

A new sign has just gone up in the Place-du-6-décembre-1989, a memorial park at the base of the U of M campus, on the corner of Decelles Street and Queen Mary Road. 

The old sign said only that there had been a tragedy. The new sign states that 14 women were murdered in an anti-feminist attack at École Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989. 

It condemns all forms of violence against women.

And that the legacy of the Montreal Massacre is finally being rescued.

It also makes me happy to know that we now have a prime minister who supports women's rights, and is proud to call himself a feminist.

Who is working to curb gun violence.

And who will be on Mount Royal tonight when those fourteen beams of light rise into the sky.

So after so many years I can at last feel sure that the legacy of those murdered women will live on.

Always remember their names.

Geneviève Bergeron, 21 - Hélène Colgan, 23 - Nathalie Croteau, 23 - Barbara Daigneault, 22 - Anne-Marie Edward, 21 - Maud Haviernick, 29 - Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, 31 - Maryse Laganière, 25 - Maryse Leclair, 23 - Anne-Marie Lemay, 22 - Sonia Pelletier, 23 - Michèle Richard, 21 - Anne St-Arneault, 23 - Annie Turcotte, 21

Always honour their memory...

And keep their precious legacy alive.

By demanding an end to the violence against women and girls.

And fighting forever for a more equal world...


  1. A lot is being made of the "celestial-sounding" passages that Mme. Payette included in the throne speech, but if you parse it, it's actually really profound. What's even more profound I think is that on the anniversary of Polytech, the GG -- the Queen's representative in Parliament -- is herself a female scientist, and an astronaut at that. Trudeau made a good selection, and I'm glad he tied not only gender-based violence but gun control into the Liberal agenda for ensuring that more Polytechs and Toronto van massacres never happen again.

    I remember he wrote in Common Ground that the massacre really affected him, as it did an entire generation of Canadians, Montrealers in particular. Canada is really fortunate to have him at the helm instead of the nasty Scheer Cons, who spent the whole day heckling Liberal women in Parliament and making fun of the GG, while paying lip service to the memory of the victims and the motivation behind their murders. Shame on them. May these women's deaths not have been in vain.

    1. Anonymous8:29 PM

      I'm biased. But Mme. Payette was an inspired choice. Shes been treated badly by the cons and their media. I kept quiet about Harpers old coot or when he sent Michael Jean to china to lobby for Macdondalds so he could have some alone time with the queen and send her on a mile high flight with Williams. The cons wont be happy until our police are in an arms race with "responsible gun owners" like Justin Baroque.

    2. Hi I said in my post I am just glad that there is a consensus that misogyny was the cause of all those women's deaths. Especially since it is still the cause of so many murders. It is a great example of how our society is evolving, and hopefully will avoid becoming a gun crazed society like the U.S. So the deaths of all those women will not have been in vain...

  2. Anonymous4:43 PM

    Thank you Simon, I also remember how Harper and the gun lobby tried to deny that Marc Lepine was a misogynist, and destroyed the gun registry that was set up after that massacre. I just read that the same gun that was used to kill all those women is still available today. I hope Justin Trudeau can crack down on all those guns before more innocents are killed.

    1. Hi anon...The wilful destruction of the gun registry also infuriated me. It was very useful for police officers and paramedics answering a call to know if there was a gun in the house. But their views were ignored by the Harper regime, and the gun lobby made it sound like the government wanted to confiscate their guns and their Bibles. It was a very bad time, which is why I am so happy today...

  3. madman not a misogynist.

    As an old unreconstructed male, "There is a difference?"

    1. Hi jrkrideau....yes there is a difference, Marc Lepine knew very well what he was doing, he was just burning with rage. And the gun made it so easy to do what he did. As you can see in the Pindera story, it was only after he used a knife to kill his last victim, the police officer's daughter, that he realized what he had done, said "oh shit" and killed himself.....

  4. Anonymous5:29 PM

    I just saw a picture of Andrew Scheer posing with a white rose in his hand in front of that monument in your post. Even though he's a low life misogynist and would repeal all gun control. What a disgusting hypocrite, who does he think he is fooling?

    1. Hi anon....Yes, I saw it but only after I had published this post. I might have used it for all the reasons you mention. But I wanted the post to be a tribute to all those murdered women, and including the foul misogynist Scheer would have debased what I was trying to do. And no, Scheer isn't fooling anyone....

  5. Anonymous4:06 AM

    He flunked out of engineering and decided some quota system was the reason he was out, not his own incompetence so he blamed the women for stealing his rightful place.

    1. Hi anon....He didn't believe that women were fit to be engineers, so when he flunked out, he took it out on them. It was all so senseless. But at least I am consoled by the fact that more women came forward to study engineering, and last night a male student and a female student stood side by side at the top of Mount Royal and read out the names of the dead. So when a large choir sang Leonad Cohen's Hallelujah I had tears rolling down my cheeks...

  6. Ban all guns except long rifle single shot.

    1. Hi Steve....i don't know enough about guns to know which ones should be banned. What I do know is that in 1996 a gunman killed 16 elementary school kids in the Scottish town of Dunblane. And as a result the government brought in tough gun control that have made the UK a much safer place. So I would like to see the same controls here...

    2. Anonymous1:21 PM

      Except now the criminals in the UK use knives and acid now. And of course 'gun control' doesn't keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals.


    I don't agree with everything in that video, but an interesting perpective.

  8. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Nice post Simon. It's so important to never forget what and why it happened and call out those who still ignore the reasons why.
    Fourteen beams of light in the sky,
    Fourteen angels gaze in wonder, why?
    A monster would come and take away their lives,
    Do right by your sons, your daughters, your wives.

  9. Hi Gyor....That video was appalling. Suggesting that the killer was the real victim is absolutely disgusting. I know you dislike feminists, but surely you're better than that,...

    1. The video does not suggest the killer is the real victim,but a victim and that if we are prevent such future tragedies in the future we need to understand how this person got so broken in the future. People who are right in the head don't commit mass murder. I often don't agree with feminists on a host of issues, or even when I do agree, I don't agree on their approach,but I would never slaughter innocent people, because I am a mostly sane person. He clearly wasn't, he was abused and discarded, as are most group shooters like that. If we want to stop this from happening we have to stop allowing men to fall between the cracks, where they are easy pickings for those who would tap into their pain and rage, like the Islamic State, KKK, and even simply their own despair. That isn't condoning his behavior , just trying to find realistic solutions to end the violence.

  10. We have had really horrific events here recently. Misogynist, but does that word encompass all the tragedy. A violent estranged husband who had an order not to approach his (ex) wife, not only did that but also murdered their two little boys, 2 and 4 years old. The murdered woman did visit a nearby women's centre but never spoke of her violent ex.

    Then another estranged ex who stalked his ex-wife despite all the precautions she had taken with the help of the police, women's centres and her employer. Somehow he had found where she was living, and appeared there with a knife to rape her repeatedly, then hang a noose from a door frame. Naturally, she thought it was to kill her, but he attempted to hang himself. Then it all goes blank, and I guess we'll have to await the trial.