Statement by the Prime Minister on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
December 6, 2023, Ottawa, Ontario
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women:
“On this National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, we remember the 14 young women who were senselessly murdered and the 13 others who were injured at the École Polytechnique de Montréal. Today, we pay tribute to their lives that were tragically cut short simply because they were women, and we reaffirm our commitment to eliminate gender-based violence.
“As we remember the victims of this hateful, cowardly act, we are also reminded that, for many women, girls, and gender-diverse people in Canada and around the world, the violent misogyny that led to this tragedy still exists. The risk of violence is even higher for Indigenous women and girls, racialized women, women living in rural and remote areas, people in 2SLGBTQI+ communities, and women with disabilities. That is why we have and continue to strengthen our laws and ensure supports for victims and survivors of gender-based violence.
“Through the Gender-Based Violence Strategy, we are delivering crucial community-based and trauma-informed support for victims, survivors, and their families. Last year, we launched the It’s Not Just campaign to help young people recognize, build awareness of, and end gender-based violence.
“We are also working with provinces and territories across Canada to implement the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence – which sets a framework to have a Canada free of gender-based violence, with supports for victims, survivors, and their families. We have already announced bilateral agreements with Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Nunavut, the Yukon, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick – ensuring supports are readily available and accessible across the country. There is also more work to do to put an end to the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people. We will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous families, Survivors, leaders, and partners, as well as with provinces and territories, to implement the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan and the Federal Pathway to make our communities safer.
“We are also taking transformative action to strengthen gun control measures and address the alarming role of firearms in domestic and gender-based violence. We banned over 1,500 models of assault-style firearms and their variants, including the weapon used at the École Polytechnique. We implemented a national handgun freeze, restricting the sale, purchase, and transfer of handguns, and through Bill C-21, we can implement some of the strongest measures in Canadian history to tackle gun violence and keep our communities safe.
“As we mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, I encourage Canadians to honour the victims and survivors of the École Polytechnique massacre. You can wear a white ribbon, attend a vigil in your community, or observe a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. Together, we can and must put an end to gender-based violence and build a safer, more inclusive future, where everyone can reach their full potential.”
This document is also available at https://pm.gc.ca