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Local women’s group organizing Day of Remembrance vigil in Guelph

Marianne’s Park in Guelph will be the site of a vigil remembering those killed at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal.

A gunman entered a classroom on Dec. 6, 1989 and opened fire, killing 14 women before turning the gun on himself.

Wednesday’s Day of Remembrance event is being organized by Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis. Public educator Cindy McMann said the anniversary is a grim reminder that gender-based violence continues to be a problem in Ontario and it needs to be addressed.

“We are in a moment right now where things are not trending in a direction that we would like to see,” McMann said. “Last year in the province, 52 women were killed by femicide. This year, that number is 62.”

Last Tuesday, Guelph city council passed a motion that declared intimate partner violence an epidemic. McMann was at the meeting as part of a delegation. She said it is things like this and the hard work people are doing to raise awareness have put gender-based violence in the spotlight.

“I think there are a lot of people, particularly from marginalized communities, transgender communities and racialized communities are sounding the alarm,” McMann said. “It is thanks to work that they’re doing that gender-based violence has become more visible in our culture.”

The event will start at 6:30 p.m. The weather forecast on Wednesday night is calling for flurries and temperatures around -4 C. Those planning to come to the vigil are being asked to dress appropriately, as well as bring any photographs and mementos.

McMann admits the event will be sombre and grim but said it will allow people space and show how gender-based violence has impacted women.

“Especially survivors, or for folks who are supporting someone who they really care about who is experiencing violence…. I think it can be really healing.”


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