Mr. Speaker, Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, your names continue to be a rallying cry. When we hear your names, we come together. When we remember you, we stand against violence. When we remember you, we say: never again, no more killing sprees, no more hate, never again.
Like a cross on the side of a highway that marks the painful memory of the needless death of a loved one, December 6 cannot be ignored. December 6 must not become just another day. Above all, December 6 must not, as a certain pro-gun group wanted, become an opportunity to advocate for some petty, self-interested and callous causes. No, December 6 is sacred. This day belongs to these women: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte.
To us, Quebeckers, this day is a symbol of our boundless grief, indignation, and anger, and of our boundless sadness. It is also a day of action. In 2015, over 15,000 women in Quebec were the victims of domestic abuse, victims of homicide, assault, confinement, and sexual assault. The violence continues, but it must stop. Too many lives have been lost or destroyed forever.
These were beautiful, talented, brilliant women with a bright future ahead of them, but hate took them from us. Hate tore them away from us. Hate deprived us of their presence. We still mourn their loss and we will never forget them. We will always strive to remain worthy of their memory.
That is why we categorically refuse to compromise when it comes to gender equality. We categorically refuse to compromise when it comes to ending violence against women. We stand firmly against subjugation and misogyny. We must preserve the memory of the women at École Polytechnique, and every victory for gender equality is claimed in their name, because these women were not victims. They were winners, and we miss them dearly.