Madam Speaker, December 6, 1989, is a day many Canadians recall vividly. I was in my final year of high school and I remember panicking with my parents until we heard from my sister, who was attending university in Montreal at the time.
Some of my sister's female counterparts in another part of Montreal were not so lucky that day. Fourteen women were shot dead at École Polytechnique in an attack fuelled by misogyny, by the anger of a man directed at women who had the audacity to seek to become professional engineers.
Thirty-one years have passed since that horrific day but not enough has changed. Gender-based violence is still far too common. In fact, its frequency has only increased during the pandemic because women have been required to remain at home, often with abusive partners.
This cycle has to stop. We need more funding and tougher rules on accessing firearms, but most of all we need a fundamental change in attitude, particularly the attitudes of those of my gender, men, who perpetuate, condone or turn a blind eye to violence against women.
Let us all get to work.