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Heidi Rathjen, a former Ecole polytechnique student and witness to the massacre, said it is still important to remember what happened 28 years ago.

The gunman, Mark Lepine, 25, killed the women after separating them from the men and then fatally shot himself.

Vigils across the country marked Wednesday's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, created after 14 women were slain at Montreal's l'École Polytechnique in 1989.

"It's a day where we need to recognize that we have made some stride and that there is a great amount of awareness, but it's a day to challenge us, in hearing all of the names of the women who have been at the hands of gender based violence over the past year", says OPP Insp. Each woman's name was read out.

"Equipping students with values and an understanding of societal impacts and the ethics of what they do I think will make them stronger graduates who will have a greater impact, not just technically but in the larger landscape of things", she says.

"Today is a day to reflect on the reality that violence against women and girls remains pervasive in our society".

There were 14 women murdered in the École Polytechnique massacre in 1989 and 10 P.E.I. women killed by intimate partners or close acquaintances.

To those who are still vulnerable, such as members of the LGBTQ2 community, Indigenous women, newcomers and disabled women, we will not tolerate discrimination and violence.

Trudeau said more must be done to speak out against gender-based violence against women and girls both in Canada and overseas. "Together we have a responsibility to foster a culture of respect and inclusion".

"The university, the educational system is a very special and important place and it's important to value education, especially in fields like STEM where it provides opportunities for people where diverse backgrounds and opinions are needed very much", she says.

Canadians have the support of this Government, whether it be through the first federal strategy to prevent and address gender-based violence, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the National Housing Strategy, and investments in shelters.


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