Members Statements: Remembering Ecole Polytechnique

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):Mr. Speaker, I would like to join with my colleagues as we remember the tragic events of December 6, 1989, at École Polytechnique. Since that time, policy makers have put forward legislative initiatives, educational campaigns, statistical gathering efforts and funding programs to combat violence against women.

This work is to be commended, but the Government of Canada must do more. All Canadian women have the right to live in safe communities without the fear or threat of violence. We know aboriginal women in Canada face staggering levels of violence. We therefore have an obligation to stop that violence through prevention.

It is time to move from mourning to action. Ending violence against women requires leadership at the federal level with protection for women who report abuse, strong gun control, access to affordable housing and support for survivors.

Violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of equality. Today, while we mourn the loss of our sisters, we also resolve to do all that we can to ensure that all women can live in safety.