Gender Equality

Canada’s unions mark 30th anniversary of Polytechnique Massacre

December 6, 2019

It has been thirty years since fourteen lives were lost in an act of misogynistic violence at Montréal’s École Polytechnique.

Every year since, communities across the country have mourned those, and innumerable others, lost to gender-based violence with a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.  

While recent federal initiatives have progressed the drive to end institutionalized violence and harassment, the solutions are a patchwork and not enough to address the systemic current crisis. That’s why Canada’s unions mark this important anniversary with a demand for our newly elected federal government: commit to action to end violence and harassment, hold perpetrators accountable and make Canada’s workplaces safe.

“Canada’s unions are calling on our government to commit to a national action plan that includes ratifying C-190—a new global Convention on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work,” said Marie Clarke Walker, Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress. “It’s time for federal leadership that will set a standard for provinces and municipalities across the country.”

Earlier this year, the international community came together at the Centenary Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to adopt a new convention on violence and harassment in the workplace. C-190 is a historic convention that Canada’s government played an instrumental role in negotiating.

“Canada has an opportunity to be amongst the first countries in the world to ratify this convention,” said Clarke Walker, who served as Worker Vice-Chair, leading the negotiations on C-190 on behalf of the global trade union movement. “We mark today by remembering those lost to gender-based violence and by recommitting ourselves to the elimination of institutionalized violence and harassment. With leadership and action, we can end sexual harassment and violence in workplaces.”

For more information about the École Polytechnique Massacre and National Day of Remembrance, click here. And to stand in solidarity with communities across the country, find a December 6th vigil near you.

Write to Prime Minister Trudeau today and urge him to make workplaces safe for everyone by ratifying C-190. 

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