Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable
senators, December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and
Action on Violence Against Women.
The Parliament of Canada established this
day in 1991 to commemorate the 14 young women who were
fatally shot by a man using a semi-automatic rifle on
December 6, 1989, at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. Each
victim was targeted not just because she was a woman but
also because she was an engineering student.
Honourable senators, I remember
December 6, 1989, vividly because, for the first time in my
life I felt that simply because I was a scientist, I might
become a target of violence.
Honourable senators, as you know, it
is a sad reality that women in Canada are subjected to acts
of violence. For instance, women are three times more likely
than men to be subjected to injury by their spouse.
Honourable senators, on December 6, 1989, it became clear
how much hatred one young man felt towards feminists and
women who wanted to be engineers.
Fortunately, Canada took the l'École
Polytechnique de Montréal tragedy seriously. Existing
programs were expanded and new programs were developed which
have increased the numbers of girls and women who study
science and engineering at post-secondary education
institutions. However, there are still few women in the
various faculties of science and engineering across the
country, and it is imperative that the Government of Canada
continue to support programs that ensure that women are
hired into faculty positions as predominantly male faculty
members retire over the next few years.
Honourable senators, in conclusion,
let us remember and honour the 14 young women who dared,
nearly 20 years ago, to break with tradition by wanting to
be female engineers.
They were: Geneviève Bergeron, Hèléne
Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie
Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Maria Klucznik, Maryse
Leclair, Annie St-Arneault, Michèle Richard, Maryse
Laganière, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier and Annie