Thirty years ago, 14 women were shot dead in a mass shooting at École Polytechnique in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989. But Okanagan College and Canada never forgot.
The shooter, Marc Lépine, walked into a mechanical engineering class shortly after 5 p.m. and ordered men and women separate and stand on either sides of the classroom. He then instructed the men to leave the classroom before open firing on nine women in the classroom. Six were killed.
“I am fighting feminism,” he was reported saying before murdering the women.
Lépine then left the room and wandered throughout the school injuring 14 and killing several more. In the approximately 20-minute massacre, 10 women and four men were injured and the shooter died by suicide.
In honour of the victims, Okanagan College in Vernon is hosting its annual candlelight vigil in room D221 and the Kal View Café to commemorate murdered and missing women and the 14 killed in the Montreal Massacre on Dec. 4, 2019.
Education advisor and Aboriginal transitions planner Marilyn Alexis said the campus has been hosting the remembrance event for around eight years.
The event, which honours the victims of the shooting, missing and murdered women on the Highway of Tears and all women who have experienced abuse and violence, will begin at 4 p.m. with a showing of the black-and-white film Polytechnique.
A smudge ceremony by Michael Ochoa will commence at 5:45 p.m., followed by the candlelight ceremony at 6 p.m.
Light refreshments will be served and anyone with hand-drums and strong voices are urged to come.