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BCNU Encourages Continued Action To Prevent Gender-Based Violence

  • Bulletin; Health & Safety; Human Rights & Equity
December 6 is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

BCNU joins all members in honouring the lives of 14 women killed in an act of gender-based violence on Dec. 6, 1989, when a gunman opened fire at École Polytechnique in Montreal, destroying the lives of 12 engineering students, one nursing student, and one employee of the university. Fourteen others were injured.

This act of violent misogyny shook our country and led Parliament to designate Dec. 6 as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women – a day that is about remembering those who have experienced gender-based violence and those who we have lost to it.

BCNU remembers the lives of the 14 women killed at École Polytechnique and honours them through our commitment to the union's mission statement: to protect and advance the health, social and economic well-being of our members and our communities.

We also reaffirm our commitment to fight the hatred that led to this tragedy, and the misogyny that still exists today. In Canada and around the world, women, girls, 2SLGBTQQIA+ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, plus) and gender diverse individuals face unacceptable violence and discrimination.

Adolescent women and women between the ages of 15 and 24 experience the highest rates of violence and Indigenous women are three times more likely to report experiencing violence than non-Indigenous women. 

Gender-based violence in Canada has been magnified and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been reports from police services, shelters, and local organization of an increase in calls related to gender-based violence across Canada during the pandemic. 

Gender-based violence and harassment often occur in the workplace or have workplace impacts when they happen outside the workplace. BCNU continues to advocate for robust violence prevention programs that include strategies to address how domestic and intimate partner violence spills over to the workplace, and to build a culture of workplace safety. Additionally, BCNU is committed to supporting members and connecting them to WorkSafe BC's occupational health and safety resources. 

Dec. 6 falls within the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Add your voice to the conversation between Nov. 25 and Dec. 10 and share the ways you are being part of the solution to end gender-based violence using the hashtags #16Days and #NDRAVAW in your online postings about this commemoration.

For more information about occupational health and safety, including violence prevention in the workplace, check out BCNU’s Steward Resource Toolkit

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