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Toronto remembers victims of Montreal massacre

The victims of the Montreal massacre were remembered at ceremonies in Toronto and across the country on Thursday as Canada marked the annual day opposing violence against women.

On Dec. 6, 1989, 14 women were gunned down at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. The shooter, Marc Lepine, walked into a classroom at the school, separated the men from the women and then opened fire while making anti-women statements.

Lepine wounded another nine women and four men before fatally shooting himself.

In 1991, the federal government designated Dec. 6 as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

During the Toronto ceremony at Women’s College Hospital, 14 people each placed a rose in a vase to remember the victims of the Montreal shooting. A 15th rose was placed in remembrance of the women and children who were killed as a result of domestic violence in Ontario during the past year.

Everyone else at the ceremony held a lit candle during the procession. Afterward, a minute of silence was held and then the candles were blown out.

The province’s health minister Deb Matthews,  MP Carolyn Bennett and Toronto Police Insp. Sandra Richardson all attended the ceremony.

The Montreal massacre spurred implementation of the long-gun registry in 1991 in an effort to make firearms like the one used in the shooting traceable.

The Conservative government scrapped the registry this year.  

The 14 women killed in the Montreal massacre are Genevieve Bergeron, Nathalie Croteau, Anne-Marie Edward, Maryse Laganiere, Anne-Marie Lemay, Michele Richard, Annie Turcotte, Helene Colgan, Barbara Daigneaul, Maud Haviernick, Maryse LeClair, Sonia Pelletier, Annie St-Arneault and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.