Ministerial Statement – Minister Coady Marks National Day of Remembrance and Action
December 6, 2017
The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women:
Mr. Speaker, I stand today to recognize the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On December 6, 1989, a gunman shot and killed 14 young women at Ecole Polytechnique. This tragic incident remains one of the worst incidents of mass murder in Canadian history. To honour and remember those who lost their lives that day, flags are being flown at half-mast at Confederation Building until sunset this evening.
All 14 were killed that day simply because they were women. This horrific event is a chilling reminder of the devastating effects of violence against women and girls and the continued struggle that they face every day in our society. We all want and deserve a society where women and girls are treated with equity and respect. We must work every day to achieve those goals.
Violence against women and girls is simply unacceptable, in any form, or by any means. We must stand together to make change happen by bringing our collective voice and strength to address the many complex reasons why violence occurs.
Mr. Speaker, approximately 50 per cent of women over the age of 15 will experience at least one incident of sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. Indigenous women are three times more likely to experience violence and five times more likely to die by violence.
That equates to half of the women in this room right now. It’s our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, our neighbours and friends. This must stop. We all share the responsibility to work together to end violence so that all women and girls can live, work, learn and play in a society where they are safe.
Mr. Speaker, at this time, I want to acknowledge the women and girls who have been lost, those who are hurt and hurting, and those who have been killed.
The Provincial Government on behalf of the people of the province, joined by the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, regional coordinating committees against violence, the Indigenous community, as well as new immigrants and community- based organizations, stand together, working to address this horrific societal problem.
I ask all members of this Honourable House to stand with me and the women of Newfoundland and Labrador for a moment of silence to remember them, and all the women, girls and families whose lives have been impacted by violence. Thank you.