This year marks the 30 years anniversary of the Montreal massacre. On December 6, 1989, at l’Ecole Polythechnique, fourteen young women lost their lives simply because they were women.
Since then, on December 6, we take a moment to mourn these 14 young women and all women and girls who were killed or experienced various forms of violence in their homes, their communities and workplaces. We also take this time to renew our commitment to work for change and to build a society based on respect, equality and peace.
We can be proud of the work the labour movement has already done. For decades, unions have been negotiating collective agreement language on sexual harassment and raising awareness of all forms of gender based violence at work. For example, the New Brunswick government updated the Employment Standards Act to make a paid leave available for victims of intimate partner and sexual violence and violence is now recognized as a workplace hazard.
“Economic security and having access to quality and affordable housing and child care services will positively assist women who are fleeing family violence,” says Debbie Hollis, New Brunswick Federation of Labour Vice-President responsible for Women’s Issues. “Decision makers need to understand the complex and interconnected factors that lead to abuse and its impact on women and children before putting in place policies that will affect them.”
Unfortunately, in Canada, Indigenous women are six times more likely than non-Indigenous women to face gender-based violence. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its report in June. The New Brunswick Federation of Labour adds its voice to many others, calling on the Government of Canada to implement a national plan of action to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, two-spirited and LGTBQ people.
The NBFL encourages everyone to attend the December 6th activities organized in your region and support the numerous campaigns of our partners to end violence against women and girls.
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The New Brunswick Federation of Labour is New Brunswick’s largest central labour body representing 35,000 members of both public sector and private sector labour unions.
(506) 857-2125 / (506) 381-8969 (cell)
NBFL VP responsible for Women’s Issues