The Massacre at Montréal and Supremacy’s Poison

We were sitting at a large drafting table in the naval architecture lab in the Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering building at UBC when someone came in and said it had happened. My own initial emotion was of incredulous shock.

It took some time for the horrible reality of what had happened to trickle in: A heavily-armed young man had separated out women and then massacred them in the engineering school in Montreal. Because they were women and he was murderously

NewsPiece.jpg angry at women.

On December 6, 1989, when we first heard reports that a terrorist had attacked Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, I was a 2nd-year mechanical engineering student at UBC.

I will never forget where I was when I learned about it, because it is permanently seared into the memory of all Canadian women I know who were adults at the time.

Many of the victims were our age that day. We were enrolled in the same program as them: mechanical engineering.  These women, whose lives were savagely snuffed out by that angry man’s rage, had beaten incredible odds just to be enrolled in mechanical engineering.  They were students in a space that was already struggling with its toxicity to women.

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Things I’d love to see in a reinstated BC Human Rights Commission

The BC Human Rights Commission (BCHRC) was disbanded by the BC Liberal Government in 2002 and replaced with a Human Rights Tribunal amid complaints about a clogged system and public opinion that the Commission was handling outlandish cases such as the protection of transgender rights. It is being reinstated by the BC NDP Government in 2018.

BC needs an adequately–funded and accessible human rights commission which monitors problems and intervenes bindingly to address systemic issues at institutional, policy, and legislative levels. The commission would maintain and operate a low-barrier human rights tribunal for British Columbians to lodge complaints the commission has not already noticed.

Continue reading “Things I’d love to see in a reinstated BC Human Rights Commission”