CUPE PEI STATEMENT – National Day of Rememberance and Action on Violence Against Women


December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

We pause to remember the 14 young women who were singled out and murdered because they were women on that day in 1989 at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique. Most of them were engineering students. One of the victims, Maryse Laganière, was a CUPE member who worked at the school.

We also remember the 10 Island women who since 1989 have been killed by partners or someone who knew them.  We mourn the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls and the countless others throughout Canada and around the world whose lives were cut short by gender-based violence or who still experience it.

After decades of activism, much work still remains. We must recommit to ending gender-based violence and continue the struggle for gender equality.   “First mourn. Then work for change”. Those words are the call to action on the December 6th monument in Summerside, established by the PEI Federation of Labour.

The labour movement continues to advocate for better socio-economic supports and services for survivors of gender-based violence. A positive step was taken in 2018, with the amendment of PEI’s employment standards legislation to include a new leave for workers who need time to deal with the consequences of domestic, intimate partner or sexual violence. If this change is proclaimed and comes into force,  workers who have experienced this kind of violence will be able to take up to three days of paid leave and another seven days of unpaid leave. Some other provinces, including New Brunswick, offer five days of paid leave.

What can you and your local do to make a difference?

Learn more about the issues and support groups working for change:



  • See the video series “Make it Your Business!”  produced by  PEI Family Violence Prevention Services ( – Resources), working with the PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre, the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women and other partners in the Mayor of Charlottetown’s Purple Ribbon Task Force on Family Violence Prevention with financial  sponsorship from CUPE National. The videos offer short, practical scenarios to help bystanders recognize signs of family violence in public places and workplaces and get tips on how to safely take action.
  • For more on the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, see the website of Native Women’s Association of Canada, ; For services available to survivors, Women’s Shelters Canada,




Participate in one of the December 6th Memorial Services:


Charlottetown, 12:00 noon, Thursday, December 6

Memorial Hall, Confederation Centre of the Arts (venue sponsor) Richmond Street.

The special service will include a Mi’kmaw opening ceremony and prayers by Julie Pellissier-Lush, address by Paxton Caseley of Our Turn, poetry by Lily Levesque, music by the Gaia singers and Dylan Menzie accompanying on piano. Family members, dignitaries, and community activists will light candles in remembrance of those whose lives were cut short because they were women. Everyone is welcome to attend. Contact Michelle at 902-368-4510 /  Organized by the PEI  Advisory Council on the Status of Women.


Summerside, 12:00 noon, Thursday, December 6

Trinity United Church, 90 Spring Street, Summerside.

Service with guest speaker Hon. Tina Mundy  For more information, call 902-436-9856

Organized  by the East Prince Women’s Information Centre.