Watch: Heated exchange in House of Commons over Montreal Massacre
MONTREAL — As Canadians prepare to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of 14 women at the École Polytechnique, a twitterstorm of controversy took place over remarks made by the country’s justice minister.
It all began when Marc Garneau, a Liberal MP from Montreal, asked Peter MacKay a question about Bill C-42, the federal government’s new firearms bill.
Garneau said survivors of what’s often been described as the Montreal massacre are opposed to the bill.
MacKay responded by saying that Canadians may never understand why the shooting took place.
“This week, we remember the horrific events that took place in Montreal at École Polytechnique 25 years ago, and while we may never understand what occurred — why this happened, why these women were singled out for this horrific act of violence, we have to stand together.
“We have to work continually to support victims, to hold offenders accountable, and we are creating a safer and more secure country by doing so.”
The head of the opposition, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair later pointed out that because of a manifesto written by the shooter, Canadians actually do know why the women were murdered.
“It’s because they were women.”
“We know why this happened. We know why these women were singled out,” Mulcair said.
“It’s because they were women. That’s what Marc Lepine wrote in a manifesto.”
Mackay responded by saying, “We want to bring people together around stopping, putting every effort into avoiding, violence, anything that would ever put women and girls at risk.”
The heated exchange brought about an onslaught of heated reaction on social media.