The Massacre of Women at the Ecole Polytechnique Engineering Faculty in Montreal remains an iconic moment in time and a location that has become synonymous with violent anti-feminisms and the persecution of women. It has eluded the grasp of Canadian politics and public spaces of concern: it prompted a national registration of firearms which was later repealed by the Conservative Party, leaving unresolved questions. Ecole Polytechnique remains a touch-point and a memory site toward which numerous memorials point, from across Canada and abroad, invoking the problem of violence against women. The school is a site where this unresolved national trauma become starkly present; it witnesses to the sexual colonization of womens’ bodies and points to the scars of violent anti-feminisms that split Canada’s immigrant cultures and fractures the collective psyche.
-Rob Shields, University of Alberta