QP Live: On the anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique massacre

Join us for your daily dose of political theatre. Tweet about the madness at #QP.


December 6 is the day of the year that the House of Commons pays much tribute to efforts to end violence against women. That’s because today is the anniversary of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre that saw Marc Lépine murder 14 young women at the Montreal school.

As vigils dot the nation in remembrance, parliamentarians focus, sort of, for at least this one day, on ending violence against women. Last year, the solemnity of the moment of silence that preceded Question Period was interrupted starkly by the House’s normal proceedings. Ongoing tributes to Nelson Mandela’s passing, punctuated by yesterday’s stirring speeches in the House, may encourage MPs to remain civil a little more than usual.

Maclean’s is your home for the daily political theatre that is Question Period, when MPs trade barbs and take names for 45 minutes every day. If you’ve never watched, check out our primer, which we produced with J-Source. Today, QP runs from 11:15 a.m. until just past noon. We tell you who to watch, we stream it live, and we liveblog all the action. The whole thing only matters if you participate. Chime in on Twitter with #QP.


With nary a leader in the House, and a scant selection of ministers, parliamentary secretaries may be left to answer for their bosses on the Wright-Duffy affair, rail safety, and military suicides—each a topic that’s received some attention this week.





QP Live: On the anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique massacre

  1. I can’t wait until we stop this annual Maudlin display of feigned sympathy by the folks who like to crawl atop the bodies of these dead women for political gain. Sickening.
    These women were killed by a muslim nutcase and no registry would have prevented it. Bad things happen…and will continue to happen.
    This is just a day for the gun-control crowd to score political points….nothing more. If these groups were really concerned about violence against women, then they would support the bills that want to keep rapists in jail, as opposed to having house arrest.
    They would support efforts to stop guns from getting into the wrong hands, and sending those who have them to jail for a very long time.

    • Why the gratuitous (and inaccurate) reference to the perpetrator’s religion? Lépine was reportedly baptized Roman Catholic, a fact that is, in any event, utterly irrelevant to the horrific event.

      A bit of a drive-by smear of Islam, it seems to me. A retraction would, IMO, be appropriate.

      • Well maybe you like to ignore it, but others chose not to.

        • Ignore what? The fact that Lépine wasn’t a Moslem?

          • Flip it around however you like but you’re wasting your time.

          • With you? Evidently I am.

          • Eureka!

          • My, you’re easily amused.

          • Can’t right now. I’m busy p!ssing on your leg.

          • Oh is that you down there squatting on my Viberg Loggers.

    • Feminists were responsible for getting the Liberals to introduce more gun control, soon after the Montreal Massacre in 1989. More recently, however, the gun registry was seen as expensive and useless and so was dismantled. And it wouldn’t have stopped Marc Lepine from getting the semi automatic he got, as you indicated, as he planned ahead of time and had to wait some time to get his rifle.

      And yes, feminists took the opportunity to get huge amounts of money from the gov’t over this, and created the white ribbon campaign and put up monuments to the event in several cities across Canada.

      What feminists never did was address the problems Lepine had been trying to get them to see, that feminists were taking over in society. Funnily enough, he was right. He wasn’t a nutcase. He knew what he was trying to do. It was probably a last resort, after having tried so long to get them to listen. But they weren’t listening. They were out for as much as they could get. Feminism has hurt probably as many people as it has helped. I write about the legacy of feminism on my blog, in Feminism’s legacy: contributing towards social
      inequality, Feb 5, 2012.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • He was a killer, but it is not that that I identify with. Like Marc Lepine, however, I have experienced the cruelty and obnoxious behaviour and verbal abuse of (pseudo)feminists. If you don’t toe the party line, then you can’t be one of them.

          • Listen…..if you are female, you’re a feminist. There are no oaths or membership dues. There is no ‘party’

            If anyone is claiming that, ignore them and move on.

          • Come on Emily no one believes that load of hooey.

            Why I’ve seen feministis out on their lawns howling at the moon. And if that wasn’t part of some heinous ritual I don’t know what was.

      • Sue,

        Strident feminsts like Judy Rebick and her mentally unstable ilk, are just plain idiots…..but knowing that, I have never felt the urge to take up arms to prove my point.

        You have done the impossible. What you wrote leads me to agree with EmilyOne.

        First time ever.

        • You didn’t say what post of Emily’s you were agreeing with, or what I said that you didn’t. You’re coming across as a little unstable in your response, which says precisely – nothing.

          I’m sure you are well looked after, by your female doctor and other females in your life. It’s when the world turns against a person such as Lepine, who didn’t have the family support and likely lacked the community support too, and has female students and their middle class parents demanding their rights to ‘equal’ opportunity.

    • It is easier to lock up guns than people. A lot fairer too.

      • It’s easier to lock up people who drink too much wine also……….to stop them from driving. But is it the right thing to do?
        There is nothing fair about talking away someone’s rights or property, just because a few bad apples are irresponsible or nuts.
        The complexity of your arument sounds about as well-thought out as the gun registry itself. Remember, the registry was brought in by the Liberals to score a few political points atop the bodies of Lepine’s victims.

        • The question is, is owning a gun a right, any more than owning a bazooka is. Sometimes you don’t know who the nuts are until it is
          too late. As I said , it is far easier to lock up the guns. Keeping a horse outside your house used to be a right. Not any more. Guns
          should be kept at the rifle range or the hunting lodge.

  2. Im finding a lot of populist pandering going in and outside HOC a lot lately. MPs should be ashamed of themselves.

  3. ‘Speaking in French, he asked the remaining women whether they knew why they were there, and when one student replied “no,” he answered: “I am fighting feminism”.

    One of the students, Nathalie Provost, said, “Look, we are just women studying
    engineering, not necessarily feminists ready to march on the streets to shout
    we are against men, just students intent on leading a normal life.”

    Lépine responded that “You’re women, you’re going to be engineers. You’re all a
    bunch of feminists. I hate feminists.” He then opened fire on the students’

    • Thanks Emily, we missed that part of the story.

      • There has been some debate on whether the women could be considered feminists, as they, or some of them, were apparently unaware of the fight for women’s rights. They have been made symbols of feminism, however, whether they were or not. I do find that problematic, as women who do things without knowing what they are doing cannot be considered feminist, as to be a feminist means to have some understanding of what the issues are, and the history of women’s rights.

        As women gained their rights, they became insensitive to the impact on men of their new freedoms. Lepine was probably right. Women were now taking places in education that once had been seen as the right of men. No doubt the women academics at the school of engineering were less than understanding, or even civil, towards this working class man who wanted to claim what he saw as his right.

        I wrote something about this issue which is on my website:
        Women in Academia. 1994: http://samcpherson.homestead.com/files/EssaysandWriting/WmnInAcadmiaSMcPherson.doc .

        On page 5 in particular, the fact that men will be disadvantaged as women gain more rights is mentioned, something the head of the academic department stated. If you use chrome google, and you access this page, Chrome will ask you to download it, and in the lefthand corner the title of it will appear, to be clicked on. That’s progress too – not always good for everyone.

        • He killed 14 women to draw attention to his cause. Feminists used the murder of these women to draw attention and funding to their cause. You are using the murder of 14 women to draw attention to and promote your blogs and writings on this comment board.

          • Gee. And I thought I was writing about Marc Lepine and the Montreal Massacre because I had something useful to say about it.

            In case you’re interested, I don’t write in my blog or on my websites because I want to draw attention to them. I write because they are my areas of research, usually (even the latest one on my blog, which I am learning about as I go along – about no-fault insurance – see http://suemcpherson.blogspot.ca/2013/11/no-fault-car-insurance-how-it-works-in.html – just updated last night.

            I don’t invent these topics out of my own head. They come from my own interest and life experience, often. I had thought that people could learn something from my experience, but no, you think I get paid, or something? if people read my blog?

          • I pointed it out, you drew the lines between. Which if you look at in an unbiased format, your writings from the massacre and your writing of no-fault insurance are completely different.

            (which I did read both btw. Good article on the no fault insurance antidote).

          • Thanks. By the way, Lepine didn’t kill 14 women for the reason that he wanted to draw attention to his cause. People don’t do that kind of thing unless they are provoked, they have no social support and can’t manage without it, and probably because they are male and there is a male tradition of using violence to solve problems.

            I know what it’s like to deal with women who are feminists or who think they are. I did so when I tried to contribute to the Wiki articles on the Montreal Massacre and Lepine. Eventually, they did what many people in power do – they took what they liked about my contributions, looked up the sources and used it, granting no credit to me. And they got rid of me. And yet, it was still before that that I realized what Lepine must have gone through, trying to get the feminists and activists at the university to give him a fair deal.

          • A good book is,”Who Stole Feminism?” I forget the author.
            A number of years ago, the UVIC School of Social Work had
            a mission statement that said, among other things, ” we look
            at social work from a feminist and first nations perspective,,”
            I , as a man, wouldn’t feel particularly welcome applying to
            enter this school.

          • I wonder if they still use that to attract new students. Somehow I doubt that they would state now that the emphasis is feminist (including first nation).

            There is not so much publicity these days about commemorations of the lives taken by Marc Lepine – not so forceful as they used to be, perhaps particularly this year with Nelson Mandela’s death, and the noticeable emphasis of his on peace, forgiveness, etc. With many MM commemorations, the name of the man they hurt (who in turn hurt them) is forbidden to be mentioned. that, by the way, was Marc Lepine, of Montreal. It’s a shame that he was left to deal with his exclusion with no help from feminists, and no understanding from then of how hard it hit him. I wonder how long it will take for feminists to realize that. All they have thought about is their own loss.

            I went to Western, and took Women’s Studies and learned the feminist approaches to this and that and well as taking traditional sociology in the Sociology Dept. When the women were killed, we all felt the shock of the realization that it was women he killed. It was only later that I realized how badly he was probably treated, and the effort that went into destroying his reputation. People still do that to me.

            Yes the ideas of Christina Hoff Summers, whose book you mention, is another side of feminism. There are obviously good things about feminism, but it isn’t all good, and neither are the people who believe in it and take action on its behalf.

    • That sounds like what Tarek Loubani and John Greyson said when they got arrested in Cairo and tried to claim they didn’t know what was going on.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Which of the moderators are you aligned with, or who are you having sex with, that you are allowed to take on the role of psychologist, and my flagging of you comment/analysis makes no difference?

          • Well there aren’t any moderators….and since I used no profanity etc….no need for one.

            It is legal to disagree, and/or have an opinion in this country.

          • There are moderators, even though they may not respond immediately. Any kind of personal attack, or suggestion that a person needs counselling, shouldn’t be allowed, especially when it comes from someone with no credentials or knowledge, just the desire to control and put someone down, it seems.

            I don’t even know why you considered that an appropriate response to my comment. People who act innocent, like the women at the university, who were training for what used to men’s careers, and like Tarek Loubani and Greyson, who indicated that they got into trouble in Cairo naively, are not always telling the truth. Or if they are, they shouldn’t be there. They should have been warned of the dangers.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • She has more than you. Emily&#174

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Nice and warm Emily but it’s a bit cloudy tonight.

            Sue’s my buddy, she posted a very beautiful tribute to her father a while back.

  4. How many more years are we going to milk this?
    You cannot stop extremism – it will always be there.
    One good man or woman with a legal concealed carry could have saved many lives.
    Oops! Can’t say that as guns are evil.

    • But that is the extremist message, that one man with a rifle took it into his head that feminism had ruined his life, when in actuality, it had.

      People have rights, but when a group obtains new rights, they are often going to step on the rights of others, and that is what feminism has done. It has left a lot of men – and women – with no chance of achieving fulfilment or contributing in the ways they could, if there were room for all.

  5. When women/feminists decided to start taking over careers traditionally held for men, they should have been prepared for obstacles they may encounter, or what kind of a backlash to expect. Feminists portrayed the women as “innocent” after they were killed, and we have no way of knowing if they were doing a “Tarek Loubani” or if they really were aware of possible consequences – if any of them were really feminists or just ordinary women lacking knowledge of the battles men and women have endured throughout the ages.

    Of course the 14 were not a group, so perhaps some knew and some didn’t, that they were headed into unfamiliar territory. and perhaps they had not realized how their actions would make life very difficult for the working class men whose places they were taking over, as it obviously wouldn’t have been the places of middle class men.

    • “When women/feminists decided to start taking over careers traditionally held for men, they should have been prepared for obstacles they may encounter, or what kind of a backlash to expect.”
      Really? That’s what you think?
      I had surgery not too long ago….and my surgeon was a woman. Unlike the male doctors I’ve had in the past, this surgeon was very caring and actually spoke to you like a person…not just a patient.
      Sue, feminism (real feminism, not Judy Rebick Feminism) is about equal rights an opportunity. Judy Rebick feminism is about equality of outcome. That’s why we have 120 pound women in the fire department who can’t lift an unconscious man…..but if you get a 170 pound women who can do the job…..let her.
      the jobs you describe as “traditional” will no longer be so when more women are doing them. Then it will become natural. The only obstacle in the way of some jobs now for women, is mainly due to physical strength requirements. I agree a woman shouldn’t be given a job she cannot physically handle, but hell….if she can design a bridge that won’t fall down….I’ll drive across it.

      • Re that woman doctor you went to, I suspect she spoke to you not as a person but as a man, and according to your status in society. Some doctors I see – and their front desk staff – treat me with great rudeness – according to how they see my status in society depending on what they’ve been told. You will do well in this world if you keep upholding feminism.

        There can never be equality or equal rights. It is a matter of power, and there will be some men, like Marc Lepine, and some women who despite their ability and knowledge, will never get ahead in life. Men and women are different biologically and physically, one aspect of which you have pointed out.

        I’m sure you would be willing to drive across a bridge a woman built – and that’s “outcome”. But would you help her get into engineering if she had no money and no family support but had the ability. It doesn’t seem as though you have reached this point yet, of realizing that there is no equality of opportunity even among just women.