Toronto Star Classroom Connection

Pass gun bill, pleads dad of slain woman

Thirty-four years after a gunman massacred 14 women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, the father of a woman who was fatally shot by her former partner called on senators to pass new gun control legislation as quickly as possible.

Brian Sweeney travelled to Montreal from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., for a ceremony on Mount Royal marking the grim day in 1989 when a man with a Ruger Mini-14 killed 14 women at the school, which is now known as Polytechnique Montréal.

Sweeney joined gun-control advocates, victims’ families and dignitaries as 14 beams of light pierced the frigid sky one by one, as the names of the victims of the 1989 tragedy were read aloud.

“I came here for this because of the recent incident with my family, and to support the other victims here that have been suffering for a lot longer than myself,” he said prior to the ceremony.

Sweeney, whose daughter Angie was shot and killed in October, said the anniversary is also a reminder of the need to combat domestic violence and to ensure federal firearms legislation is passed.

“I just believe that it’s time the government stepped up and started doing more control over the gun issues,” he said. “When people don’t qualify for a gun, they should never be able to get one.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who attended Wednesday’s event with Quebec Premier François Legault, said there is a duty to remember the women who were killed “just because they were women.”





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