The Tragically Hip Honours École Polytechnique Victims With Fundraising Package

By Steve McLean 12/6/21 |

The Tragically Hip 1991 MCA promo pic — photo credit: Jim Herrington

Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip is honouring the Dec. 6 32nd anniversary of what became known as the École Polytechnique massacre, when 14 women were killed and 14 other people were injured during a mass anti-feminist shooting by a gunman at the Montreal engineering school.

The victims haven’t been forgotten and a group of École Polytechnique students and graduates formed an organization called PolyRemembers/PolySeSouvient in an effort to promote gun control and ban all semi-automatic assault weapons.

PolyRemembers/PolySeSouvient has actively lobbied the federal government and launched petitions to further its cause and improve public safety.

The Tragically Hip, in a gesture to honour the victims and support PolyRemembers/PolySeSouvient, has bundled music and a commemorative T-shirt together to raise money to donate to the organization.

The bundle includes the song “Montreal,” which was written about the femicide event and included on The Tragically Hip’s recently released Saskadelphia EP, and the band’s Juno Awards performance of “It’s A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken” featuring Feist.

A CD and T-shirt or a collectible flexi-disc single and T-shirt can be purchased for $45 from The Tragically Hip’s website. All of the sales proceeds will be donated to PolyRemembers/PolySeSouvient.

The website is in French but, in a 2017 English-language letter to Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, in regards to strengthening the Firearms Act, the organization wrote:

"Poly Remembers (or PolySeSouvient) consists of students and graduates of the École Polytechnique as well as families and loved ones of the victims of the December 6, 1989 tragedy that are calling for better gun control. We also collaborate with other families who have lost loved ones or been injured in shootings, namely at Dawson College and the Quebec Mosque.

"Our mission is simple: to reduce the number of accidents, suicides, homicides, threats and other crimes carried out with firearms. Having witnessed or experienced the suffering that a firearm in the wrong hands can cause, we feel it is our duty to speak up in the gun control debate to defend every person’s right to life and security. We are motivated by our firm determination to prevent other families from experiencing the pain and suffering caused by avoidable tragedies.

"Although we are not safety experts, we offer a very important perspective, that of the victims. In addition, our positions are based on the research and opinions of the real experts in public safety: police officers, suicide-prevention experts and people working to prevent domestic violence."

The 14 women murdered at École Polytechnique were:

  • Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
  • Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
  • Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
  • Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
  • Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department
  • Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
  • Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
  • Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
  • Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
  • Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
  • Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student


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