Annual École Polytechnique memorial lights up Montreal sky in honour of 14 victims

Annual École Polytechnique memorial lights up Montreal sky in honour of 14 victims

Hundreds of people braved the cold and snow to attend Montreal's annual memorial event honouring the 14 women who were killed at École Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989.

Fourteen beams of light — one for each of the victims — illuminated the Montreal skyline between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Quebec Premier François Legault and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante were present at the event marking the 29th anniversary of the women's deaths, along with survivors of the shooting and friends and family of the victims.

Following the lighting at the Mount Royal belvedere, wreaths were laid in memory of the women and a minute of silence was held.

Catherine Bergeron, whose sister Geneviève was killed in the attack, gave a short speech welcoming the dignitaries. 

The anniversary coincides with the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

In an interview with Montreal radio station 98.5 FM on Thursday, Trudeau said his government plans to limit access to handguns and assault weapons to confront gun violence.

"We are currently reflecting on how we are going to do better to counter the violence caused by handguns and assault weapons, yes," Trudeau said. "What's happening is unacceptable."

The prime minister said the government is looking at different alternatives to address the situation.

In 2015, Trudeau campaigned on a promise to get handguns and assault weapons off the streets, but gun-control advocates recently criticized the government for failing to follow through.