On the 28th anniversary of the Montreal massacre, Regina residents gathered at the YWCA on Wednesday morning to remember the 14 victims of the shooting.

“Even though it happened in Montreal 28 years ago, it’s something that’s still very much happening in society today,” said Kendra Strong-Garcia from the YWCA.

In 1989, Marc Lepine opened fire at École Polytechnique, killing 14 engineering students simply because they were women.

“What happened in Montreal that day was a senseless act of violence that shocked the country, and the world,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday.

Outside École Polytechnique, flowers were laid in front of a memorial plaque.

“When I think back on that, I think it’s just horrible,” said Michele Thibodeau-Deguire, chair of the board of directors with École Polytechnique.

The anniversary falls on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The day was created in direct response to the shooting. According to the YWCA, more than 50 per cent of Canadian women will experience a violent incident at some point in their lives. For the majority, it’s before the age of 25. Women are also more likely than men to be victims of spousal abuse, homicide or sexual assault. Nearly 40 per cent of women in Canada who reported assault by an intimate partner said their children witnessed the assault.

“It needs to be on people’s minds every day, so that we can come towards change and work towards some meaningful change,” Strong-Garcia said.

Businesses and organizations in Regina, and around the country, will change their lights to red on Wednesday night. By lighting the night, they hope to draw attention to the need for action on violence against women in Canada.