Lawyer reflecting on Renfrew inquest on anniversary of Montreal Massacre

By Joseph Coppolino

On the 33rd anniversary of Montreal's École Polytechnique massacre, the anti-feminist shooting that killed 14 women at the engineering school in 1989, lawyer and women's rights advocate Pamela Cross is turning her focus on to the recommendations from the Renfrew County coroner's inquest.

In June 2022, a coroner's inquest into the 2015 Renfrew County triple-homicide of Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam was released. With it came 86 recommendations from the jury overseeing the inquiry ranging from the creation of a Survivor Advocate to declaring intimate partner violence an epidemic.

Cross, the legal director of Luke's Place, said on The Sam Laprade Show that she is wondering what, if any, action the Ontario government will take to address the inquiry's recommendations.

“I'm sitting at my desk, and I'm thinking, are we going to hear anything from this government this month, six months since the recommendations were released?” Asked Cross. “Are we going to see anything coming from this province that indicates they plan to implement those recommendations?”

Cross said she can't say the Ontario government has not moved forward with any of the recommendations, because, ultimately, the government have not communicated what is being done.

“A statement was made last week […] that there is a cross ministry examination of the recommendations,” Cross said. “I certainly hope that examination will lead to some kind of public announcement sooner rather than later.”

Those most heavily involved in the inquiry are hoping recommendation five is addressed. 

“Recommendation five would require the government to create an implementation committee to oversee the consideration of all 86 recommendations,” Cross said. “Without that, there's really no public accountability, there's really no transparency.”

Every year, Ontario Association of Interval Houses (OAITH) reports on femicides in Ontario. According to their latest report, in the past 52 weeks, 52 women and girls were killed by men in Ontario.

Listen to the full interview with Pamela Cross on The Sam Laprade Show below.


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