More on Kelly-Anne Drummond

West Island News

01 Dec, 2004

Remembering innocent victims of violence – Dec. 6 Vigil to remember massacre victims

BY SCOTT TAYLOR – The Chronicle

On a Sunday when two separate events in the West Island were held to remember women killed by the men in their lives, another was being readied for 14 more women killed by a man they had never even met.

In Pierrefonds, a vigil to mark what would have been Kelly-Anne Drummond’s 25th birthday was attended by family, friends and others, including Notre-Dame-de-Grace/Lachine MP Marlene Jennings and federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler.

Drummond was stabbed to death Oct. 3. Her boyfriend, Martin Morin-Cousineau, has been charged with second-degree murder.

In Dollard des Ormeaux, a sad anniversary was also being recognized. It was a year ago that Tammara Shaikh was murdered by her estranged husband, former football hero Tommy Kane, in her home in front of horrified family members.

And this Monday, the 15th anniversary of the mass shootings at Ecole Polytechnique.

The message from those involved with the vigils: Be aware, be vocal, be brave enough to ask for help.

Drummond’s father John was pleased with the attendance and the mood of his daughter’s vigil. He stressed that such occasions must keep the crime of family violence in the public consciousness. “It went very well, absolutely excellent. There were about 100 people in the church, two ministers were officiating at the prayer vigil, Irwin Cotler was there. “It’s very important that we do not lose attention to these events. Tragedies like this are all too common. As much as we’d like to put them in the back of our mind, there’s too much of it happening to ignore. It has to be kept in the spotlight.”

Drummond said women who are in a dangerous situation have to know that help is available. “One of the benefits of this kind of publicity is that it lets people know that they can get help. Don’t be scared.”

He stated that Cotler felt it was important for him to be there to show support and to pledge for tougher sentences for conjugal criminals. “He very much wanted to be at the vigil. He said he wanted to send a message that Parliament is working to change the laws so that there can be no plea bargain. he wants to see them get the strongest sentence possible.”

Drummond said that Cotler was knowledgeable of the case. “He took it personally. He read the stories about Kelly-Anne and was very much aware of the situation and who Kelly-Anne was. As I said to him: ‘I would like you to vigorously work on family violence as you do on hate crimes on the Internet.’ He said he would do so,” he added.

Drummond added that police on the front lines also have to be sensitized to what they may encounter each time a domestic disturbance call is dispatched. “The police have to treat each call with the utmost care because you never know what you’ll find, and something can go wrong.”

West Island Women’s Centre director Karen Henchey said such tragedies, rare as they are, still rock the neighbourhoods in which they occur.

“It really hits home when a young member of the community is killed like that. And how do you explain it to children who want to know what happened. They don’t understand why someone would want to kill someone they’re supposed to love,” Henchey said.

The Centre will once again team up with Valois United Church to host a Polytechnique vigil. The Dec. 6 service will include songs, reflections and candle lighting.

Monday’s vigil will begin at 7 p.m. at Valois United Church, 70 Belmont. Ave. in Pointe Claire.


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