City names park after Polytechnique shooting victim
From the left, Deux-Montagnes city councillor Margaret Lavallée, Maud Haviernick’s sister Sylvie, Mayor Denis Martin, Councillor Erik Johnson and Councillor Micheline Groulx Stabile are seen here at the site of the new park to be opened behind next spring behind the municipal water filtration plan. Photo: Martin C. Barry
Martin C. Barry

As December 6 marks the 30th anniversary since the École Polytechnique shootings in Montreal in which 14 women died, the City of Deux-Montagnes has decided to create a new park to honour a former Deux-Montagnes resident who was one of the victims of the attack.

Commemorative park

Elected officials with the city, including Mayor Denis Martin and several city councillors, gathered with relatives and former friends of Maud Haviernick. She was one of the 14 young women who lost their lives. Sylvie Haviernick, Maud’s sister, was joined by a few other relatives and friends for the launch.

The new park, which will open officially next spring, is located on the edge of Lake of Two Mountains, at 101 26th Ave. behind the municipal water filtration plant. A plaque and signage will be installed to identify it as Maud Haviernick Park.

Remembering Maud

“Although she is not coming back, I would say that for us in Deux-Montagnes Maud is someone who is our citizen for life,” Mayor Martin said during a short dedication ceremony held last Tuesday afternoon in the chosen spot.

“We are dedicating this park in this magnificent place in order to celebrate her life and to remember her and the impact she had on those who knew her.”

Maud Haviernick had already completed a degree in environmental design from the University du Québec à Montréal and was studying metallurgical engineering at the École Polytechnique while pursuing her dream of becoming an engineer.

Women were targeted

On Dec. 6 1989, she was at the École Polytechnique when a heavily armed gunman entered a mechanical engineering class in the building and separated nine women from the mixed class, instructing the men to leave.

He then shot the nine women, killing six. Following this, he made his way for 20 minutes through corridors, the cafeteria and another classroom always shooting women, before killing himself with a gunshot in the end. It was the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.

Deux-Montagnes city councillors Erik Johnson and Margaret Lavallée, both being longtime area residents, recalled knowing Maud Haviernick more than three decades ago, as well as the impact her sudden and brutal death had on themselves and the community.

Impact in Deux-Montagnes

“It was very devastating that this could happen to someone so young and from our community. You just never think this is something that could happen here,” said Lavallée, who knew the Haviernick family.

Johnson also knew the Haviernick family. “I was coached at hockey by Maud’s brother,” he said. Councillor Micheline Groulx Stabile noted that the site selected for the park is exceptionally beautiful and peaceful. “People will be able to come and sit here while remembering Maud Haviernick,” she said.