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People participate in the annual Women's Memorial March in Vancouver on Feb. 14, 2021. The march is held to honour missing and murdered women and girls from the community with stops along the way to commemorate where women were last seen or found.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

More than a hundred supporters gathered in the snow for the 30th annual Women’s Memorial March in Vancouver to pay tribute to women who have gone missing or been murdered in the city.

Myrna Cranmer, one of the event’s co-organizers, says both violence and COVID-19 have had a profound affect on the health of women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood this past year.

She estimates 50 women from the neighbourhood have died under violent circumstances or from COVID-19 since last March.

Vancouver police couldn’t confirm the number, saying it would not be possible to accurately search for cases by gender or trace where someone from the neighbourhood may have died, such as a hospital or a different part of the city.

Due to COVID-19, the event was livestreamed to allow people to stay home if they were sick or did not feel comfortable attending a large event.

Pauline Johnson, whose sister and niece were both murdered in Vancouver, says police need to do more to investigate the cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

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