Statement from Ministers Blaney and MacKay on Bullying Awareness Week

Ottawa, Ontario, November 18, 2013 – The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today issued the following statement to mark the launch of the 11th Bullying Awareness Week, November 17-23, 2013.

“Our Government recognizes that bullying and cyberbullying are serious concerns for many Canadian families and communities. Cyberbullying has recently affected many young Canadians across the country and has, in some cases, led to tragic consequences.

Our Government is taking action to protect our children and youth from bullying and cyberbullying. Working with partners in the public and private sectors, we will continue to undertake  extensive education, awareness and prevention activities to address these problems. We have already taken significant steps toward addressing the harmful behaviours associated with bullying and cyberbullying.

Some examples of our efforts include:

  • Developing a number of school-based projects across Canada that will target bullying;
  • Informing Canadians about online safety and cyberbullying through GetCyberSafe; and
  • Supporting the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, which manages Cybertip.ca, Canada’s national tip line to report child sexual exploitation on the internet, and NeedHelpNow.ca, a resource for Canadians seeking help for exploitation or bullying resulting from sharing sexual images.

We have been clear that there is a point at which bullying becomes criminal activity.In the 2013 Speech from the Throne, our Government also committed to bringing forward legislation to address cyberbullying. The legislation would close an identified gap in the Criminal Code relating to cyberbullying by creating a new criminal offence prohibiting the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. The legislation would also give police and prosecutors new tools to more effectively address cyberbullying and other cybercrimes.

We all have a role to play in protecting our children and youth. As part of this year’s Bullying Awareness Week, we encourage all Canadians to join us in standing up to bullying.”

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