OTTAWA, February 24, 2015 - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, made the following statement:
“Tomorrow is Pink Shirt Day, a day to raise awareness about the serious issue of bullying. Canadians are encouraged to wear something pink to symbolize that our society will not tolerate bullying anywhere. The day began in 2007 when teenagers David Shepherd and Travis Price of Nova Scotia organized a protest at their high school by wearing pink to show support for a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied at school for wearing a pink shirt.
Bullying and cyberbullying can have profound and lasting effects, and requires all of us to do our part to protect our children and youth. In December 2014, the Government of Canada’s Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act received Royal Assent. The new law, which will come into force in March 2015, will give police the modernized tools they need to protect Canadians, in particular children and youth, from acts of cyberbullying. Specifically, the law prohibits the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.
In January 2014, the Government of Canada launched the anti-cyberbullying national awareness campaign, Stop Hating Online, to raise awareness among Canadians of the impact of cyberbullying and how this behaviour amounts to criminal activity. The ongoing national campaign has been very successful, informing both parents and youth about cyberbullying and includes a YouTube interactive experience #WordsHurt, and the television ads “Consequences”, and “Pass It On”. In addition, Canada.ca/StopHatingOnline is a comprehensive resource for parents and youth that includes information, advice and tools needed to identify, prevent and stop cyberbullying.
The Government is also supporting the development of a number of school-based projects to prevent bullying, including cyberbullying, as part of $10 million in funding through Public Safety Canada that was committed in 2012 towards new crime prevention projects.
I encourage all Canadians to wear pink tomorrow and to get informed about the harmful effects of bullying and cyberbullying. Everyone from government representatives, educators, non-governmental organizations, police, community groups, parents, and youth have an important part to play in stopping bullying and cyberbullying in Canada.”
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For more information, please visit the website www.publicsafety.gc.ca.
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada