OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 19, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Central Nova, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, issued the following statement today:
"Following the tragic suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons in April, the federal, provincial and territorial governments agreed unanimously to expedite a review of our laws surrounding cyberbullying.
"Today I am pleased to announce that I have received the report by federal, provincial and territorial officials on cyberbullying and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.
"The report recommends creating a new law against non-consensual distribution of intimate images and enhancing current criminal law responses to bullying, including cyberbullying.
"In addition, the report recommends modernizing - subject to appropriate judicial oversight - investigative powers in the Criminal Code to facilitate the investigation of criminal activity involving electronic communications.
"The report also recommends that all levels of government continue to build on initiatives to address the issue of cyberbullying in a comprehensive manner, including prevention, education, and awareness-raising activities.
"For my part, I will consider the report and its recommendations, which will help guide the way forward to ensuring our children are safe from online exploitation.
"The Government of Canada has taken significant steps toward cracking down on violent crimes, preventing victimization, and addressing the harmful behaviours associated with bullying and cyberbullying.
"For example, under the National Crime Prevention Strategy, in the fall of 2012, the Government of Canada committed up to $10 million toward new crime prevention projects, including the prevention of school-based bullying, focused on children and youth.
"GetCyberSafe, the Government of Canada's public awareness campaign on online safety, has information about cyberbullying that includes how to talk to youth about it and how to respond to this type of incident.
"And NeedHelpNow.ca is a new resource designed to help youth who have made the mistake of sending sexual images of themselves to peers, which can lead to cyberbullying. The site offers youth tips on removing content, strategies for addressing peers and moving forward, as well as information on possible related Criminal Code violations.
"I sincerely thank federal, provincial and territorial officials for having collaborated on this vital report. I look forward to working together with the provinces and territories as we make improvements to our justice system to prevent such tragic circumstances from happening again."
An online version of the report can be found at http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/other-autre/cndii-cdncii/index.html
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