Ottawa….The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) believes the passage of Bill C-273 has the potential of being a concrete step in making the Criminal Code of Canada more effective in addressing the issue of cyberbullying in the country.
In a letter to Hedy Fry, the federal MP for Vancouver Centre who introduced the private member’s bill, CTF President Paul Taillefer applauds her diligent work and determination to move forward on this issue which is of paramount importance for teachers.
He explains: “Canadian teachers believe in healthy learning and teaching environments. However, we need support from the political arena to make it happen. While we believe the bill is a step in the right direction, we must also take proactive measures through education in promoting proper online behaviour and digital citizenship.”
The Bill’s proposed changes to the Criminal Code, along with protective measures already adopted by governments at all levels, will complement the ongoing educational efforts that are currently being undertaken to address cyberbullying.
The CTF adopted a comprehensive policy aimed at addressing cyberbullying across Canada in 2008. The guiding principles are based on the premise that safe and caring schools that promote healthy workplaces for teachers and healthy learning environments for children and youth should be a national priority. The CTF has already released the second edition of its Cybertips for Teachers which includes social media information. Over 150,000 copies of this brochure are in circulation.
The CTF has presented briefs on a number of occasions to parliamentary committees and has met with Justice Canada officials urging for amendments to the Criminal Code to address online harassment, cyberstalking and cyberbullying. On May 14, CTF representatives made a presentation on Parliament Hill to the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights and testified on the impact of cyberbullying in Canada.
An alliance of 15 Member organizations and one Affiliate Member representing nearly 200,000 teachers across the country, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) is a member of the international body of teachers, Education International (EI).
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Comments: Paul Taillefer, CTF President
Contact: Francine Filion, Director of Communications, 613-688-4314