NDP demanding anti-bully strategy

The NDP wants a national approach to preventing bullying by first studying the issue, identifying ways of dealing with bullying, then educating people about it and supporting organizations involved with kids.

Resulting from all those efforts will be a national strategy, ready in a year.

“It’s a serious problem that affects all communities across the country,” said Quebec MP Dany Morin.

“Amanda Todd, a young girl from Vancouver, has just taken her own life after being bullied by her classmates,” Morin said Monday.

“In December 2011, Marjolaine Raymond also took her life. There is a patchwork of organizations and groups doing great work in this issue, but we need a pan-Canadian strategy to develop solutions and share best practices.”

Morin introduced M-385 Monday in the House of Commons. If adopted, it will ensure the establishment of a special committee to develop a national bullying prevention strategy.

“It will be an opportunity for elected representatives from all parties to stand up and say, loud and clear, that this type of violence is unacceptable,” Morin said in a release.

“These tragedies can and must be prevented – lives can be saved – and we have a responsibility to help pave the way.”

Conservative MP Randy Kamp (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) said there are already two committees studying the topic and supported their work, encouraging everyone to consider what they can do to address bullying.

He didn’t say if he supports Morin’s motion.

Kamp said the federal government is already spending money on combatting bullying through programs such as ‘Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out, and Seek help initiative (WITS) “which teaches children to make positive choices when faced with bullying, cyber-bulling, peer victimization and conflict.”

Kamp said his thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Amanda Todd.

“Those of us who have raised teens know what it is to worry about bullying and realize that this outcome is a parent’s worst fear.”

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