Cyberbullying and the Non-consensual Distribution of Intimate Images

Provincial and Territorial Legislation

Amendments to Alberta's Education Act received Royal Assent on December 10, 2012 and is scheduled to come into force on September 1, 2015, and require all students to "refrain from, report, and not tolerate bullying or bullying behaviours directed towards others in the school, whether or not it occurs within the school building, during the school day or by electronic means."

Manitoba's Public School Amendment Act (Reporting Bullying and Other Harm) came into force in April 2012. Further, on December 4, 2012, the Minister of Education for Manitoba introduced Bill 18, The Public Schools Amendment Act (Safe and Inclusive Schools), which would provide, among other things, a definition of bullying and require each school board to establish a respect-for-human-diversity policy, which must accommodate student activities including student gay-straight alliances.

Nova Scotia enacted Bill 30, Promotion of Respectful and Responsible Relationships Act, which amended the Education Act (May 17, 2012) to define cyberbullying, establish provincial school codes of conduct, and require data collection and monitoring of reported incidents. This is partly in response to the recommendations in the March 2012 report of the Cyberbullying Task Force, entitled, Respectful and Responsible Relationships: There's No App for That. On April 25, 2013, Nova Scotia enacted the Cybersafety Act (not yet in force) which would, among other things, create a Cyber SCAN investigative unit to investigate complaints of cyberbullying, create a protection order for victims of cyberbullying, create a tort of cyberbullying and clarify that where the cyberbullying is being done by a minor, parents could be liable for damages.

In Ontario, the Accepting Schools Act, amendments to the Education Act, which came into force on September 1, 2012, among other things, requires: school boards to establish bullying prevention and intervention plans, and to provide programs, interventions and other supports for students affected by bullying, whether as a victim, perpetrator or witness; permits schools to expel pupils who repeatedly bully and pose an unacceptable risk to the safety of other pupils; and requires schools to support gay and straight alliance clubs.

Quebec's Bill 56, An Act to prevent and stop bullying and violence in school came into force on June 15, 2012 and requires schools to implement an anti-bullying plan and would give principals the authority to expel repeat offenders.

In addition to provincial legislative responses, some municipalities (Edmonton Footnote 15 and Hanna, Footnote 16 Alberta) have enacted by-laws in an attempt to deal with harassing-type behaviour when it occurs in a public place.

Recommendation 1

The Working Group acknowledges the benefits of a multi-pronged, multi-sectoral approach to the issue of cyberbullying and recommends that all levels of government continue to build on their initiatives to address the issue of cyberbullying in a comprehensive manner.
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