REGINA - At British Columbia's request, a national working group will look into cyberbullying and consider whether Criminal Code revisions should be made to address implications associated with online bullying.
Justice Minister and Attorney General Shirley Bond raised cyberbullying as a priority item for the federal-provincial-territorial meeting of ministers responsible for justice and public safety, which just concluded.
Bond also followed up on her commitment to ask federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to consider measures that minimize the re-victimization that occurs with mandatory annual review board hearings. British Columbia proposed a review of the current 12-month review period in order to reduce the impact on victims of serious personal-injury offenses. Bond encouraged greater consideration of the impact on families of victims, including restrictions to prevent the release of an individual in areas frequented by victims.
As well, B.C. chaired the Missing Women Working Group, which presented an implementation plan for approval by justice ministers, and co-chaired the status report from the working group dedicated to the causes of violence against aboriginal women and girls.
Ministers also participated in talks on a wide range of other agenda topics, including the public safety issues around medicinal marijuana grow operations, drug treatment courts, crime prevention and rehabilitation, witness safety and the modernization of the bail regime, as well as the concerns expressed by provinces about the impact of recent federal budget reductions on the justice system.
Saskatchewan hosted the annual federal-provincial-territorial meeting for ministers responsible for justice and public safety this week. Ministers, deputies, federal representatives and officials from across the country convened to engage in constructive discussions about key justice and public safety concerns and initiatives.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond -
"As promised, our province ensured that cyberbullying was on the meeting's agenda as a topic for national discussion. My colleagues recognized that this is an issue in all of our jurisdictions, and as a result of the discussions around the table, there was agreement to form a working group to explore whether there are gaps in the Criminal Code that could be addressed to assist police when dealing with the rapidly changing online world and social media. I have already asked B.C.'s deputy attorney general to contact other jurisdictions about the formation of the working group on cyberbullying."
"In addition to cyberbullying, British Columbia and Manitoba led the discussion about the need to consider public safety as the paramount consideration in review board hearings. I reminded my colleagues about the need to reduce the re-victimization of families who have endured the consequences of violent offenses. British Columbia proposed changes to the need for an annual review and also that there be consideration of the location of the victim when an offender is released."
"Other priority items that I brought to the table included the effectiveness of Criminal Code provisions related to workplace injuries or fatalities and the public safety concerns around medical marijuana regulations."
Ministry of Justice
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