(From the PAR-L distribution list)
On July 21, 2009, a delegation, spearheaded by the Ontario Public School
Boards' Association (OPSBA), met with Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley
to inform him about the work of the OPSBA Violence in the Media Coalition.
The delegation included Rick Johnson, Liberal MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha
Lakes-Brock (a past president of OPSBA), Rhonda Kimberley-Young,
Secretary-Treasurer, Ontario Teachers' Federation, Gail Anderson, Executive
Director, OPSBA, Jeff Sprang, OPSBA Communications, and Valerie Smith, an
anti-violence activist specializing in media violence (and operator of The
Free Radical web site).
The purpose of the meeting was twofold.
(1) The OPSBA Violence in the Media Coalition (VMC) hopes to enlist the
support of the Ontario government in raising awareness about the potential
harmful effects of media violence.
(2) Attorney General Bentley was asked to champion a change to the Criminal
Code that would see Canada's hate propaganda laws amended to extend
protection to girls and women, this being one of the VMC's legislative
priorities. He was asked to both write to the federal Justice Minister
requesting this change, and, more importantly, to take this issue to
meetings of the provincial and territorial Justice Ministers to enlist their
support for the amendment. The Criminal Code is federal, but it is routine
for provincial and territorial Justice Ministers to pressure the federal
government to make amendments to the Code and/or create new legislation, so
Attorney General Bentley is ideally placed to move this important issue
Attorney General Bentley promised to research the issues further.
Visit The Free Radical web site for additional information on the exclusion
of girls and women from the hate propaganda law.