Conservatives defeat motion to create national anti-bullying strategy

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Photo: Dany Morin

Who would vote against a motion to start a process to create a National Bullying Prevention Strategy for Canada?

Conservative government MPs, for starters.

Late Wednesday, a motion to create an all-party committee to develop an anti-bullying strategy for Canada was defeated by a vote of 149 to 134 in Parliament. 

"The Conservatives once again remained indifferent to an issue that affects too many Canadians and have missed an opportunity to take a leadership role in the fight against bullying," said NDP MP Dany Morin, who introduced the motion, in a statement responding to the vote in the House. 

"By voting against the National Bullying Prevention Strategy, the Conservatives refused to put partisanship aside to work together for the well-being of children and youth. The Conservative vision, which favours criminalization rather than prevention, condemns our youth to continue suffering from bullying for years to come."

Morin's initiative followed weeks of public discussion about bullying, sparked in particular by the suicide of Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old from Port Coquitlam, B.C., who left behind a video explaining the role bullying played in her decision to end her own life. Last week, hundreds gathered for a memorial service for Amanda. 

"Conservatives should be ashamed of themselves frankly," said NDP MP Nathan Cullen, responding to Wednesday's vote in a television interview. "With all that we've been through with the young [Amanda] Todd and all the other victims of bullying that go on, we think as many as one-in-three kids go through this, we need the federal government to play a leadership role and work with the provinces and the school boards and everyone else," Cullen added. 

Several Conservative backbenchers voted in favour of the motion. supported a petition hosted by Public Response supporting the anti-bullying motion. 

Photo: Dany Morin

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