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Michael Chong Responds

Web posted on November 27, 2012

Dear Editor,

I'd like to respond to a recent letter to the editor, "Local Youths Lose As Anti-Bullying Motion is Defeated."

Bullying has a devastating impact on the lives of many young people throughout Canada. Recently, the House of Commons had a chance to vote on Motion 385, which would have established a committee of the House to study the issue of bullying and produce a strategy.

While I supported the intention of Motion 385, it would have led to duplication of work that is currently underway in the Parliament of Canada. Two parliamentary committees are already studying bullying, and Motion 385 which also called for a study would have repeated the work already undertaken by these committees.

The government takes seriously the impact bullying has on young Canadians, which is why the government has taken a number of steps to address this matter at a national level. Through Health Canada, we have made significant investments in initiatives with respect to bullying. This includes online initiatives, as well as programs and resources that assist youth, parents, and educators in combatting bullying in their communities. We also created the Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out, and Seek Help (WITS) initiative that teaches children to make positive choices when faced with bullying, cyber-bullying, peer victimization and conflict. Furthermore, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) operates DEAL.org, which is a website offering resources on bullying and cyber-bullying to youth, parents, and educators. In addition, our government has invested in expanding Cybertip.ca's capacity to address self- and peer-exploitation.

The resources required for Motion 385 are better served by the two parliamentary committees that have already begun studying bullying, as well as the programs and initiatives that the government has already implemented. We are focused on moving forward to tackle the issue of bullying. It's time to get to work on this issue, and not duplicate with another committee and study.

Michael Chong, M.P.
Wellington-Halton Hills
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