QUEBEC CITY – “My family, people close to me, we’ve all heard about it.”
It’s an election promise and something close to the Quebec premier’s heart. Bullying is a plague, said Philippe Couillard, that despite laws that have been passed, still poisons thousands of Quebecers, from children to the elderly.
“We don’t solve a problem like this only by laws and regulations.”
“You solve it by showing it’s a priority,” he said.
“I’m the chief of the government of Quebec and I’m telling the population that this is an utmost priority for me.”
In 2012, the previous Liberal government forced school boards to implement anti-bullying and anti-violence plans, where rules of conduct and safety measures had to be explained to students at a civics session each year.
However, the media kept getting wind of more bullying cases, often ones that involved teens resorting to drastic measures to make it stop.
Jasmin Roy, an openly gay television personality, said he believes more work needs to be done.
“People want to find solutions against bullying and violence, so what they need now is to be supported,” said the founder and president of the Jasmin Roy Foundation, a charity that works to fight bullying.
The premier is investing $200,000 towards a forum on bullying, scheduled for October 2 in Quebec City, launching online consultations for anyone with something to say on the issue and mandating his team to consult with youth centres.
Opposition parties said they’re on board and compared the collaboration to the non-partisan Dying with Dignity consultations.
“I hope that we will be able to apply concrete measures after this forum, within six months,” said Coalition Avenir Quebec house leader François Bonnardel.
Although Premier Couillard didn’t promise millions towards this initiative, he did promise the fight against bullying would start at the top. He admonished one of his MNAs for bullying Quebec Solidaire’s Manon Massé in the hallways at the National Assembly.
© Shaw Media, 2014
Timeline Quebec politics
Emotions are running high at Cirque du Soleil as the company is preparing to announce the sale of the famed Quebec circus troupe on Monday. Read
What do you think? Should Quebec offer the HPV vaccine to boys as well as girls as a preventative measure for various cancers? Read
Rania El-Alloul has filed a challenge after being denied access to courts when she tried to get her car out of an impound lot. But can she win? Read
Lawyers are seeking clarification about the rights of Quebecers who want access to justice while wearing religious attire after Rania El-Alloul was was refused her day in court by a judge because she was wearing a hijab. Read
The lawyer for Quebec prison escapee Francis Boucher is appealing to his client to surrender as quickly as possible. Read
The Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire has finally agreed to restore transportation for a disabled patient who needs lifesaving treatment three times a week. Read
After an outpouring of support, a crowdfunding site has been set up to help a single father in Ile-Perrot get access lifesaving treatment. Read
A crowdfunding campaign in support of a Quebec woman who was refused her day in court because she was wearing a hijab has raised just over $40,000 in 24 hours. Read
The Court of Quebec is standing by the decision of one of its judges who refused to hear a woman’s case unless she removed her Islamic headscarf. Read
The Train de l’Ouest will involve a rail connection that links the Marriott Hotel at the Trudeau Airport to the train station in Dorval. Read