Media Coverage on Manitoba’s Bill 18

I did a few interviews this week regarding Manitoba’s Bill 18. The EFC released an updated version of its report on Canadian bullying statistics and trends. You can download it here for free if you’re interested. It’s a great document. There’s nothing else like it available in Canada at this point.

I did a radio interview with Richard Clouthier at CJOB 680 AM first thing Wednesday morning. A couple of my statements were captured in a short article on their website.

I also did an interview with Bruce Owen at the Winnipeg Free Press. The interview can be found here. Here are a few of my quotes:

The EFC says one survey showed body image alone accounted for 38 per cent of cases of bullying; grades or marks accounted for 17 per cent; and cultural background for 11 per cent.

EFC lawyer Faye Sonier said based on that, Manitoba’s Bill 18 does not fully recognize those types of bullying.

Sonier said Bill 18 instead says school must accommodate pupils who want to establish and lead activities and organizations that promote gender equity, anti-racism, disabilities and gay-straight alliances.

“You have to ask yourself why then is the province focusing on these four clubs or showing more concern for them than the student who is bullied because of the way he looks,” Sonier said.

“This can be interpreted as government expressing concern for some student over others.”

Sonier said for Bill 18 to be more equitable, it has to be reworded to include anti-bullying clubs.

“Parents and teachers can tailor the clubs to the circumstances their schools and communities face,” she said.

Some of my comments also appeared in the Winnipeg Sun, alongside statements from EFC’s Don Hutchinson:

Faye Sonier, EFC legal counsel, said the study also revealed that children themselves want to stop bullying: 88% called it “a major problem in their school.”

The EFC study also asked adults about the long-term effects of all types of bullying: 30% said they suffered lasting and harmful effects, and 84% said it should be considered a crime.

“This is very distinct from the anti-bullying legislation currently before the Manitoba legislature, which would only amend The Public Schools Act and address bullying behaviours that take place in schools,” Sonier said.

Don and I also had comments appear in a LifeSiteNews article as well.