Justice ministers form working group to look at consequences for cyberbullying

REGINA - Canada's justice and public safety ministers say they'll work together to see what more can be done to stop cyberbullying.

REGINA – Canada’s justice and public safety ministers say they’ll work together to see what more can be done to stop cyberbullying.

Shirley Bond, British Columbia’s justice minister and attorney general, said the ministers discussed the issue extensively at a two-day meeting in Regina.

“We’ve agreed to a working group, an ad hoc working group, that will contemplate whether or not there are gaps in the Criminal Code that would allow us to look at some further consequences,” Bond said Wednesday evening.

“Some consequences exist under the current code, but our concern is are there are gaps, can we look at this differently, are there revisions?”

Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson agreed.

“I did point out that certain intimidation and threats, that sort of thing, are covered by the Criminal Code. But we’re pleased to look at that area,” Nicholson said after the meeting.

“It’s a serious issue and one has got a lot of Canadians worried and rightly so.”

The issue garnered national attention recently after B.C. teen Amanda Todd took her own life earlier this month after a protracted period of online victimization.

Last Friday, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police urged Ottawa to bring controversial Internet surveillance legislation back online. They argued investigations involving cyber and cellphone technology are being hampered by antiquated laws.

They say Bill C30, the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, would enable officers to follow the electronic footprints left in crimes by compelling telecommunications companies to quickly provide basic Internet subscriber information.

It would also help officers intervene in cyberbullying and make it a crime to use social media to injure, alarm and harass.