In Bullying Around the World

Cyberbullying in Canada

Canada is one country that takes bullying and cyberbullying very seriously. Mediasmarts reports there are national  Canadian laws against cyberbullying, including laws against harassment, defamatory libel, and against the publishing of any intimate photos/videos of a person without their consent.

Cyberbullying laws include a criminal penalty for a conviction that includes a prison sentence up to five years for the unauthorized publishing of intimate photos/videos and up to ten years for harassment, defamation, or libel.

As part of a conviction ruling, a Canadian judge, by court order, can have the police confiscate electronic equipment and order a complete ban of using electronic communication of any kind by a convicted person, for an extended period that includes the time of incarceration and the subsequent period of probation. The court order may also require the perpetrator to pay the costs for removal of the offending images/videos from the Internet.

In addition to criminal law, a lawsuit in civil court to seek damages from the offender and possibly the parents of a minor child offender is permissible as well.

Besides the national laws of Canada, there are specific laws against cyberbullying to protect kids, any teen, and adults in the provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and the Northwest Territories.

In some of the Canadian provinces, amendments to the Education Act require schools to have policies that help prevent cyberbullying and take action to stop cyberbullying upon discovery. The effects of nocyberbullying programs help teachers understand the cyberbullying signs and increase cyberbullying awareness among the students by encouraging them to report any online attacks of bullies that the students know about.

This review of the Canadian court records shows that there are cyberbullying cases about middle school bullying and sibling bullying. There are case involving Facebook bullying and cyberbullying on other social media. The cases of high school cyberbullying reveal many facts about cyberbullying.

The long term effects of cyberbullying are very negative, especially when combined with verbal and physical assaults that happen in person. These cases show why people cyberbully, what causes it, how to deal with it, and how to stop it.

Freedom of Speech vs. Cyberbullying

The definition of freedom of speech in Canada is the right to free expression. This has protection under section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, subject to reasonable limits as determined by law, which include a prohibition against interfering with another person’s right to life, liberty, and personal security under section 7 of the Charter.

In any legal case of cyberbullying in Canada, using a section 2 defense, based on the right to free expression, is not adequate, because of the simultaneous violation of section 7, which carries more weight in balance between the two rights.

In simple terms, a person in Canada can freely express themselves, as long as the expression does not cause harm to another person. Cyberbullying is illegal in Canada just like regular bullying that occurs at school or at work as office bullying.

Legal Cases about Cyberbullying in Canada

Here are some of the legal cases tried in Canada and the results of the Canadian courts’ verdicts regarding cyberbullying in Canada:

Canadian Supreme Court Legal Cases about Cyberbullying

A.B. v. Bragg Communication

In the case of A.B. v. Bragg Communications, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the rights of a 15-year old to remain anonymous when seeking a court order to get information about the identity of the user from an Internet Service Provider (Bragg Communication) by using the IP address of said user.

In this case, cyberbullying information about the characteristics of the attack included that this user posted a fake Facebook profile about the girl using her picture, a slightly modified version of her name, derogatory comments about her appearance, and sexually explicit references.

The girl, through her guardian, sought to identify the user in order to sue them for defamation as the proper way of how to handle bullying that occurs as internet bullying. Because of her age, she requested the ability to remain anonymous and for the court to ban publication of the case, noting she would suffer additional harm from further publication of information about her and the case.

Court’s Decision

The Supreme Court agreed with her right to remain anonymous and ordered the ISP to give the information that identified the cyberbully, but did not enforce a total publication ban on information about the legal case. The court noted that publication of case information that did not identify the girl would best serve the public interests and would balance the rights of a free press with the protection of a child.

Legal Cases of Cyberbullying in Nova Scotia Canada

Drastic Changes in Nova Scotia Law

During 2013, the province of Nova Scotia passed the Cyber-safety Act (in force from August 6, 2013 to December 11, 2015) and established the first police unit in Canada dedicated to investigating cyberbullying called CyberSCAN.

CyberSCAN reports that on December 11, 2015, the Supreme Court of the province of Nova Scotia repealed the Cyber-safety Act, saying it was in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Nova Scotia Supreme Court Case causing the decision was Crouch vs. Snell.

The ruling by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court severely disappointed members of the Department of Justice in Nova Scotia who are now seeking to create a modified version of the cyberbullying law. The DOJ are reviewing legal options based on the Supreme Court’s ruling.

In the meantime, the CyberSCAN unit is no longer investigating cases of cyberbullying and turned its efforts to education and prevention of cyberbullying. Now, the police in Nov Scotia will not deal with cyberbullying unless it also involves a criminal element, such as physical assault.

Case Against Christopher George Prosper – Ruling during February 2014
(while the Nova Scotia Cyber-safety Act was in force)

The Globe and Mail reports that the first cyberbullying prevention order, under the Nova Scotia Cyber-safety Act, happened during February 2014. It was against Christopher George Prosper.

Canadian Law
The case cited the provisions of the Cyber-safety Act, which was provincial law in Nova Scotia at that time.

Case History

Andrea Paul, who is chief of the Pictou Landing First Nation, alleged that a local resident named Christopher George Prosper, used social media to post abusive, defamatory, and obscene comments about her and her family members.

The cyberbullying started in fall 2013 shortly after the Cyber-safety Act became enforceable on August 6, 2013. The Cyber-safety Act was able to define illegal actions and define what is a cyberbully in the province of Nova Scotia.

An example of the virulent posts included Mr. Prosper calling Chief Paul a “crook, back-stabbing bitch, two-faced to our elders.” Prosper also posted “Your fake smile needs a punch in the face…”

The history of this case shows that the cyberbullying increased when Chief Paul blocked messages and postings from Mr. Prosper. Paul feared for the safety of herself and her family, so she went to the police. Her case went to the new CyberSCAN unit, the first of its kind in Canada. The investigation by the CyberSCAN unit turned up ample evidence of cyberbullying by Prosper directed at Paul.

The Director of Public Safety sent staff to speak with Prosper. The police officers told him to stop cyberbullying and remove his posts about Paul. Prosper said he would comply, but two weeks later the online taunts and threats from Prosper continued. Prosper also sent some negative electronic messages to Paul’s teenage daughters.

Prevention Action

During February 2014, because of Mr. Prosper’s continued cyberbullying, the Director of Public Safety brought a prevention action against him. Mr. Prosper, who did not have legal representation during the case, did not appear at the hearing when the judge gave the ruling.

Court’s Decision

On February 11, 2014, the Globe and Mail reported, the Honorable Justice Heather Robinson of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia found that Mr. Prosper engaged in cyberbullying according to the Cyber-safety Act. The judge ruled that Mr. Prosper hurt Chief Paul’s psychological well-being and reputation, by making abusive, defamatory, and obscene posts about the Chief and her family.

The court granted the one-year cyberbullying prevention order requested by the Director of Public Safety. The court ordered Mr. Prosper to remove the cyberbullying posts, stop cyberbullying, and to refrain from contacting Paul any further. The court also fined Mr. Prosper the court costs of CA$750.

Violation of a Prevention Order
Cyberbullies who violate Canadian courts’ prevention orders are subject to having their electronic equipment confiscated. This includes computers, laptops, tablets devices and mobile phones. They can be fined up to CA$5,000 and/or sentenced to jail for up to six months.

Case Status Update
The court order, in this case, expired before the Supreme Court of the province of Nova Scotia repealed the Cyber-safety Act on December 11, 2015.

Case Against C.L. – Ruling during July 2014
(Youth Criminal Justice Act used by judge to ban use of social media)

The R. v. C.L. case happened in the Youth Court in Nova Scotia. Under the anonymity rules in Canada for youth, underage persons in this case, including the defendant, are only identified by the initials of their name. This case against C.L. is unique because it includes physical and sexual assault as well as cyberbullying.

Canadian Law
The law for juveniles in Canada is the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). Because of the cyberbullying in this case, the judge in the ruling noted that the provisions of the Cyber-safety Act applied, but the cyberbullying mixed with other crimes allowed the sentencing under the provisions of the YCJA, which do not rely on the Cyber-safety Act.

Case History

There were numerous offences in this case.
On September 24, 2013, police responded to call about a fight happening at the Sydney Academy. Earlier that morning C.L. and his ex-girlfriend A.B. (with whom he previously had a baby), had a physical fight. C.L. went to the school to confront her. He was carrying a knife. For this offence, he was guilty of assault.

During the period from November 12, 2013 to December 3, 2013 A.B. experienced verbal, physical, and sexual assault by C.L., which included verbal insults, being pushed into a wall, grabbing her by the hair, knocking her down, hitting her head into the floor and being punched in the face. C.L. tried to force her to have sex with him, when she was too tired. Her refusal caused him to kick her in the stomach and legs. Then he went to make hot dogs. When he came back, he forced hot dogs into her ears and mouth.

Starting on December 6, 2013, C.L. began harassing A.B. with cyberbullying. He used test messages, emails, and postings on social media. His intent was to cause fear and humiliation to harm her. He used obscene language, called her a “bitch” 25 times and a “ho” 27 times, falsely accused her of infidelity, and tried to persuade A.B. to commit suicide. C.L. entered a guilty plea for all these offences.

On April 22, 2014, C.L. threatened A.B. with a knife held to her throat, saying he should kill her. C.L. entered a guilty plea for this assault.

Court’s Decision

The court sentenced C.L. to six month’s deferred custody followed by 15 months probation. The court found that the cyberbullying behavior of C.L. went beyond the provisions under the Cyber-safety Act to be direct crimes under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. This warranted a full social media ban under Section 55(H).

Under the Section 55(H) of the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act, the judge has complete discretion in making a ruling that includes social media bans.

Here is the law applied by the judge in this case, used to determine the proper sentencing:

“Section 55

(h) comply with any other conditions set out in the order that the youth justice court considers appropriate, including conditions for securing the young person’s good conduct and for preventing the young person from repeating the offence or committing other offences; and…”

In the case summary, the judge used the analogy that if a crime is committed using a motor vehicle, then a person should lose driving privileges. The judge concluded the same should happen with abuses of social media, in that they should lose the privilege of using it.

The judge ruled a complete ban for C.L. on the use of social media during the six-months of custody and the 15 months of probation, that followed the custody, which included:

  • Deletion of all Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts within 24-hours following the ruling.
  • No access permitted to those social media sites or any other social media for the entire term of custody plus probation, which equals 21 months.
  • A probation violation that will cause additional custody includes using any social media for any purpose or registering new accounts under any fake names or aliases during those 21 months.
  • The probation officer should conduct random inspections and checks for unauthorized social media use.
  • Failure to report social media use to the probation officer, will be a violation of probation.
  • A two-year weapons prohibition for all kinds of weapons.

Case Against Joseph Lee – Ruling during March, 2015
(while the Nova Scotia Cyber-safety Act was in force)

The Director of Public Safety in Nov Scotia filed the legal action against Joseph Lee. The request was to grant a prevention order against Joseph Lee to stop him from cyberbullying his sister, Veronica Murray.

Canadian Law
The case cited the provisions of the Cyber-safety Act, which was provincial law in Nova Scotia at that time.

Case History

The mother of both Ms. Veronica Murray and Mr. Joseph Lee had terminal cancer. Ms. Murray, who is a nurse, moved into her mother’s home to take care of her during her illness. The mother died on June 8, 2014. Ms. Murray was the sole beneficiary of her mother’s will.

After her mother’s death, Ms. Murray decided to move into the home of her mother, along with her husband and her two children. Mr. Lee began his cyberbullying attacks using emails, text messaging and postings on Facebook, shortly after Ms. Murray moved in to her mother’s home.

Mr. Lee sent an email shortly after the mother’s death to ask about the will. On June 21, 2014, Ms Murray sent Mr. Lee electronic scans of the documents. Ms. Murray asked Mr. Lee to call her to discuss the disposition of their mother’s personal items and if there was anything specific that Mr. Lee or Mr. Lee’s daughters wanted of the mother’s things. Mr. Lee said he preferred to communicate by email.

On June 24, 2014, Mr. Lee sent Ms. Murray an email saying he would be contesting the will.

On June 25, 2014 by email, he demanded that Ms. Murray not change or dispose of anything in the mother’s house, until the will went through probate procedures in the Canadian courts. In a second email, he demanded information about the mother’s bank accounts and debts. He also asked for a set of keys to the mother’s house for him and their two other brothers, saying he has as much right to the family home as she does, while the will is in probate.

The cyberbullying began on June 25, 2014 with a text message from Mr. Lee to Ms. Murray, which said:

“You are dead to me. Get your lying manipulative abusive ass out of that fucking house or I will send the RCMP.” (The RCMP is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which is the national police force of Canada.)

Using text messages Mr. Lee accused Ms. Murray of fraud, breach of trust, and elder abuse.

Mr. Lee went public with his cyberbullying on June 26, 2014, by posting the following message on Facebook:

“If you do not want people to disown you and out you as a lying manipulating sleazy sack of shit, then please do not be a sleazy lying manipulative sack of shit.”

On June 29, 2014, Mr. Lee sent a barrage of emails saying he was going to tell her employer, the Cape Breton District Health Authority, of her alleged misdeeds in the handling of the affairs of the mother’s estate. He wanted to damage her reputation as a registered nurse. However, the next day Mr. Lee changed his mind.

Nevertheless, Mr. Lee continued to use emails, which threatened police action, and made more public Facebook postings, such as this one on August 9, 2014:

“Does anybody out there in Facebook land think it is ok for the caregiver of a 67 year old lady dying of brain tumours & loaded up with narcotics, take that 67 year old lady into the lawyers office days (literally days) before the lady dies of those same brain tumours and have the lady sign everything she owns (and some stuff she didn’t own) over to the caregiver???? Because that is exactly what my sister did  And [sic], any of you cowards in my family that read this and then go “tsk tsk” behind my back and leave my Mother dead and undefended should be as ashamed of yourselves as Veronica should be.”

Because of her brother’s cyberbullying threats, Ms. Murray feared for her own safety and the safety of her family. She contemplated suicide and thought about giving in to her brother to give him all of the mother’s estate, just so he would leave her alone. She feared, even if she gave in, her brother would not stop tormenting her. For all these reasons, she finally reached out for help from the police.

On August 13, 2014, Ms. Murray filed a formal legal complaint with the CyberSCAN unit. The CyberSCAN unit is the police department in Nova Scotia tasked with investigating crimes of cyberbullying. Investigator Lisa Greenough received the case assignment.

On Sept. 5, 2014, Ms. Greenough called Mr. Lee in an official capacity. She advised Mr. Lee his actions constituted illegal cyberbullying. She asked him to cease his actions and meet with her at the police department. They continued to communicate; however, Mr. Lee refused to change his behavior or meet at the police office.

On September 11, 2014, Mr. Lee posted the following message on Facebook:

“Lisa Greenough from cyber bullying task force, you are as full of shit as my sister Veronica…. And you can both go fuck yourselves…. P.s. I am sure both of you snoopy arrogant deceitful lying shit bags are reading this… go fuck yourselves!!!!”

On September 11, 2014, Ms. Murray provided a written statement to the CyberSCAN unit saying that she could not eat or sleep properly, that she was afraid to be alone, and that she was afraid to stay in her mother’s house.

The cyberbullying took a toll on her relationships with her husband and her two sons. The extent of the public humiliation was clear, when she went to a visit her chiropractor during July 2014, who said, “So, you’re all over Facebook.” She had never mentioned the matter to her chiropractor prior to this.

On September 19, 2014, Mr. Lee came into the CyberSCAN offices to discuss an informal resolution that he stop cyberbullying Ms. Murray and remove his Facebook posts about her. At first, Mr. Lee refused to cooperate, but then on Sept. 25, 2014 the removal of most of the Facebook posts happened. Ms Greenough advised Ms. Murray of the status and told Ms. Murray the case investigation was now over.

On September 26, 2014, the CyberSCAN unit informed Mr. Lee in writing by a letter that Mr. Lee’s actions were illegal cyberbullying and a court action for prevention would occur if he continued such cyberbullying in the future.

On October 6, 2014, Mr. Lee posted this message on Facebook:

“I said my sister was a lying, manipulative fraudulent thief….. The Cyberscan people said I really should apologize, so here goes, and it is heartfelt and sincere. I am truly deeply and sincerely sorry that my sister is a lying, manipulative, fraudulent thief.”

Later in October, he posted on Facebook that wanted his sister to suffer with disease and said, “I absolutely hate her with every fiber of my being.”

Prevention Action

On February 3, 2015, because of Mr. Lee’s continued cyberbullying the Director of Public Safety brought a prevention action against Mr. Lee. Mr. Lee, who opted for self-representation during the case, did not appear at the hearing when the judge gave the ruling.

Court’s Decision

On March 5, 2015, the Honorable Justice Arthur LeBlanc published the ruling. The ruling found that Mr. Lee engaged in cyberbullying according to the laws of Nova Scotia. The judge ruled that “Mr. Lee repeatedly sent messages and made posts that he either intended or reasonably ought to have expected to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other damage or harm to Ms. Murray’s health, emotional well-being, self-esteem and reputation.”

The court noted that Mr. Lee’s dispute over the will of his mother did not justify his action and there are proper legal proceedings under the Canadian Wills Act as remedies for such disputes.

The court granted the cyberbullying prevention request made by the Director of Public Safety and fined Mr. Lee the court costs of CA$750.

Violation of a Prevention Order
Cyberbullies who violate Canadian courts’ prevention orders are subject to having their electronic equipment confiscated. This includes computers, laptops, tablets devices and mobile phones. They can be fined up to CA$5,000 and/or sentenced to jail for up to six months.

Case Status Update
On December 11, 2015, the Supreme Court of the province of Nova Scotia repealed the Cyber-safety Act overturning this ruling.

Legal Cases about Cyberbullying in Manitoba Canada

MediasmartsMediasmarts reports that in 2013 a new Manitoba law against bullying went into effect that specifically includes cyberbullying. The law makes Manitoba parents responsible if their children participate in cyberbullying and the parents know about it, yet do nothing to stop it. The law allows judges full discretion to issue protection orders that keep a cyberbully from contacting a victim by any means. Manitoba judges have the power to confiscate electronic equipment (computers, laptops, and mobile phones etc.) and enforce a complete ban on the use of any digital communications. Cyberbullying now qualifies as a tort in Manitoba, which means victims can sue cyberbullies and/or their parents in civil court.

The Winnipeg Free press said that the Manitoba legislature was careful to avoid the constitutional problems experienced by lawmakers in Nova Scotia with the Cyber-safety Act.

R. v. N.G. et al
(Maximum sentence given under the Youth Criminal Justice Act)

The case happened in the Youth Court in Manitoba. In Manitoba, underage persons in this case, including the defendant, are only identified by the initials of their name.

The R. v. N.G. et al case went to the Supreme Court on appeal because the lower court sentenced the youth in this case to three-years.

Canadian Law
The law for juveniles in Canada is the Youth Criminal Justice Act. This was the law applied in this case.

Case History

A teenage girl was the victim in this case. She received a contact via Facebook from a male, Z.M., who lived in the same community as the victim, but they had never met in person. By threatening her, Z.M. forced the young girl to send photos of her breasts.

After getting the first photos, Z.M. threatened her more with revealing them to her friends if she did not give him more nude photos of her breasts and vagina.

Z.M. was joined by two brothers C.J.G. and N.L.G. in harassing the young girl. The three males acted together to systematically break down the young girl over a period of five days, by maintaining constant contact, day and night, through various forms of social media.

During those days, they alternated between flattery and abuse, demanding more explicit photos from the girl, including ones of sexual acts they wanted her to do, like sticking fingers into her vagina to break her hymen or inserting objects there and photographing them.

One of the brothers sent a photo of a penis, telling her to “suck it,” and asked her to have sex with him in person.

The cyberbullying was intense, 24-hours non-stop, and relentless. The investigation found thousands of lines of communication between the cyberbullies and the victim over a five-day period. Around 90% of the text concerned sexual content.

After blackmailing the young girl into sending sexually explicit photos of herself, including those showing her face, the males distributed the photos to other members of the community. Some of the images went to students attending her school.

The young girl became despondent from the psychological abuse. She stopped grooming herself and stopped eating. She could not sleep properly and became seriously depressed.

The radical change in her behavior caused her parents to notice the problem. They confiscated her mobile device, found the blackmail information and the images. Her parents reported the matter to the police.

Court’s Decision

The Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s sentencing decision, but corrected the length of the sentence to be in alignment with the maximum penalty of two-years permitted under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The final sentence in this case was 12-months in secure custody, six months of community supervision, and six months of supervised probation thereafter.

Legal Cases about Cyberbullying in Alberta Canada

The Education Act in Alberta underwent revision in 2012 as noted by Mediasmarts, to include provisions against bullying and cyberbullying by students. Additionally, students in Alberta who observe cyberbullying must report the activities to school authorities or they face disciplinary action, which includes possible expulsion for failing to report bullying of other students.Mediasmarts, to include provisions against bullying and cyberbullying by students. Additionally, students in Alberta who observe cyberbullying must report the activities to school authorities or they face disciplinary action, which includes possible expulsion for failing to report bullying of other students.

Prosecution of cyberbullying by adults in Alberta follows the standards of the national Canadian laws.

Case against Daniel Thomas Mackie – Sentenced in May 2013

Canadian Law
The laws applied in the R. v. Mackie case covered the violations of 39 criminal counts that included Internet luring, extortion, accessing and distributing child pornography, invitation to sexual touching, identity fraud/impersonation, and unauthorized use of a computer with the intent to commit an offence.

Case History

Daniel Tomas Mackie, a 26-year old man, worked as a security guard at the Calgary Courts Centre. Over a period of five years, he preyed on child victims that he met online using both his personal computer at home and his work computer.

His crimes consisted of threatening children to get them to send him explicit photos and using human engineering hacks to get passwords to their social media accounts. Once he gained access to their social media accounts, he would use them to gain personal information about the children from their friends. He would use control over their accounts to exhort more photographs from the children and demand they appear naked on webcam for him. He also set up fake social media accounts to entrap children by pretending to be another child.

Once he had comprising photos of a child he would threaten to publish them, or send them to a child’s friends if they did not give him more photos of them posing in their underwear or naked. He had more than twenty victims of boys and girls from the ages of 11 to 16 years-old.

Due to multiple complaints received by the Southern Alberta Internet Child Exploitation unit, the police interviewed Mackie in 2008. Mackie denied the allegations. The officer conducting the investigation told Mackie if he was in contact with underage children on the Internet for sexual exploitation purposes, it was a crime and he should stop. Mackie did not stop.

In 2011, after the authorities collected enough evidence, they arrested Mackie and charged him with 39 crimes. He pled guilty to all 39 counts.

Court’s Decision

Based on the heart-wrenching psychological damage described by the children in their victim’s statements submitted to the court, the judge sentenced Mackie to 11 years in prison.

Legal Cases about Cyberbullying in Ontario Canada

MediasmartsMediasmarts says the Education Act in Ontario specifically includes cyberbullying and requires schools to have a formal anti-bullying program to protect all students. The law requires a safe environment for learning. It prohibits bullying of any kind on the school premises and at school activities. Bullying is also prohibited if it happens anywhere else, including cyberbullying, when it has a negative impact on the school climate.

In 2016, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice recognized a new law that makes public disclosure of embarrassing private facts a tort. Victims of this can now sue in civil court for damages. This includes unauthorized public release of private revealing photos or “sex tapes.”

Expelling an Eight-Grader
(Expulsion of a student upheld on appeal during November 2008)

In the R.T. v. Durham Catholic District School Board case, an eight-grader received expulsion from school for cyberbullying.

Canadian Law
The law applied by the school board in this case was the Education Act, as amended, in Ontario.

Case History

Mrs. R.T. is the mother of the 13-year old, eight-grade student V.K. who was expelled for cyberbullying others students attending a school under the administration of the Durham Catholic District School Board.

V.K. used aliases to set up Facebook accounts and went online to become friends with other students attending her school. V.K. used similar names and profiles of other students to be able to post on their Facebook accounts. V.L. set up 11 accounts on Facebook for cyberbullying purposes and used some of them to impersonate other students. V.K. used Facebook postings to make death threats.

Examples of the postings are:

  • “ ….I am gonna come to school on Monday and kick ur ass. im gonna kill u. ok? ok!”

After receiving complaints about the death threats, an investigation determined that the offender was the student V.K. The principal of the school recommended the expulsion of the student to the school board. The school board has the statutory right to expel students under subsection 311.3(6) from the Education Act. The student was expelled in May 2008. The mother appealed the decision.

The school board upheld the expulsion because the mother admitted the student committed the cyberbullying acts, including making the death threats, which seriously frightened other students. Additionally, the school board noted that if V.K. returned to the school after it became known that she was the one who made the cyberbullying death threats that it would not be a safe climate at the school for V.K. either. The result was the expulsion held and V.K. went to another school.


Canadian cyberbullying statistics and cyberbullying facts reported on showed increases in cyberbullying. This trend became more known due to the widespread publicity about high-profile cyberbullying cases in the news. Subsequently, Canada provinces enacted new laws or amended existing laws because of the examples of tragedies, such the sad stories of Amanda Todd, a teen who committed suicide due to bullying, and others.

These high profile cases caused public outrage, which propelled the Canadian national and provincial governments to address the types of bullying occurring in Canadian schools, workplace bullying, and workplace cyberbullying.

Canadian takes a strong political stance against cyberbullying of youth and bullying at school from primary bullying to bullying at the university level. Nova Scotia passed the strictest law against cyberbullying, which unfortunately was struck down by the Supreme Court for its impact on the freedom of expression. A new attempt at a modified cyberbullying law in Nova Scotia is underway. Canada still has a firm commitment to prevent cyberbullying and punish those who engage in this illegal behavior.

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