Please provide your feedback on the 1st reading of the Anti-Bullying Bylaw

about 1 month ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.


  • Bunny Lucas 3 months ago
    This is too difficult to enforce and is a waste of time and resources. Kids have to learn to stand up for themselves, and bullying even though it's not a nice thing, is a part of life's lessons. I wasn't coddled and learned to stand my ground, and no one walks over me today because of it.
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    • Admin Commented City Communications 3 months ago
      Thanks for sharing your experience and perspective.
  • Brandi Morgan 3 months ago
    As far as demeaning emails regarding a coworker goes- this is a workplace issue and every employer has the responsibility to ensure that their employees are in a safe non threatening bully free environment. I think it's a bit of a reach to include that in a bullying bylaw. If an account is a joint account I don't know how one spouse can stop another from accessing it? Given banking laws I just don't see how that's possible. Could you clarify as far as kids go if this is for out of school bullying then as we already have provincial legislation in place for within the school community and cyber bullying or clarify how the bylaw would be different from the provincial legislation in place?
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    • Admin Commented City Communications 3 months ago
      Hi Brandi - Currently, there exists a gap in how to respond to complaints of bullying – schools offer education and the RCMP can lay criminal charges but there is little in between. The new bylaw intends to equip Peace Officers with a variety of response options including requiring a letter of apology, attending anti-bullying training or imposing fines.
  • DawnEden 3 months ago
    I believe that when a minor child is responsible for being the "Bully" that the parents should also attend and successfully complete the "Anti Bullying Awareness" program.I don't think the person accused of bullying should be allowed to NOT attend court proceedings. If you are going to take the time to pass a Bylaw then give it credibility. As a retired educator from another province I have been involved with "Anti Bullying" programs going back over 25 yrs. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to stop bullying. Many victims of bullying will suffer from the effects for the rest of their life. It is a topic that everyone should take seriously.
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    • Brandi Morgan 3 months ago
      Agreed- parents should have to attend
    • Admin Commented City Communications 3 months ago
      Thanks for the comments and for sharing your experience Dawn.
  • wesley.weiss 3 months ago
    Honestly, this bylaw is incredibly open to interpretation, and therefore abuse. I respect the spirit of where this law is coming from, but at best it'll be unenforceable and at worst it will be a violation of individual's Canadian Charter rights. I agree with others that say that the root problems should be addressed at the municipal level when possible via outreach programs and education, because bullying is already illegal federally under specific hate crime and other criminal legislation. This kind of stuff isn't (and shouldn't) be under a municipal government's oversight or responsibility in my humble opinion, as we already live in a country built on laws that address just this type of situation.
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    • 555King 3 months ago
      I agree....but I do think this bylaw will be useful and affective. Although it is tough to enforce, it's a step in the right direction. This also will provide a lot of PR and education in our city around this issue. I think it's great we are taking any kind of action and efforts.I like it and I see other City's following it.
    • Admin Commented City Communications 3 months ago
      Thanks for the comment. We will share your thoughts with the team as they look at possible changes to future drafts.
  • Rbauhuis 3 months ago
    The intention is great. Bullying and Cyberbullying is a plague facing the nation and significantly affects school aged children.That said I agree that Council is adding a legal layer that frankly is taken care of provincially and federally.If Chestermere must have a bylaw, I suggest the following amendments:Section 5 Court Diversion, (a) II. add in "at their expense" the City shouldn't have to pay for a course. This is like saying the City will pay my traffic fines in lieu of court.Add in a new bullet: "In the event a minor is perpetrating the behavior, at least one parent MUST attend the anti-bullying awareness course alongside the minor, at their expense."To better define the statutes of the bylaw, so not to infringe on free speech- I suggest some provision that references the Department of Justice definition. Here is a url for reference: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/other-autre/cndii-cdncii/p4.htmlThe current (Chestermere) definition of bullying or cyberbullying seems very broad and my civil critique of current and past City Council could fall into a bullying category (causing distress). However it is my right and responsibility in the Canadian Constitution to hold our elected officials accountable where needed.Thanks
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    • wesley.weiss 3 months ago
      I completely agree, the verbage of what specifically constitutes bullying needs to be 100% hammered down so there's almost no room for interpretation, or this law has a large chance of misuse (outside the spirit of what's being codified)
    • DawnEden 3 months ago
      The bylaw should also clearly state and identify who is going to enforce this bylaw. Is it going to be the City Bylaw Enforcement Officer or the Peace Officer or the RCMP or all of them. This bylaw will only be as effective as the enforcement. When bullying happens at school I believe the school should play a huge part in addressing the problem.
    • Admin Commented City Communications 3 months ago
      Thanks for the comment and suggestions on referencing the federal legislation. We will be passing this on to the legislative team as they prepare 2nd and 3rd reading. To clarify, the intention is to fill a gap between education (from schools and community groups) and laying criminal charges. The local bylaw would allow officers to require a letter of apology, attendance at anti-bullying training and/or impose fines.
  • Todd McBride 3 months ago
    How is it that a municipal government gets involved in this topic? It seems that someone of influence at City hall has a kid, relative or friend trying to push this onto the City agenda when there are so many legitimate issues to be addressed at the municipal level. Surely this is a topic for federal and provincial jurisdiction and not our City council, no matter how compelling someones individual case seems to be. Will our council next be entering the debate on nuclear weapons, birth control, or global warming to set Chestermere up as a state within a state and a better place to live?
  • kmainprize 3 months ago
    I think this is a much needed bylaw. I feel like you need to expand on section 6 General Penalty Section. It does not say what happens if the offender is a minor, who pays the fine and or gets imprisoned?
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    • Admin Commented City Communications 3 months ago
      Thanks for the suggestion kmainprize. We will pass this on to the team for consideration.
  • tainaredl 3 months ago
    I get the good intentions here but there are various behaviours here that go far beyond the scope of bullying and are criminally abusive such as withholding food or denying a partner access to joint bank account. I don’t want to minimize the effect of bullying but I also don’t want other types of abuse be defined as bullying. Criminal behaviour should not be looked at under a bylaw and criminal abusive behaviour (domestic or child abuse) should not be reduced and possibly viewed as less serious. I hope that the City of Chestermere has done its due diligence on this issue. These sorts of laws have been struck down by the courts in the past as being unconstitutional, and, IMO, many of AB's municipal anti-bullying laws are deeply flawed.Peter Brown, Airdrie's mayor, has a lot of experience with this issue and, to his credit, listened to my criticisms and amended that municipality's bylaw in response.https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/derek-james-from/alberta-anti-bullying-laws_b_3983153.html
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    • Admin Commented City Communications 3 months ago
      Hi tainaredl, thanks for the comment and suggestion. We will pass this on to Council but if you have specific suggestions for different provisions of the bylaw, you are also welcome to email council@chestermere.ca to share your thoughts on those detailed sections.
  • bgavin 3 months ago
    While well intended, this bylaw seems incredibly subjective and difficult to enforce. I would rather see resources be put towards a sustainable, comprehensive plan that addresses the root causes of bullying in our community. Firstly by developing a deeper understanding of the local context of bullying in Chestermere. Based off of this understanding, customizing initiatives that aim to increase community connectedness and foster a sense of community belonging in our young people.
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    • Admin Commented City Communications 3 months ago
      Thanks for the comment bgavin. We will pass this on to Council for their consideration.