Bell congratulated the Government of Canada for introducing federal legislation to directly combat cyberbullying, an issue of serious concern to all Canadians.
"With the proposed changes to the Criminal Code announced today, the government is sending a strong message that cyberbullying must stop," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE Inc. "Bell applauds Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Justice Minister Peter MacKay, and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney for taking this important step forward."
As a leading Canadian provider of mobile and wireline Internet services, and in line with the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative, Bell plays an active role in supporting national and community-based organizations involved in the prevention of online abuse, including:
- The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, including its Cybertip.ca service, enabling Canadians to report concerns about the online exploitation of children and access advice on protecting children using the Internet, and NeedHelpNow.ca, which provides guidance to youth on steps they can take if they or their friends have been involved in a self/peer exploitation incident (otherwise known as "sexting").
- The MediaSmarts educational and public awareness initiative, helping parents and teachers support young people in safely navigating the digital world
- The Canadian Coalition Against Internet Child Exploitation and its Cleanfeed Canada program, helping reduce accidental access to and distribution of child sexual abuse images
- Kids Help Phone, which empowers young people to stand up to bullying through education and counseling (tip sheets on cyberbullying and online safety are also available for parents)
The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative also supports many grassroots youth and family-centred community mental health services that help young people deal with the impact of online bullying and exploitation. This includes providing funds for organizations like the Québec Federation of Home and School Associations, as well as providing Bell employees with the tools they need to leverage online safety as part of their volunteer activities with schools and sports groups in their community.
Bell is also directly involved in key local fundraising events like the recent Bell Kaleidoscope of Hope Gala, which supports youth mental health programs in Ottawa and eastern Ontario, as well as initiatives like The Pledge, an anti-bullying campaign that began with the help of the local CTV television station in London, Ontario, and is now growing to include other Bell Media television and radio stations.